Articles related to the low carbon economy
Speaking to the CIAC Board of Directors on October 17, in Ottawa, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, challenged CIAC and its members to contribute to Canada’s energy strategy by submitting the chapter on energy value-added processing.
“I understand the important role of chemistry in supporting the Canada’s energy transition. I don’t need to be convinced,” said the Minister. “What I do need is for this industry to help inform others and to tell us what the government can do to support investment and innovation in Canada’s chemistry sector.”
“You play a vital role in the Canadian economy and your industry has world leading environmental practices,” he told the room. “The world is hungry for our resources. When I go to India and China and Japan, the only thing they want to talk about is imported Canadian liquid natural gas.”
Minister Carr spoke to the CIAC Board on the heels of the Generation Energy dialogue he hosted in Winnipeg, Manitoba the week prior. Attended by nearly 800 Canadians, the forum involved challenging discussions on the pace of transition to a low carbon economy in Canada and the role of conventional energy sources during that transition.
Speaking on behalf of CIAC member-companies, CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson called on Minister Carr and his counterpart in Finance to be more engaged in the climate change policy and pricing discussions.
“Industry can accept that there is a need for an economic transformation to support Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy. What we can’t accept is that this transformation will be led by ministries of environment federally and provincially. To succeed, economically oriented departments such as finance, resources, and innovation are going to have to get much more engaged in the discussion if we’re to maintain competitiveness and attract investment opportunity,” Masterson said.
On March 20, CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson, along with the Chairs of the Association’s National and Alberta Business & Economics committees – Mike Burt, Dow Chemical, and Corinne Dueck, MEGlobal – appeared before the Energy Diversification Advisory Committee in Edmonton to deliver recommendations on adding value to Alberta’s energy resources.
CIAC agrees with the Alberta government’s long-term vision for economic diversification and believes that moving up the resource value chain with value-added resource processing is integral to achieving this goal. Specifically, CIAC believes the natural gas value chain is ripe for further investment given the abundance of liquids rich natural gas resources in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
Investment in value-added resource processing can also help smooth the boom and bust cycle of resource revenue to the province as the chemistry sector often runs countercyclical to the resource sector providing high paying jobs and needed investment when resource prices are low.
To help attract investment, CIAC is encouraged by the Alberta government's use of the Royalty system through the Petrochemicals Diversification Program. CIAC recommended that further support in the form of 100 per cent accelerated capital cost allowance at the federal and provincial levels as well as additional targeted support from all levels of government – federal, provincial, and municipal – be considered to overcome the investment advantages found in competing jurisdictions such as the U.S. Gulf Coast.