CEOs urge provincial co-operation on energy infrastructure
Governments should promote aboriginal input, employment, report says
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives is calling for greater provincial co-operation and stronger aboriginal partnerships to help build new pipelines and energy transmission systems just as relations between British Columbia and Alberta are beginning to fray.
A report released Monday urges the federal government to work with its provincial counterparts “to examine the potential for multiple energy corridors to the Pacific, in the interests of expanding exports to growing Asian markets.”
Canada is far from alone in seeking customers for bulk energy exports in Pacific markets, the council’s report notes.
A number of projects, from a suite of proposals to liquefy and ship western Canadian natural gas overseas to Enbridge Inc.’s hotly contested Northern Gateway pipeline, are taking shape on Canada’s West Coast. At the same time, an estimated $170 billion in new LNG export projects are planned in Australia.
Such competition “reinforces the need to develop sound infrastructure and efficient regulatory processes to demonstrate to foreign markets that we can be a reliable supplier of energy,” the council’s report says.
That push is complicated by regional tensions. B.C. Premier Christy Clark last week told reporters that Enbridge should be “deeply embarrassed” about the conclusions of a report issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board following its investigation into a 2010 pipeline rupture on the company’s Lakehead system in Michigan.
NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman blamed “deficient integrity management procedures” and “inadequate” training of control center personnel for the Michigan spill, which released more than 800,000 gallons of crude into local waterways.
“If they think they’re going to operate like that in British Columbia – forget it,” Clark told the Globe and Mail, in a reference to Enbridge’s plans to snake a $5.5 billion pipeline through B.C. from the Edmonton area.
For its part, Enbridge says it has implemented changes since the rupture.
Separately, the council’s report also reiterates a call for an integrated carbon management framework between the U.S. and Canada and a renewed focus on education and training of aboriginal youth.
First nations living in close proximity to energy and mining developments have “legitimate concerns about major resource expansion, including implications for land claims, the impact on their communities and way of life, as well as on the land, air and water around them,” it says.