Words of encouragement and support by one of the leading voices in the Canadian energy sector greeted Chamber of Commerce members at Thursday’s Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Jointly run by the Chamber of Commerce and the Fort McMurray Construction Association, the luncheon also featured the president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Tim McMillan.
McMillan spoke about the upcoming elections, and the growing support of the energy sector across the country; he also commented that while the federal government owns the pipelines, “the people own the resources.”
“That’s why the provincial government collects royalties; they own the resource, because of that they have ‘skin in the game’ and part of their responsibility is to ensure they get the highest value for that product.”
McMillan was quick to mention CAPP is a “non-partisan” organization that would work with the new government to increase market access, fix the regulatory system, rollback corporate taxes, and continue working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
McMillan pointed out the energy sector was no longer “unstoppable” citing the cancellation of the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines, the problems with Trans Mountain, and how Bill-C69 would put more hurdles in the way of economic development.
So when Council voted in favour of the moratorium on work camps within 75km of the city limits of Fort McMurray, McMillan feared that would impact the ability of energy companies in Wood Buffalo to innovate, develop, grow, and compete for energy in the region.
“It will make things more difficult and more expensive and will make investment decisions more challenging. This will just be one further ‘rock in the backpack’ of decreasing competitiveness.”
As for competitiveness and technological advancement in alternative fuels like nuclear fusion and solar energy, McMillan says the future for oil and gas is bright.
“Oil and gas is a highly dense, highly energy-rich, safe, and reliable source of fuel. It’s going to have a strong future.”
McMillan estimates by 2040, about 52-53 per cent of the world’s markets will rely on oil and gas and says Canada should be among the top five world distributors in that industry.