Canada must respond to North America's new energy reality by pursuing its own
Hon. Jim Prentice, Vice Chairman of CIBC, says Canada's interests are best
served by a continued open and free energy marketplace
HALIFAX, April 30, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) - Canada must
continue to fight for a North American energy marketplace that is free of
national and sub-national impediments, says the Honorable Jim Prentice, Senior
Executive Vice-President and Vice Chairman of CIBC.
Speaking to the Maritimes Energy Association in Halifax, Mr. Prentice said
that the unprecedented evolution of the North American energy marketplace in
the last five years has made energy independence a reality - a reality that
will have a lasting and positive influence on both the prosperity and the
security of North America.
But he told his audience that the rapid increase in U.S. domestic oil
production means that the American need for Canadian energy is declining.
"What we cannot afford to do as Canadians is to take our energy relationship
with the U.S. for granted," said Mr. Prentice.
"That means being vigilant in watching for and resisting impediments to its
function and health. In particular, we must resist the emergence of
sub-national standards that threaten to infringe on both the spirit and the
letter of our free trade agreements. We must stand against American interests
who seek policy outcomes that would game against Canadian energy producers.
"And so it is incumbent on us as Canadians to remind them of their commitment
to a free and open energy marketplace - and of the benefits that this market
has brought and will continue to bring. Interventions by government, while
well meaning, are nevertheless potentially damaging and counter-productive."
He noted that Canada has the potential to develop 25,000 MW of
hydroelectricity over the next 25 years, including more than 3,000 MW from the
Lower Churchill Project. Lower Churchill would create more than 16,000 person
years of employment in Atlantic Canada and deliver sufficient power not only
to meet the needs of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador but also for
export through the Maritime Link to Nova Scotia and other jurisdictions.
Protecting the ability for Lower Churchill and other hydroelectricity projects
to have free market access to U.S. jurisdictions is in both countries
interests said Mr. Prentice. "If we work together and clear away the growing
number of irritants, we can produce a cleaner energy system - with Canadian
hydro serving as a storehouse of North American energy, available as needed at
the flick of a switch.
"A greater reliance on Canadian hydro would also position the North American
continent to secure not only an economic but also an environmental advantage -
achieving meaningful emission reductions even as our prosperity continues to
grow, and enabling our continent to achieve the benefits of a low-carbon
future ahead of other jurisdictions. It is therefore essential that Canada
strive to ensure the U.S. marketplace remains open to our hydro exports."
Mr. Prentice believes that it is important that the Canadian and U.S. federal
governments establish working groups with real teeth that would set
bi-national policies and agreements that advance our shared competitive
advantage. He would also like to see the elimination of "discordant
regulations that, in the end, will aid in advancing the prosperity of neither
"Canada must respond to the continent's new energy reality by pursuing its own
geopolitical interests as one of the world's largest energy suppliers," said
Mr. Prentice. "We can press for a continued, open continental market while at
the same time moving with purpose to meet the current and future needs of our
existing and potential customers.
"If we play our cards right, there will be profound opportunities for Atlantic
Canada and for our country as a whole."
A copy of Mr. Prentice's speech is available at:
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CO: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
ST: Nova Scotia
NI: FIN MED
-0- Apr/30/2013 17:08 GMT
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