Alberta Premier Wants Energy Cooperation Within Americas
Canada and the U.S. can benefit from cooperating on research and development and investment, as well as sharing intellectual property, Redford said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York today. That could be expanded to Latin American nations, she said.
“As we start to think about how energy is going to impact all of this hemisphere, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for good conversation,” said Redford, a member of Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party who is running for re-election this year. “If there’s work being done in the United States (UNG) around sustainables, renewables, energy efficiency, it’s not going to be different work from what’s happening in Canada.”
Canada, home to the world’s third-largest oil reserves, is seeking new routes to export its crude. TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, was rejected by President Barack Obama on Jan. 18. Oil is Canada’s most valuable export and has helped Alberta become the province with the highest per capita income.
“Business just deals with it,” said Terrance McGill, President of Enbridge Energy Co., in an interview today in New York, referring to the different regulations in Canada and the U.S. The two countries’ energy policies “are already tied. It’s just not formalized,” he said.
The oil and gas industry does needs to do a better job educating citizens about energy issues, McGill said. Business and governments are sometimes “detached” from one another on energy issues, he said.
Alberta yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Inter-American Development Bank (ITAD) to discuss mining regulations, she said. She has also spoken about international energy policy with think tanks including the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
More Wind Power
Redford expects the Keystone XL pipeline to be approved by the U.S. TransCanada, based in Calgary, said March 6 it plans to submit within weeks a new permit application for the $7.6 billion oil pipeline.
Alberta has 173 billion barrels of recoverable crude in the oil sands, a region in the northeast part of the province. Annual investment in the oil sands is about C$20 billion ($20.2 billion), filling government coffers and driving demand for engineers, electricians and construction workers, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Redford’s government is also considering different renewable-energy strategies and will develop a plan following an election that has to be held by the end of May.
Alberta will likely triple wind-power capacity through 2020, Redford said. Currently, the province has almost 900 megawatts of wind power capacity, the third-most in Canada after Ontario and Quebec, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
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