Canada Must Stay Competitive on Carbon, Edwards Says

Canada shouldn’t try to outdo oil-producing rivals on greenhouse-gas reduction rules because that would weaken the industy’s competitiveness, according to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Chairman Murray Edwards.

“Let’s ensure that we don’t have policy that puts us at a disadvantage,” Edwards said today at the Bennett Jones Conference in Lake Louise, Alberta. “Let’s not get out in front of our competitors” on emission targets, he said.

Alberta, with the world’s third-largest crude reserves, levies a fee of C$15 ($14) a metric ton of carbon that exceeds reduction targets. The province is also spending C$1.3 billion on two carbon capture and storage projects, a technology that removes the gas during fossil fuel processing and buries it underground.

Provincial leaders including Alberta Premier Alison Redford are lobbying U.S. policy makers to approve TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline project from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. Many politicians in Washington, D.C. don’t know about Alberta’s climate policy, Redford said today at the conference.

“We have taken steps which are much stronger, firmer and more progressive than many other jurisdictions across North America,” Redford said today. “One of the things that we need to make clear to people in the United States is that while we’re willing to be part of a conversation that can take this further, we are not willing to sacrifice our competitiveness to get the deal done.”

Redford said this month the province won’t raise its levy on greenhouse-gas emissions unless the U.S. acts on the issue.

As she prepared to head to Washington in her fifth visit in the last two years, Redford told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that there has to be a “quid pro quo” from the U.S. on the price of carbon.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Jeremy van Loon in Calgary at jvanloon@bloomberg.net; Rebecca Penty in Calgary at rpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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