premier is calling on the provinces and Ottawa to form a united front
on oil, gas and other forms of Canadian-produced energy as the country
looks to expand the market for its oil and gas beyond the United States.
Redford said in a speech Wednesday in Toronto that the troubles
surrounding development of the Keystone pipeline in the U.S. are an
example of why Canada needs to look to energy-hungry markets in Asia
“I think the indecision around the Keystone XL
pipeline demonstrates the necessity of looking to new markets,” she
said of the U.S. government delay of a decision on whether TransCanada
Corp. can build a massive pipeline south of the border.
she told reporters after the speech to the Economic Club of Canada that
she is not seeking a policy shift away from the U.S., the country’s
primary trading partner – rather, she wants to open up to new markets
such as China and India as well.
Her remarks came during a flood
of activity in the oil pipeline industry as companies look for ways to
move growing supplies from the oilsands to market.
Wednesday, Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) said it would pay US$1.15 billion
for a half-stake in an existing pipeline from the Gulf Coast and
reverse its flow to relieve a build-up of oil storage in Cushing, Okla.
Enbridge rival TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP), meanwhile, said it may be possible to build the southern leg of its Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline as early as next year in a move also designed to drain supplies from Cushing.
Redford said both of those developments were encouraging.
said TransCanada’s move to build the southern leg will demonstrate that
it is possible to build pipeline infrastructure that is environmentally
Enbridge’s move is an example of the innovations coming out of Alberta in terms of looking for options to expand its influence, she added.
premier said she wants to play a more prominent role in forming a
national energy strategy, adding she is acutely aware that her
language, and that of all Canadian politicians on energy, is being
watched south of the border.
“From an Alberta perspective, we’re in a position where we can take a role in leading that conversation,” she said.
may be that Canadians don’t have the perspective that we’ve done that
in the past, but it’s very much what I would like to do now, and we
will do it in the future.”
But Redford added that all of the
provinces have a role to play in the successful export of Canadian oil
and gas and other forms of energy.
She said she’d like to see an open cross-country dialogue on issues such as innovation and environmental sustainability.
is rare in being energy-rich and innovative, with a skilled workforce
capable of expanding production in an environmentally, socially
conscious and economically sustainable manner,” she said in the speech.
“Our energy is therefore not just a profitable resource, but a strategic one.”
later asked to elaborate on her meaning of “strategic” – because the
designation can mean the resource is not open for foreign investment -
she said it is strategic because jurisdictions around the world need it.
met with Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty earlier Wednesday as part of a
whirlwind tour that also stopped in Washington and New York.
said they talked about the Keystone pipeline a little, but only in
terms of Canada’s energy strategy to build international markets. She
said they “didn’t disagree on anything” and instead talked about how Alberta could help Ontario develop its interest in renewable power.
think as (McGuinty) moves forward with his plans around renewables that
there’s opportunity for technical partnerships, academic exchanges and
for private sector partnerships,” she told reporters.
was one of the things that I left him with at the end of the meeting-
let’s see if we can pursue some of those possibilities.”
said her mission is not to “sell” the oilsands, but unlike her
predecessors she is prepared to engage in a rational conversation with
critics to work out their concerns.
“If they have concerns that are not based on facts, then let’s get the facts right, we still may agree to disagree,” she said.
I think there’s an awful lot of back and forth right now, a lot of
language, a lot of emotion, that isn’t getting us to an outcome.”
will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper Thursday in what will be
the longest conversation they’ve had since she became premier of his
She said they will discuss what they’ve learned
with respect to the roadblocks in the Keystone pipeline process, as
well as progress on environmental and water monitoring in the province.
on Wednesday, a senior official with the Canadian Association of
Petroleum Producers said those involved in the the oil and gas sector
risk damaging their reputations if they don’t meet their critics head
Janet Annesley, CAPP’s vice-president of communications,
told a business audience in Calgary that she’s had discussions with
those in the industry, including those working in the oil sands, and
told them getting the facts out doesn’t always make things right.
advent of new media, social media, the Internet has made people realize
that perception is reality,” she said. “That regulators only take
decisions they can defend and it is in a company’s best interest to
tell their side of the story and do so very proactively.”
said there will always be those who won’t like the oil and gas sector
no matter what is done but it is important not to shy away from tough
questions from the public.