Skip to comments.Canada’s energy future looks super
Posted on 05/26/2013 7:45:16 PM PDT by rickmichaels
In a speech to the Canada-U.K. Chamber of Commerce in London on July 14, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to Canada as the emerging energy superpower that his government intends to build.
The prime minister and Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources, have repeated this claim on various occasions since.
While the term energy superpower sounds exciting and important, that likely isnt where the country is heading (and likely not what we want to be).
Rather, Canada is on track to become an energy superproducer if the right policy framework is in place.
Canadas petroleum industry alone is already very important to the economy.
The energy sector as a whole accounts for at least 650,000 jobs, or approximately 4.4% of total payroll employment.
Oil and gas production (excluding support services) contributed approximately $94 billion to GDP in 2011 and $33 billion to electricity generation, transmission, and distribution.
In addition, Canadas petroleum producers, hydroelectric generators and uranium miners paid about $16 billion in royalties and fees to provincial governments.
And Canadas status as a superproducer of energy is clearly close at hand.
Canadas proved oil reserves ranked third in the world in 2012.
Canada was the sixth-largest crude oil producer in 2011 but production is slated to increase by at least 50% by the 2020s, which would elevate Canada to fourth.
Canadas conventional natural gas reserves ranked 20th in the world in 2012, but the country was the worlds fourth-largest producer in 2011.
Canada is already one of the worlds largest producers of hydropower but has the technical capacity to more than double its current capacity (from 75 GW to 163 GW).
Canada ranked as the worlds second-largest producer of uranium in 2011, but production is slated to double when production at the Cigar Lake mine (scheduled to commence this year) reaches capacity.
Increased development of our energy resources will benefit Canadians through higher employment and growth in labor income which, in turn, will increase the Gross Domestic Product.
But for Canada to realize the benefits of its move into super-production, government will need to facilitate the process by ensuring that skilled workers can enter Canada to meet growing demand; streamlining regulatory approval processes; maintaining competitive royalty and tax regimes; securing access to foreign markets (particularly looking beyond the United States); and enabling the development of sufficient infrastructure to move Canadas oil and gas to those markets.
Of course, there are no benefits without some risk, and the biggest risk from a growing energy economy is that government spending will continue to grow in tandem with revenues, until those governments find themselves in a deficit position during the inevitable downturns that periodically affect global resource markets.
As the Fraser Institutes Mark Milke has demonstrated, that is the regrettable position in which Alberta now finds itself.
Although it may not sound as sexy as becoming a superpower, Canadas potential to grow energy commodity production because of its abundant energy resources, combined with opportunities to increase crude oil, natural gas, electricity and uranium exports, is leading the country to energy superproducer status.
With a proactive policy framework, further development of Canadas energy resources should benefit all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country.
Angevine is a Fraser Institute Senior Fellow. Green is Senior Director, Energy and Natural Resources, at the Fraser Institute.
My daughter and her family are living in Calgary—her husband is an engineer with Phillips Conoco........
the paradigm shift that will happen in Canada is instead of liquifying LNG and exportinng it, they will turn around and burn it at the boiler tip to generate enought steam to create the largest producing field in the world - in Athabasca, which has almost unlimited oil in the ground.
Canada used to be a world leader in bleating about “global warming” with the rest of the heard of sheep.
Then the Alberta Energy Bonanza came to town.
Canada, under the Liberals, you mean.
1.7 trillion barrels, according to Wikipedia.
Bringing America to third worldism AKA fundamentally changing America.
check your facts
Check “Maurice Strong.”
These three clowns have been out of office/ our hair for nearly a decade. You might want to get some accurate and up-to-date information rather than the dated drivel you seem to be using.
Well, if you read my post carefully, you will see that I'm contrasting the present to the past. In order to accomplish this, I must make reference to the past, which - by definition - is "out of date."
I don't understand how "past history" becomes "drivel."
Perhaps you'll be good enough to explain that.