Author: Maryscott Greenwood, CEO, Canadian American Business Council, published in Taylor & Francis Online
For many years, the Canadian government has pursued energy and environmental policies that have difficulty co-existing. Ottawa has encouraged projects intended to expand the extraction and export of the country’s single biggest commodity, fossil fuel, while at the same time seeking to restrict Canada’s carbon footprint, an imperative characterized by the term “leave it in the ground.” Events have rendered that policy contradiction untenable. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Kremlin’s efforts to weaponize energy, have shown the folly of allowing complete globalization of energy production. And no country is in a better position to step up than Canada, with its abundance of resources. Canada’s reserves of natural gas rival Russia’s. And yet Canada does not have a single liquefied natural gas export facility. Similar for critical minerals processing, without which technology manufacturing cannot exist. China currently has the global market cornered, while Canada’s engineering capability and regulatory regime goes untested. In this commentary, I urge Canada to pursue energy realpolitik – to overcome the obstacles of federal-provincial jurisdiction, reconcile restrictions on carbon with the plain need for energy, and partner with the United States, while it is still possible.