Dan Gagnier, the newly appointed President of The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC), commends Senator Black for championing this cause in his first Senate address, which covered many of the energy issues that are critically important to the future of Canada. “We are encouraged by Senator Black’s comments and his commitment to advancing discussion around Canada’s energy future at a time when constructive dialogue and decisive actions are so urgently needed,” said Gagnier.
In his address, Senator Black discussed:
• The undeniable importance of the energy sector in Canada
• Job creation, research and development opportunities and revenue to governments as a result of energy development
• $112 billion from energy exports in 2011
• Forecast for the US to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017, and a net oil exporter by 2025
• $75 million per day in total that Canada is losing due to the lack of export infrastructure
• Estimated loss of $4 billion in federal tax revenue from discounted oil and gas prices
• Projected $50 billion that Canada will lose over the next three years
• The prospect of less government funds for schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and the arts across the country
These points illustrate that Canada must take immediate action if we are to determine our own fate and control how our energy resources are to be utilized at home or traded to global markets. Diversifying trade partnerships is a crucial step towards long-term prosperity by ensuring Canada receives the highest possible price for our energy resources on the global market. Market diversification was one of the foundations of EPIC’s recommendations put forward in A Canadian Energy Strategy Framework report, released in August of 2012.
“The role of Canadian energy in the future of our country and the world is far too important to let this conversation fall by the way-side as another victim of political sensitivities. We cannot just watch as this tremendous opportunity passes us by, it is imperative that we chart our own course towards responsible development and trade so that Canadians can enjoy the full benefits of our realized potential,” added Gagnier.
The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) is a non-profit organization formed by business organizations that are concerned about Canada’s energy future. Our sole purpose is to develop a comprehensive, pan-Canadian approach to energy which will provide the foundation for recommendations to federal, provincial and territorial government authorities responsible for energy and environment policy. We believe better analysis, based on better information, will lead to better policy. Senator Black has been a long-time proponent for responsible energy development and an advocate for diversifying Canada’s energy markets. He was founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the development of a Canadian energy framework. Senator Black currently serves as the organization’s volunteer chair.]]>
Calgary, AB… A new energy literacy program, developed by a leading environmental organization, will help Canadians understand the benefits and costs of Canada’s energy resources and, ultimately, become more efficient energy users. Acting on recommendations from its 2012 report, EPIC has approached all provincial Premiers and Energy Ministers as well as federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver to collaborate with the energy industry to support and fund Pollution Probe’s “Energy Exchange” energy literacy program.
“The Energy Exchange will take the burden of finding and learning about Canada’s energy through a well-planned and informative digital application that will provide one stop learning for Canadians,” said EPIC President Dan Gagnier. “If we can motivate everyone to work together on this important opportunity we will have advanced more action towards managing Canada’s energy future.”
Pollution Probe is a research-based non-profit dedicated to further the conversations on energy among Canadians and working towards positive environmental change. One of the group’s primary goals has been to build better awareness and understanding about the production and use of energy among citizens. The Energy Exchange will be internet based learning tool that will increase awareness of the economic, environmental and social contributions of Canada’s energy systems.
“EPIC believes that the Energy Exchange will engage Canadians in active energy learning. Energy is a Canadian birthright and is an industry that is tremendously important in our day to day lives. Understanding the realities and impacts of its use is vital in becoming a more energy efficient nation and better protecting our environment,” explained Gagnier.
EPIC’s work to advance an energy literacy program is another fulfillment of recommendations made by the Institute in its August 2012 report. Several of EPIC’s recommendations surrounding regulatory reform have been put into motion by provincial governments, most notably in Canada’s energy heartland of Alberta.
This week’s announcement of an enhanced Tanker Safety System to better protect Canada’s coastlines by the federal government is another example of EPIC’s recommendations being acted upon by government. To improve Canada’s international energy competitiveness, EPIC sees it as vital that the country is not just an exporter of energy but also of energy services and expertise in innovative new practices and systems such as this.
“EPIC started the conversation on establishing Canada’s energy leadership in 2010 in order to develop recommendations on developing a national approach to energy. We salute both the federal and provincial governments for taking action and bringing some of our recommendations to life. But there is much more to be done to ensure a bright energy future for Canada,” stated Gagnier.
EPIC has been encouraged to continue to work with provincial governments to bring their recommendations forward into action. The Institute sees a pivotal opportunity for Canada to develop a national energy framework that will benefit every Canadian economically and socially through maximizing the benefits of a strong, organized and responsible energy sector.]]>
The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) has released its framework for a Canadian energy strategy – a comprehensive, pan-energy approach that would leverage all of the country’s energy resources to Canada’s advantage. Formed around five strategic pillars, EPIC has developed a blueprint that will help Canada establish itself as a global energy leader in a world where the demand for and importance of energy is continuously growing.
“EPIC has led the conversation on a Canadian energy strategy for the last two and a half years. We have seen it grow from an idea shared by a small few to a national conversation. Canadians are coming to realize that a national approach to energy can benefit everyone regardless of what province they live in and that today is the opportunity to use our energy to our utmost advantage,” said Doug Black, president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada.
EPIC has been the foremost organization in spurring the need for a Canadian energy strategy over the last two and a half years. The organization represents the most diverse group of energy producers, transporters, specialists, think-tanks, industry associations and large scale consumers among any organization examining Canada’s energy potential for the future.
In its paper presented to provincial and federal governments, EPIC outlines 39 recommendations across five pillars that the group feels are key to Canada’s global energy leadership: regulatory reform, innovation, energy literacy and conservation, market diversification and carbon management.
Early in EPIC’s discussions, Canada’s regulatory system was identified as a potential obstacle in maximizing the value of the country’s energy resources. Canada has a strong regulatory system but one that has been riddled with duplication and redundancy, leading to unnecessary delays in the process and uncertain timelines that can dissuade companies from investing in Canadian energy projects. Streamlining the process and ensuring a more set regulatory timeline are important recommendations made by EPIC to help the regulatory system operate more effectively.
EPIC’s concentration on regulatory improvements were clearly laid out in draft documents presented to provincial and federal ministers in the summer of 2011 and, earlier this year, Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced legislative changes that would put EPIC’s recommendations into federal law. Regulatory changes within Bill C-38 reflect recommendations of EPIC surrounding regulatory streamlining.
Key among recent developments in the energy sector has been the debate surrounding market diversification. With the overwhelming amount of Canadian energy being exported to the United States, evidence that Canadian energy resources may be worth more overseas has resulted in a greater push for increased exports to Europe and Asia. To allow greater exports overseas, EPIC supports the need to develop appropriate infrastructure to find the best and most profitable global markets for Canadian energy products. Given our geographic location, overseas exports are necessary to diversifying Canada’s energy trading partners.
“It’s vitally important that Canada finds the best possible markets for its energy exports,” said Gerry Protti, one of EPIC’s Board members, “But policies on production and regulation of the resource are still only a part of the puzzle. EPIC strongly supports building Canadians’ understanding of energy and empowering them to become part of Canada’s energy leadership as well.”
Energy Literacy and Conservation
Understanding that by using less energy, Canada extends its resources and can increase the resource value, EPIC has suggested the development of a shared national vision on energy conservation and literacy supported by all levels of government. EPIC further supports a recommendation from the environmental organization, Pollution Probe, to develop a Canadian Centre for Energy Learning to further Canadian’s understanding and respect for the country’s greatest source of wealth and prosperity.
Becoming a global energy leader is not just about how many barrels of oil can be produced or how many megavolts of power are created. In order to establish true leadership, Canada must continually push the envelope and find new ways to advance the energy industry and improve both economic and environmental performance. In its recommendations, EPIC has made increased investment in innovation- both from private industry and from government- a top priority.
“Canada has played a lead role in developing many new energy technologies and extraction techniques that have changed the face of the industry. Now is the time to further encourage Canadian ingenuity and encourage companies and the government to work together to discover new avenues of scientific research that will create the energy industry of tomorrow,” said Protti.
EPIC’s recommendations to foster innovation centre around the idea of creating “innovation clusters” – collaborations of a broad spectrum of industry players, including producers, academics, suppliers, service providers and non-governmental organizations. The clusters would focus on enabling technology development that would, in turn, inspire new ideas from other members of the cluster in related areas – creating a holistic improvement across a given subject.
Carbon management is an incredibly complex issue and finding the best solution requires more time and study. EPIC has recommended that a joint committee of all Energy and Environment Ministers undertake a dedicated review of carbon management alternatives to make a recommendation to governments.
The complete development of a Canadian energy strategy is a monumentally complex task and, although EPIC has taken the first difficult steps to establish a framework, more work is needed. At July’s Council of Federation, provincial Premiers committed to advance work on an energy strategy. Over the next several weeks, EPIC will be meeting with various political representatives across Canada to brief them on the Framework.
“We are pleased that the Premiers of Canada share our view of the importance of an energy strategy and have committed to continue to work towards its development. Of course, we are disappointed that British Columbia has chosen not to participate in this important work at this time but we welcome their participation at a later date,” said Black.
“No one said building a strategy would be easy. If it was, it would already be done,” continued Black, “There are hurdles to overcome but we urge governments to continue to push the agenda so Canada does not lose this opportunity to be a global energy leader and other countries claim the benefits that should be ours.”
EPIC’s final report has been released to all federal and provincial leaders as well as all energy ministries. For more information on EPIC or to download a copy of the report, visit www.canadasenergy.ca/.
Doug Black, president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, today issues the following statement as the Council of the Federation meeting begins, and in advance of the September 9-11 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference.
“As Premiers meet in Nova Scotia, the Canadian energy strategy is one of the most important topics they must address. We hope they conclude their meetings with a strong agreement of principles for a strategy, a plan to work closely with the federal government and a sense of urgency to rapidly advance the strategy. Following their meeting, we will be sending to every Premier, the Prime Minister and all Ministers responsible for energy, our recommendations and discussion on key elements for a national energy framework.
“In the spirit of building an energy strategy, the Premiers must speak in terms of what is in it for every Canadian. If this can be accomplished then everyone is a winner – no matter where they live in Canada.
“The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources released a report last week that supports the position of Alberta’s Premier and calls for greater cooperation and coordination between governments of every level to manage Canada’s energy resources – a position the Energy Policy Institute of Canada strongly supports and encourages the Premiers to continue their collaboration.
“Canadians want an energy strategy. In fact, in a recent Leger Marketing study, 76 per cent of Canadians felt it was important to build one. Canadians know if we fail, we lose as a nation and we give up the jobs, money and environmental management opportunity to other countries that will gladly compete with us.
“Two and half years ago, EPIC started its work, a Canadian energy strategy was not the popular topic it has become today – we feel rewarded that our efforts have created a vibrant and national interest and dialogue. EPIC’s upcoming release of comprehensive details for the roll out of a national energy strategy will help governments proceed with implementing their role in the strategy.”]]>
The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) has requested major changes to the country’s regulatory system as a key component to the future of energy in Canada. The group has confirmed that regulatory reform will be a key topic in the strategy paper to be presented to government later this year.
Recommendations from EPIC on regulatory reform will suggest measures to reduce uncertainty and increase efficiency in the regulatory review process with an eye to streamline the process both federally and provincially. By improving the cooperation between levels of government and transparency of the process, regulatory review can be significantly accelerated without losing any of the rigour that protects Canadians socially, economically and environmentally.
“Canada’s regulations surrounding energy development are some of the world’s most stringent and we believe that this should be upheld. Unfortunately, it is also a very tangled system with many overlaps in jurisdiction and process. This leads to unnecessary delays that cost investors money and reduces the socio-economic benefits to Canadians,” said EPIC President Doug Black.
This perception of Canada’s regulatory system is one that is unfortunately held globally. The World Economic Forum’s 2011-2012 Global Competitiveness Report cited bureaucratic inefficiency as the single largest barrier to doing business in Canada.
“Minister Oliver is one hundred per cent correct in saying that our regulatory system is broken and that repairing it is a matter of national interest. It is important that we optimize the regulatory system to remove unnecessary barriers to development while maintaining the highest levels of health, safety and environmental standards,” said Black, “A common sense approach to how we develop and manage our energy resources will benefit every Canadian. A more efficient regulatory system is a big piece of this puzzle and will be a key part of our strategy being presented to government this year.”]]>
The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) is fully supportive of Minister Oliver’s
announcement to advance work the ultimate regulatory goal of “one project, one review.”
“Following the Energy and Mines Ministers’ meeting in Kananaskis this year, we were very
pleased to know that regulatory changes were an issue that were thought timely to be dealt with, motivating us to advance this segment of our strategy.” said Doug Black, president of EPIC. “We hope that our initial findings area helpful to decision makers.”
Within the EPIC document are six key recommendations:
1. Eliminate Regulatory Uncertainty
2. Shorten Timelines for Review
3. Re-Balance Project Risk Against Regulatory Rigor
4. Increase Transparency
5. Limit the Role of Joint Review Panels
6. Clarify the Aboriginal Consultation Process
“While regulatory reform is only one section of our final strategy, we felt that the importance of the topic today warranted releasing our document in a draft stage,” said Gerry Protti, Vice Chair of EPIC. “I expect many changes to this initial report and we welcome input as we finalize our position.”]]>
The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) is highly supportive of the outcomes and direction from the annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference held in Kananaskis, Alberta.
“Clearly our political leaders recognize how important a task is before them and we are
delighted they have agreed with many of our recommendations,” noted Doug Black, President of EPIC.
The decision to advance five major areas through collaboration is closely aligned with the progress document presented to the Conference by EPIC which recommends a unified national approach to:
Regulatory review, with an eye towards one-project/one-review for environmental assessments and associated regulatory processes will represent a major step forward towards a more efficient energy industry. The values supporting regulatory change to create an effective and efficient regulatory system with timely, transparent, fair and predictable processes is fully endorsed by EPIC.
“The steps being taken by the Ministers will see Canada move closer to becoming a global
energy superpower,” concluded Black.
Canada is on the cusp of becoming a global energy leader if it can quickly craft and adopt a new Canadian energy strategy. This is the belief of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) who today presented to Ministers attending the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference interim recommendations that support the implementation of a pan-Canadian and pan-energy strategy. A Strategy for Canada’s Global Energy Leadership – Progress Document addresses timely energy solutions to complement a comprehensive energy strategy expected to be completed by EPIC by January 2012.
Building on a framework document released in January, the Progress Document focuses on timely actions towards a national strategy. The importance of a policy that will benefit all Canadians comes at a time where leadership, stability and responsible development are required locally and with our trading partners around the world. Focused innovation, exceptional environmental performance and a broad based capacity to serve domestic and international markets with energy products and expertise are at the core of the recommendations.
Vice Chairs of EPIC, Gerry Protti and Daniel Gagnier presented six key recommendations that can be implemented now. While these do not constitute a complete energy strategy, they do lay the foundations for a unified national approach.
Speaking on the recommendations, Doug Black, President of EPIC said, “We start from the premise that energy is essential for people and for that reason a comprehensive energy strategy must address social, economic and environmental matters. It is not a case of one over the other – rather it is a case of harmonizing to ensure a responsible energy approach.”
EPIC’s diverse membership has provided the resources and knowledge that is the backbone of the organization’s work. As an effective energy strategy must consider all factors that affect the production, transport and consumption of energy, EPIC has reached out to many groups including federal and provincial governments, academia, industry associations and non-government organizations to seek their input and insight on what a common sense, forward looking energy strategy looks like to them. Through the collection and assimilation of many viewpoints, EPIC will create help create an energy strategy that works for all Canadians.
The Progress Document, available on EPIC’s website (www.canadasenergy.ca) elaborates on the various recommendations with actions government, industry and the community can take together to achieve these goals.]]>