Trudeau’s tenure for natural resources minister fails to mention pipelines


Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer of oil and natural gas. (Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is laden with directives to move the Canadian economy to net zero emissions. Absent are direct references to the nation’s oil and gas sector, beyond instructions to cap emissions and phase out public funding.

The nearly 2,700 word directive spells out a long list of the Liberal government’s green priorities, ranging from reducing the electricity grid to net zero by 2035, to adding 50,000 new electric vehicle chargers and stations. hydrogen.

Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer of oil and natural gas. A recent report from the Canada Energy Regulator found that oil production will increase over the next decade, peaking at 5.8 million barrels per day in 2032, before starting to decline by 2050.

The little mention of the oil and gas sector also comes from the fact that the industry faces persistent challenges related to pipelines and exports to overseas markets.

Calgary-based Enbridge Energy (ENB.TO) (ENB) is engaged in a multi-year legal and political battle with Michigan officials seeking to shut down a pipeline that runs under a canal connecting two of the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, Calgary-based pipeline giant TC Energy (TRP.TO) (TRP) is seeking compensation from the US government for the cancellation of the Keystone XL cross-border expansion project by US President Joe Biden when he took over his duties in January.

Trudeau’s Jan. 15 mandate letter to Seamus O’Regan, Wilkinson’s predecessor on natural resources, referred to the need to “seize market opportunities to create good jobs.” However, this language appears to be in the context of adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

In his December 13, 2019 letter to O’Regan, Trudeau called on the minister to “identify opportunities to support workers and businesses in the natural resource sectors looking to export their products to global markets,” he said. he writes. “This includes the construction and completion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Twinning.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on twitter @jefflagerquist.

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