With any business, you have to adapt when the needs of your largest customer changes.
As the United States swears in its 45th president today, that’s the situation Canada’s oil and gas industry finds itself in.
The USA has been Canada’s biggest, and virtually only, foreign energy customer for decades.
We must realize that we aren’t dealing with the same country we were eight years ago. Over that time, the US oil and gas industry has changed dramatically, shifting away from being our biggest customer to our biggest competitor.
Once almost-entirely dependent on foreign oil - a healthy portion of which came from Canada - the US is now one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world. Three years ago, it produced more oil than it imported for the first time in two decades. In 2015, it lifted a 40-year crude oil export ban and American crude is now being shipped to France, Germany, Israel, China, Panama, and the Netherlands. These are customers Canada lacks the pipeline capacity to reach.
And don’t be fooled, the United States has been building new pipelines over the past eight years.
While there has been loud and obstructive opposition to new Canadian pipelines in Canada, the US has built roughly 19,200 kilometres of new pipelines, or almost 14 times the length of TransCanada’s 1,400-km Keystone XL project, since 2010.
They are doing this because of a simple reality: the world needs more oil and gas.
This year we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. We are where we are today because of the resourcefulness of those who came before us. They built one of the best countries on Earth - not by fortune or chance - but by having the courage to do what needed to be done.
We face the same situation today. The world needs what we have, but we’re not the only ones who have it. Canada needs to assert itself as the most environmentally-responsible, ethically-produced developer of oil and gas resources in the world.
This week in Davos, Switzerland it was announced that $25 trillion would need to be invested over the 25 years on new oil capacity to meet rising demand. That investment can either come to Canada or it can go to our competitors.
So when President Donald Trump sets foot in the Oval Office today, let’s be ready to take action north of the border.
As always, Canada’s Energy Citizens have a role to play on this. As we proved last year, we have a voice and we know how to use it. We are changing the conversation around energy development in this country. Let’s keep it up.
Be vocal in your support for Canada’s energy competitiveness. Add to the 57,000 names on our www.supportcanadianpipelines.ca petition. Let your leaders and elected representatives know that standing pat is not an option.
Canada's Energy Citizens