Tory environmental plan won’t stall oilsands growth

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CALGARY, Alta. – Despite much fear to the contrary, oil and gas executives say the environmental action plan announced by the feds won’t inhibit further growth for the industry. The plan calls on industry to reduce emissions 18% by 2010 with the long-term goal of cutting emissions by 20% of current levels by 2020. While reaction from big business leaders was mixed, most agreed the targets were reasonable.

“We believe that what has been presented here is a good start toward lowering our emissions and hopefully stopping them and reversing them,” Kevin Meyers, head of Conoco-Phillips Inc. operations in Canada told the National Post.

“It’s one of the principles that we had going in, that this industry shouldn’t be discriminated against, and in that sense it’s a level playing field,” said Ron Brenneman, president and chief executive of Petro-Canada.

Jayson Myers of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said meeting the targets would be a challenge, but not impossible.

“At the end of the day these are much more realistic targets – particularly because they are intensity-based targets – than we’ve seen previously. And clearly to meet these targets industry is going to have to continue to replace old technology,” Myers said.

He called on government to provide financial incentives for companies that invest in cleaner technology. The Canadian Trucking Alliance has been calling on government for some time to provide incentives for fleets that adopt the latest generation of environmentally-friendly truck engines, but those requests have so far fallen on deaf ears.

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