Building a North American energy security alliance will require a “delicate balance” of policy, according to Alberta’s energy minister.
Sonia Savage is one of 500 provincial, state and federal legislators and business leaders gathered in Calgary this week for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PWNER) Summit.
The summit includes representatives from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
“We are next door. We are ready, willing and able to increase supply and supply,” Savage told reporters.
The four-day summit is highlighting several important topics from across borders, but on Monday the creation of a North American energy security and sustainability framework took center stage.
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“That security of supply, not just for Canada, but for North America,” PWNER president and Calgary MLA Richard Gottfried told OlxPraca. “How can we transport these energy products, how can we generate electricity, how can we ensure that there is sustainability and that there is a lack of volatility not only for our customers but for our business as well?” “
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has seen a “sea change” in the debate over the uninterrupted availability of affordable energy sources, according to Gary Marr, president of the Canada West Foundation.
This comes at a time when many countries around the world are banning the import of oil and gas produced by Russia.
“I think it has intensified the debate on North American oil and North American energy security,” Marr said.
U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen and Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman both addressed energy security at the summit on Monday ahead of a tour of oil sands facilities later this week.
“My goals are to go and see what’s going on,” Hillman said. “To talk to the people who are involved in the projects there, so I can go back to the U.S. and talk about what’s going on in Alberta, and the efforts that are being made.” Let’s talk about coins and the environmental responsibility of our industry.”
Savage said he hopes the visit will help promote Alberta Energy within the Biden administration.
According to Savage, there is a “softness” in the conversation about energy security across North America “with the sense that energy is going to come from somewhere.”
“If we leave it in the ground here, it’s coming out of the ground somewhere else, like Russia,” Savage said. “I think there’s a clear sense of the need for us to work together and better, collaboratively, across North America.”
He added that there is a “desire” for further cooperation between the two countries on the issue.
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Alberta government officials have lobbied U.S. lawmakers for an increased role for Canadian oil and gas south of the border as an alternative to “conflict oil” from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela.
The province is also setting up offices in Denver, Chicago and Seattle this summer, following the installation of former Conservative MP James Rajote as Alberta’s U.S. ambassador to the Canadian embassy.
Savage said reaching a framework with the U.S. would require a policy shift that balances climate change goals with energy conservation.
“It’s a big, growing problem that we need to address with climate change,” Savage said.
“If we’re going to solve climate change, we have to focus on energy security. We can’t do without each other.”
The PWNER summit continues on Tuesday with discussions on agriculture, transport and infrastructure.
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