Energy Progressives embrace change, Energy Dinosaurs resist change at a time when global energy system is rapidly changing
The global energy system is being transformed. Change is driven by two emerging technology trends: 1) slowly improving clean energy technologies (e.g. wind/solar, electric cars) buttressed by energy and climate policy. 2) digital technologies (e.g. big data/analytics, automation, blockchain) that are rapidly transforming the energy business model, including increasing labour productivity while destroying oil and gas jobs.
The Alberta energy sector must adapt to that emerging technological transformation in order to remain competitive in coming decades. The consequences of not successfully adapting include far fewer good paying jobs, less profitable/not profitable companies, and declining provincial government revenue.
As Steve Williams, Suncor CEO, says: “Why would Suncor commit to an ambitious program to reduce its own GHG emissions? The first is our belief that bold, ambitious action will be required by all of us to effectively tackle the climate change challenge. The second is our conviction that technology will continue to transform our industry to a place of global cost and carbon competitiveness.”
Cost and carbon-competitiveness are everything in the new energy reality. Back to the Future, Donald Trump-inspired energy policy will not make Alberta oil and gas cost and carbon-competitive. Energy Dinosaurs who refuse to embrace the changing global energy reality – and support policy more suited to the 1990s than the 21st century – will make Alberta less competitive in coming decades.
Energy Dinosaurs are the enemy of a competitive energy sector and a prosperous Alberta.
De-carbonizing oil sands and Alberta heavy crude oil, fighting for increased market access, supporting partial upgrading to boost bitumen value and marketability, expanding petrochemical manufacturing, researching non-combustion uses for bitumen/natural gas, and reducing GHG emissions across the provincial economy, is a winning energy policy strategy.
Alberta is the only heavy crude oil jurisdiction on the planet actively de-carbonizing. By doing so with an enlightened set of energy policies, Alberta has become the global leader in its market space. Alberta has earned the moral and economic right to sell its product on international markets as long as consumers are willing to pay for it.
I support Alberta. I am an Energy Progressive.