Lack of energy infrastructure costing Canada $50M per day, says new Chamber report

CALGARY (Sept. 17, 2013) – The Canadian economy is leaving as much as $50 million a day on the table because of a significant lack of energy infrastructure, according to a new Canadian Chamber of Commerce report released today.

The report, simply entitled $50 Million a Day, makes note of the world’s rapidly changing energy market. It also points out that the United States (virtually Canada’s only foreign market for oil and gas) has dramatically ramped up its own energy production, and concludes that a lack of market access – particularly, the absence of infrastructure to transport our energy to tidewater and overseas – is costing Canada dearly.

“A lack of infrastructure is preventing Canadians from maximizing their potential benefits in energy markets,” reads the report. “Right now, it costs us millions every day. In the future – as U.S. demand declines – it’s going to really hurt.

“We cannot continue to rely on U.S. energy markets alone. The fastest growing markets for Canadian oil and gas now lie in non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations, which will drive almost all growth in global energy use for the foreseeable future,” adds the report. “This is particularly true in Asia, which is set to double its energy demand from 2008 levels over the next 30 years.

“Canada must respond to changing energy markets, or face a major risk to national prosperity.”

Today’s Canadian Chamber of Commerce report notes that Canada’s oil and gas industry, its methods of transportation, and its social and environmental impacts have evolved into one of the most robust policy debates in recent years. Through its 29 pages, however, $50 Million a Day makes six key arguments:

  • Oil and gas power the Canadian economy
  • Canada’s only international energy market, the United States, is on a path of declining imports
  • New opportunities lie in Asia, but Canada lacks the infrastructure to get there
  • Canada loses billions each year from its lack of energy transport infrastructure
  • Energy can be, and is, transported safely
  • The world is not running out of oil. Today’s energy companies must be the catalysts to move to a lower carbon energy future

The $50 Million a Day report also illustrates those six key points with a supporting infographic.

Previous reports, including those released by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Energy Research Institute, and the Canada West Foundation, have made note of Canada’s transportation bottlenecks – and the jobs, tax revenue, and other economic benefits at stake.

“It is time to have a balanced discussion about what it means to be an energy nation in the 21st century,” reads today’s report. “Balancing the essential contribution oil and gas makes to our standard of living with environmental and social responsibility is not easy.

“But the hard fact is we do not have the option of sitting this one out.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says it is committed to having this discussion, and will “kick it off” during International Trade Day on Oct. 29.