‘Striking the right balance’ between energy, environment

Enbridge president Al Monaco addresses Illinois manufacturers in Chicago

Energy or the environment?

It’s not about making a choice—it’s about working together to strike the right balance, Enbridge Inc. president and CEO Al Monaco told a gathering of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association on Friday.

“The biggest threat to accomplishing our goals of energy development and environmental protection is the polarized debate we continue to have—and that gets us nowhere,” Mr. Monaco said during an address in Chicago. “The decision we need to make is not which side to be on, but how we can most effectively bring them together.

“We believe that our shared responsibility, as a society, is to strike the right balance—to make a transition to a lower-carbon future while ensuring we meet our collective need for energy.”

Mr. Monaco was the keynote speaker at Friday’s annual IMA lunch before a crowd of about 400 business executives. Guest speakers at the event included Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL).

With global energy consumption expected to grow by at least 30 percent by 2040, reality dictates that fossil fuels will meet the lion’s share of that demand—which, noted Mr. Monaco, creates the potential for a North American global energy competitive advantage through:

  • Massive unconventional energy reserves;
  • Skills and technology to unlock those reserves; and
  • Capital markets and funding to develop those reserves.

At the same time, Enbridge—which owns and operates the world’s longest and most complex crude oil pipeline network—is working to achieve a balance between meeting those energy needs and rising to the expectations of the public, which has legitimate and growing concerns over climate change. Those measures include:

Enbridge has been part of the Illinois economy and community since 1968. Today, we own and operate 10 crude oil pipelines in the state, as well as our flagship Flanagan Terminal, near Pontiac.

Mr. Monaco made note of Enbridge’s numerous economic and community touchpoints in the Land of Lincoln, including:

“The dynamics of the North American energy business have changed dramatically over a very short period of time, and Illinois has been at the forefront,” said Mr. Monaco. “As far as we’re concerned, Illinois is the center of the energy universe.”