Innovative, efficient, connected: Canada needs to be proud of its energy industry, says Al Monaco

Enbridge CEO named Canadian Energy Person of the Year in Toronto

It should be a question of pride, not polarization.

Because Canada’s energy industry is something to celebrate, says Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco.

“The time has come to develop pride in the role that the Canadian energy sector is playing,” Mr. Monaco said on Thursday evening at the InterContinental Toronto Centre. “We need to be proud of how energy fuels our quality of life.”

Mr. Monaco was speaking Thursday before an audience of industry leaders and elected officials at an Energy Council of Canada event, where he was named the 2017 Canadian Energy Person of the Year Award.

The Energy of Council of Canada established the award in 2001 to recognize industry leaders who make an impact at national and international levels.

“As the head of the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, Mr. Monaco is leading the public conversation around striking the balance between meeting our collective need for affordable energy while making the transition to a lower-carbon future.”

Mr. Monaco noted to his audience on Thursday that North America is best positioned to provide abundant, low-cost and sustainable energy on the planet, as global demands rise by an anticipated 30 percent by 2040.

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“North America is on the path to becoming an energy export juggernaut. The synergy between global demand and North American energy supply has begun,” said Mr. Monaco, citing North America’s:

  • Low-cost energy supply, with cost reductions that are real and lasting;
  • Deeply integrated supply chains and labor markets;
  • Forward-thinking technology to reduce GHG emissions intensity; and
  • Move to repurpose energy infrastructure to export capability.

In Canada, there are two prevalent points of view, said Mr. Monaco—one that says hydrocarbons are inconsistent with the environment and action on climate; and another that says energy is critical to our way of life, driving economy and creating jobs.

“My goal tonight is to unify these two points of view—because the reality is that when it comes to energy, the environment and the economy are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

“To achieve this vision, we need to get beyond polarized debate. I believe this is a vision worth pursuing—a vision that can unify all Canadians so we’re pulling in the same direction,” he added.

“I’m here to tell you that Canada’s energy sector has embraced change. And, if you look carefully, I think you’ll see that the future of North America’s energy sector looks very bright. So let’s get on with it.”

The full transcript of Mr. Monaco's presentation is available on the website.

(TOP PHOTO: Al Monaco, President and CEO of Enbridge, speaks at an award ceremony in Toronto on Thursday, November 16, 2017, where he is recognized by the Energy Council of Canada as the 2017 Canadian Energy Person of the Year. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/Energy Council of Canada)