What is the impact of a carbon price on the oil and gas sector?
Never before has so much public attention focused on the evolution of Alberta’s climate policy. In this 3-part video blog series, Chris Ragan tackles some of the stickiest questions we’re often asked about the relationship between carbon pricing and the oil and gas sector, Alberta’s “family business.”
In the lead up to the major global climate negotiations in Paris, provinces across Canada are aspiring to bold action. Alberta’s new government has stated its commitment to climate leadership. Yet the province’s context, as the major Canadian oil and gas producer, is unique. Its policy decisions must consider a broad range of issues including its role meeting global energy demands and the economic importance of its oil and gas industry. Furthermore, the Alberta’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER) expires in June of this year.
Carbon pricing and the oil and gas sector
The impact of carbon pricing on Alberta’s “family business” is often discussed as the barrier to stronger climate policy in the province. But should it be? How would a more stringent carbon price really impact industry? What role should consumers play? Would bolder climate policy hamper competitiveness for Canada’s resources—or help it? These are questions worth exploring. Indeed, they are critical to the future of Alberta and to Canada as a whole.
In This Together: Carbon Pricing and Alberta’s Family Business
On May 22, the Ecofiscal Commission and Suncor will host a timely and engaging discussion on this and other issues related to climate policy, carbon pricing, and the oil and gas sector in Alberta. The event will be moderated by Chris Ragan with a special keynote from Suncor CEO Steve Williams.
Our diverse panel of experts—Amin Asadollahi (Pembina), Jim Dinning (Western Financial Group), Judy Fairburn (Cenovus), and Justin Smith (Calgary Chamber)—will share their unique perspectives on some of the most challenging questions facing Albertans today.
Join us in person (while space lasts!) or follow the discussion online: #ecofiscal.Register Now
A more interesting question is how effective is the B.C. carbon tax with the price of oil dropping from $100 to $50? Wouldn’t an emissions cap in Cap n Trade be more effective and efficient in reducing emissions? A cap brings certainty to reducing emissions, whereas a carbon tax is at the mercy of the yoyo of the volatile commodity prices of coal, gas and oil. In addition, carbon pricing is really not all that important versus the real elephant in the room, which is that most of the carbon reserves in Canada (6% of all the world’s reserves) will have be left in the ground, if Canada and the world have any chance of meeting emission targets. A comprehensive Canadian study on how viable is it that Canada mines all that carbon would be a more valuable study by the EcoFiscal Commission. MIT did a study on the Canadian oil sands a few years ago entitled; “Canada’s Bitumen Industry Under CO2 Constraints” http://globalchange.mit.edu/research/publications/2021