Suncor CEO Sees Canada Losing Fossils’ Confidence, Calls Climate Denial a ‘Profound Disappointment’
While he found it “encouraging” that the Trudeau government was willing to commit C$4.5 billion of taxpayers’ money to the Kinder Morgan buyout, Suncor Energy Inc. still thinks Canada “is falling behind other jurisdictions in terms of competitiveness when it comes to government royalties, taxation, and confidence in the regulatory system,” CEO Steve Williams told a business audience in Calgary Wednesday.
The buyout deal indicates that “normal processes didn’t work very well”, Williams said. And that means Suncor “will continue to avoid spending on large growth projects in Canada,” The Canadian Press reports.
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“Suncor is ramping up production of its recently completed $17-billion, 194,000-barrel-per-day Fort Hills oilsands mine” north of Fort McMurray, the news agency notes, “but has approved no other major growth projects” in the region.
The CP story cites the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ complaint that federal and provincial climate initiatives will cost the fossil industry $25 billion over the next 10 years. More balanced (and more critical) analysis of the industry’s prospects indicates that international oil and gas companies like Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, Total S.A., Statoil, and Marathon Oil have abandoned the tar sands/oil sands because the region produces poor quality oil at costs that are uncompetitive on the world market.
In his presentation, Williams did have harsh words for anyone who disputes the science of climate change.
“It is a matter of profound disappointment to me that science and economics have taken on some strange political ownership,” he said. “Why the science of the left wing [and of 97+% of the scientists who’ve considered the matter—Ed.] is different than the science of the right wing. Why it’s not possible, certainly within Canada, for conservatives to take a conversation about, ‘Hey, it’s just a fact. Let’s get some facts out on the table.’”
He added that “climate change is science. Hard core science. What we have been talking about here is economics. Science and economics. Both very important subjects, not perfectly understood. Periods of discovery go on forever, and we keep getting better and better at those things.”
But meanwhile, he stressed that the reality of climate change “is backed by science, and deniers, including politicians, need to do a U-turn and accept it,” CBC reports.