Last Friday, the Calgary Chamber of Congress offered a discussion on North America’s energy future with former Minister of Environment Jim Prentice and former Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu.
ThinkProgress emphasizes a topic continuously overlooked with the saga of Keystone XL: Canada and the United States share an impressive clean energy connection that can be enhanced through regional approaches.
During her latest trip to Washington a week ago, her fifth to promote the project, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said she sensed a shift in discussions with some U.S. government officials about the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Some are starting to appreciate that shipping bitumen by rail generates more greenhouse gases than shipping it by pipeline, she said.
Jim Prentice, who was Canada’s environment minister when Dr. Chu was in his U.S. Energy post, and is now senior executive vice president at the CIBC, told the meeting that Canada and the United States have worked together for 100 years on the environment and should continue to look for North American solutions.
But disagreement over Keystone XL is putting at risk the energy relationship between Canada and the United States, strengthened by the Free Trade Deal and a driver of prosperity for both, he said.
Prentice said the relationship between Canada and its southern neighbour has changed.
“The United States has in the last five years with breathtaking speed emerged from essentially a captive audience and market for Canadian energy,” he said, adding the U.S. has become the No. 1 producer of energy in the world.
Canada has the capacity for 200 years of natural gas supply, while the U.S. has 100 years, he said.
“We no longer are in the world we were in, even five years ago, when Canada was the supplier and the U.S. was a purchaser, we are now full on competitors,” he said.