Photo: Jeff McIntosh, The canadian Press
The lobby oil and gas believes that fossil fuels are crucial to the economic recovery.
The most important lobby oil and gas Canada has launched efforts to convince the government Legault to take measures to “support” the revival of the industry of fossil fuels in the context of exit from the crisis of the COVID-19, found Duty. The LNG project in Quebec is cited as an example by the organization, which represents the main producers of the Western part of the country.
Already very active with the federal government since the beginning of the pandemic, the canadian Association of petroleum producers (CAPP) has been inscribed, dated as of may 26, a mandate of lobbying in the registre québécois des consultants. The approaches of the three lobbyists are registered, including the president of CAPP, Tim McMillan, are targeted directly at the office of the prime minister François Legault.
According to what we read in their ” mandate “, valid until April 2021, the organization plans to “communications” which must focus on ” the impact of the pandemic of the COVID-19 on the industry, the oil and natural gas upstream (production and transport) […] “. It must be said that the CAPP represents companies that produce 80 % of the oil and natural gas in Canada.
The objective of their new mandate of lobbying is ” to promote on the part of the government of Québec, the direction-setting in favour of the measures adopted by the federal government to support the recovery of the energy sector in canada “, can we also read in the description of the mandate.
CAPP advocates for a support to a “revision of the calendar of regulatory changes, and in particular on the” standard on clean fuels “. This standard, which “will cover all of the fossil fuels used in Canada” and it will allow to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, will come into force in 2022. But the CAPP has advocated as early as the month of march for a deferral to 2025 of the standard on liquid fuels. The organization argues that this standard will impose “significant costs” for the industry, but also that the “consultations” may not be carried out efficiently.
In its mandate of lobbying in Quebec, CAPP also referred to ” programs, providing additional liquidity for the companies of the sector “, an idea already put forward in may by the Trudeau government to support different types of large companies.
Support to LNG Quebec
While reaffirming the importance of the fossil fuel sector “for the economic recovery post-COVID-19 in Quebec, the alberta example is the project Energy Saguenay, LNG, Quebec,” which would create nearly 6,000 direct and indirect jobs in its development phase, as well as 1100 direct and indirect jobs once in operation “.
CAPP has also been a consultant lobbyist registered in the registry since the beginning of the month of may. Its mandate includes steps to raise the awareness of elected representatives to ” the economic significance of the canadian petroleum industry in Quebec and to the continuity of this industry in order to ensure that the directions of the government regarding the energy portfolio in Quebec take this into account “.
Its mandate also refers to “a support” for the project of the company Gazoduq, which must be transported by pipeline the natural gas in alberta, up to the future plant Energy Saguenay, LNG, Quebec. This lobbying is in addition to that of the lobbyists registered by the companies Gazoduq and LNG Quebec, claiming a “financial support” of the government Legault. There were a total of 27 on Tuesday in the registre québécois.
Oil and the environment
“It is important that Quebec, the federal government and the other provinces and territories work together in the economic recovery of the country in particular to encourage the return of the investment to Canada in the wake of the pandemic of the COVID-19 “, said Tuesday the vice-president of government relations at the CAPP, Shannon Joseph, in a written response to the Duty.
She also reiterated other demands of the CAPP in the context of the current crisis, including support of the governments of the countries in order to demonstrate that investment in the oil and gas sector are here to stay, but also measures to facilitate the revival of the projects of exploration, exploitation and transport.
Several industry projects have suffered from the impacts of a temporary slowdown in the demand for oil and gas, because of the slowing in the global economy. But CAPP anticipates a growth in oil production until 2035.
This organization of the industry, which includes companies such as BP, ExxonMobil, Suncor and Shell, account also for companies which hold permits to oil and gas exploration in Quebec. Questerre Energy, which pursues the Quebec government to cancel the prohibitions of fracturing in the St. Lawrence valley, part of the members of the CAPP.
Called upon to respond to the approaches of CAPP, the spokesman of Greenpeace, Patrick Bonin, has prompted the government Legault not to acquiesce to the demands of the CAPP. “The government Legault must serve the people and not the lobby oil and gas that is trying to use the pandemic to get billions, weaken environmental protection and undermine the fight against climate change. The fact that the list of requests of the lobbyists of fossil fuels date from well before the COVID-19, shows that the pandemic is nothing to them but a pretext to achieve their purpose. “
The cabinet of the minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, had not responded to our questions at the time of this text online. A response has been promised for Wednesday. In the context of the economic recovery, the government Legault does not close the door to a support for the LNG project Quebec, designed to export natural gas in alberta.