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Calgary Herald (Canada): IMAGE: one positive contribution… Shell Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions from its oilsands operations

From page A1
Wednesday 30 May 2007

“Government isn’t doing industry any favours by appearing to be so much in favour of development,” Severson-Baker said. “Government is partly to blame for industry’s poor image because they aren’t leading on those issues either.”

Rather than offer creative solutions to tough issues, Severson-Baker complained that industry captains are “very quick to threaten to leave” the country when confronted with sensitive topics.

When pressed to acknowledge one positive industry contribution, Severson-Baker pointed to Shell Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions from its oilsands operations.

But Sendall argued the petroleum industry provides skilled jobs for hundreds of thousands of people, underpinning the country’s economic prosperity.

Solutions to issues like climate change will be found through innovation and the development of new technology, she said.

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canadian oil and gas companies spent about $45 billion in 2005, three times the $16 billion spent in 1998.

In that time, the oil and gas industry contributed an estimated $27 billion to government revenues in the form of royalty payments, bonus payments and income taxes.

According to the association, oil and natural gas accounted for about 81 per cent of Canada’s merchandise trade balance in 2005.

Pierre Alvarez, association president, said the rapid pace of growth over the past decade has inevitably resulted in more potential for conflict.

“It’s one of the challenges of being a big industry,” said Alvarez. “When you are as big in the economy as we are now, you can’t hide.” 

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