A modern, efficient North American pipeline infrastructure network is needed more than ever to help displace foreign imports and respond to growing public demand for safe and environmentally sound energy delivery, TransCanada’s President of Keystone Pipeline Projects told a Toronto audience Tuesday night.
Corey Goulet joined renowned Canadian energy economist and author Peter Tertzakian and Wall Street Journal Canada Bureau Chief Elena Cherney in front of 80 Wall Street Journal subscribers who came to hear the panel discuss the topic Canada’s Future as an Energy Superpower.
“We really have a choice about where we want our oil to come from and how we want it transported,” said Goulet, adding both TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines will displace foreign off-shore crudes from countries that don’t share fundamental North American values.
And until we create the modern energy infrastructure network to break the pipeline bottleneck Canadian oil will continue to be transported in less safe, more greenhouse gas intensive ways, he said.
“These pipeline projects make sense economically, environmentally and geopolitically,” said Goulet.
For his part, Tertzakian doesn’t hold back when he talks about how the crude oil price differential caused by the pipeline bottleneck is holding back Canada’s position as a global “energy superpower”.
“As a Canadian, I am outraged we sell a couple of million barrels of oil a day to the U.S. at a steep discount and right here in Eastern Canada we import all our oil at full price,” Tertzakian said.
“There’s a great need to build not only Keystone, but also Energy East,” said Tertzakian, chief energy economist and managing director at ARC Financial Corporation.
“We have to make a decision. We have been debating pipelines for 65 years and we haven’t had the fortitude to build a pipeline to cross our own country, let alone to global markets. It’s really hurting us.”
If the pipeline bottleneck continues and Canada is unable to get product to our own ports, Canadians will never fully gain sovereignty over our own natural resources, he said, adding those who aim to shut down pipelines for environmental reasons have only served to enhance the delivery of oil by less safe and more energy intensive modes of transportation.
Despite delays such as Keystone XL’s six-and-a-half year wait, Goulet remains optimistic that reason will eventually prevail in moving projects forward that shippers and the majority of Canadians and Americans strongly support.
“We will see projects eventually get approved that will get Canadian oil to new markets,” Goulet told the audience of Wall Street Journal subscribers.
“However we will also continue to have a huge market for Canadian oil in the U.S. – our strongest and closest trading partner.”