Calgary – “Depending on who wins, it’s the survival of the industry.”
That’s what energy policy analyst, consultant, executive and writer David Yager thinks is the significance of this election, with reference to the oilpatch. He spoke to Pipeline News on Sept. 17.
“If we end up with this sort of worst-case scenario, with a Liberal Party government propped up by the Greens, like they did in B.C., which is when Andrew Weaver says, ‘Jump!’ John Horgan says, ‘How high?’
“The times of surrender with the Green Party are climate plans. That is obviously a devastating scenario, where they do what she (Green Party Leader Elizabeth May) says, which is ban fracking, which really kills LNG exports, and stops Trans Mountain.
“But that’s not going to happen,” he said.
“If the Liberals need someone to prop them up in Ottawa, it’s more likely to be the Bloc Quebecois.
The issues facing the oilpatch in this election are numerous, according to Yager. The first is not interfering with liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. “That is the Number 1 issue. We talk about oil all the time, the price of oil and pipelines. But the real devastating damage has been caused by the collapse of natural gas. It some days sells for 10 per cent what it sold for at the turn of the century, and 25 per cent what it sold for in 2014. We have just got to get some gas out of the basin.”
Next is finishing the Trans Mountain Expansion. Thirdly, don’t interfere with Enbridge Line 3 Replacement or Keystone XL. Political risk has been a big issue.
To get investor confidence to return to the oilpatch, he’s noted Jason Kenney needed to be elected as premier of Alberta, Trans Mountain Expansion needs to be built, and the federal election. He said, “I don’t think a Liberal minority is as bad as it sounds, actually, if a Liberal minority is propped up by the Bloc. They’ll finish LNG Canada.”
Yager expects the tanker ban off the B.C. coast will be challenged in court by Indigenous groups, and “collapse under the weight of its own stupidity.”
Similarly, he expects Bill C-69 will be amended over time.
Finishing LNG Canada is another important point.
There are two important oilsands projects that are still under consideration
“If you checked all those boxes, you wouldn’t know the place,” he said, acknowledging a number of those items are outside of the election.
“Obviously, a Conservative government is the best possible outcome. But we don’t see a lot of that.”
In April, Yager released a self-published book entitled From Miracle to Menace: Alberta, a Carbon Story. It is available on Amazon.ca as either a hardcopy or ebook.