As the energy sector in Canada continues to struggle, a major industry organization is highlighting how the United States has become a much better place for companies to build pipelines.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) recently came out with a report outlining seven recommendations to the government to make building pipelines in Canada easier.
The recommendations, which address the uncertainty, red tape, and lack of accountability in the current pipeline approval process, aims to avoid what CEPA calls a “competitiveness crisis” with the United States.
“An analysis completed by Ernst & Young (EY) for the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) has found that over the past several years an increase in volume, complexity and duplication of regulations imposed upon the pipeline industry, in addition to other factors, has had a negative effect on the competitiveness of the sector,” the report reads.
The report notes that, since 2016, only one new pipeline project has been submitted to the National Energy Board, whereas 14 have been submitted to the equivalent American agency.
The number of days pipeline projects are in the regulatory review has nearly doubled in Canada since 2009, going from 357 to 681 days.
The United States, on the other hand, has barely seen a change since 2009, going from 292 to 336.
Since the Liberals took office, Canadian competitiveness has significantly diminished compared to the United States; while builds go on south of the border multiple pipelines projects in Canada have been cancelled.
Desperate to see any pipelines get built, the Canadian government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion in 2018, though it still has not begun.
This government also enacted Bill C-69, which will allow special interest groups to hijack the pipeline consultation process and drags out consultation almost indefinitely.
With competitiveness problems and a lack of assistance from the current government, the industry has gotten vocal about their issues.
The vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Bruce Brunnen, summed up this discontent when addressing the 2019 federal budget — which failed to provide redress for the industry.
“The reality is when we see those indicators all facing down, from an oil and gas perspective, and no recognition from the government of a willingness to support our industry, it’s a pretty strong message towards our industry that we’re not a priority for this government, and that’s disappointing.”