A Message from the President and CEO of CGA (Issue 2, 2018)

Timothy M. Egan - President

This, the second issue of ENERGY in 2018, includes: a feature on the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA); a profile of one of Canada’s youngest gas utilities – Heritage Gas – and the work it is doing to bring our product to customers in Nova Scotia; a perspective on Canada-U.S. relations; a reprint of a Foster Report summation of a recent natural gas conference held at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington; our political commentators’ perspectives on how to promote the good trade story that is energy; and finally an interview with NRCan Parliamentary Secretary Kim Rudd.

These will all be of interest, but frankly the conversation with Kim Rudd was of most significance for me. We in the natural gas industry are increasingly focused on the impact of the Government of Canada’s policy agenda on the economy and environment for the energy sector at large, and the natural gas sector in particular. Ottawa’s plan to “green the economy” has given many in the natural gas sector cause for serious concern that the plan isn’t about lowering emissions, it is about getting off of natural gas.  This despite the fact that other energy costs are significantly higher than natural gas costs on a per unit basis – and rising, that natural gas infrastructure is incredibly reliable and an often necessary partner to other energy infrastructure, and that the natural gas sector offers myriad opportunities to reduce emissions in very cost-effective ways.

Ms. Rudd assured me the Government of Canada appreciates the value proposition that is natural gas. I can say from my many meetings with her that she has developed a good appreciation of the fuel and its contribution to Canadians – including the many natural gas customers she counts as constituents. But Ms. Rudd is one MP in a government that is increasingly seen to be in the thrall of activists intent on driving hydrocarbons like natural gas out of the economy, irrespective of the cost to Canadians.

Hydrocarbons have helped lift millions out of poverty around the world, and continue to do so as we speak. Canada is a leader in the clean and affordable development and use of abundant resources like natural gas, and has an opportunity to do more for our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around the globe. Let’s hope those making decisions in Ottawa develop a better sense of this.

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