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Feds changing tone on oil amid ‘fiscal hole’ - Energy Now


A former chief executive of one of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies is taking comfort in reading between the lines of the fall economic statement the federal government released Monday.

“The oil and gas industry wasn’t mentioned in the budget, but the undertone is that the Liberals have figured out that this fiscal hole – if they don’t get their best, and most productive, and most revenue-generating and job-creating industry going – they’re going to be in deeper trouble,” Gwyn Morgan, former CEO of Encana Corporation said in an interview on Tuesday.

Morgan cited comments by Federal Energy Minister Seamus O’Regan, who told the Canadian Gas Association earlier this year that technological developments used to extract oil from the oil sands were “remarkable,” as a sign that the feds are becoming friendlier to Canadian energy. Morgan called such a move a “necessary reversal from the Liberal government.”

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland touted the need for any Canadian recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to be “green,” when she took over the role from Bill Morneau in August.

In the fiscal update, the Liberal government focused its green push on incentives for Canadians to make their homes more efficient and doling out more cash for electric vehicle charging stations, instead of larger-scale environmental initiatives aimed toward Canadian energy.

Morgan said he’s “always been perplexed” about “the fallacy and the myth about green power, wind and solar particularly,” arguing that those projects can’t produce enough energy worldwide to meet demand without having to rely on oil and gas.

He added that he’s not troubled by a lack of specific aid for Canadian energy in the fiscal update.

“I don’t think that Albertans have been looking for any kind of handout or support for our oil prices,” he said.

“What they really look for is a positive attitude on the part of the government; that this is an industry they want to have continue. That is now becoming evident that they’ve figured that out.”

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