YPAC Participates at CEPA Pipeline Dialogues

YPAC President, Sarah Vandaiyar (currently on secondment with CEPA) recently represented Young Pipeliners at the event in Montreal

Shared from: https://www.aboutpipelines.com/en/blog/pipeline-dialogue-one-of-the-ways-cepa-listens-to-different-perspectives/

Canada’s transmission pipelines connect Canadians to safe and responsible energy. Because our members reach such a broad and inclusive geography with pipelines spanning 118, 000 kilometres in Canada, we feel it’s important to listen to a broad and inclusive group of stakeholders. That’s why we hold Pipeline Dialogue events. For this year’s Pipeline Dialogue, stakeholders from academia, think tanks, land owners/agriculture and industry convened in Montreal, Quebec in March to discuss the future of energy in eastern Canada (Quebec and the Atlantic provinces). Topics that were explored included the extent to which eastern Canadians see a need to access oil and natural gas from western Canada, and for further pipeline development.

No generic ‘eastern issues’

Early in the conversation, it became clear that attitudes and perspectives toward oil, natural gas and pipelines differ across eastern sub-regions – in other words, there are no ‘eastern issues.’ Participants flagged multiple reasons for regionalized differences in attitudes and perspectives, including:

•Differing definitions of energy based on the provinces’ main sources of energy supply – e.g. hydro in Quebec versus fossil fuels in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

•The cost of energy. For instance, in Atlantic Canada where energy costs are high, there’s a greater interest in gaining access to alternative sources of energy, as well as ensuring stable energy pricing and reliable supply.

•The way local politics, economics and safety-related incidents shape the attitudes of today.

Oil and gas development and climate change

Participants also explored a range of topics, among them the question of, “How can we continue to develop our oil and natural gas industry and still address climate change?” The topic resonated with Dialogue participants and generated robust discussion. It became clear that more work needs to be done to create greater public awareness of the energy sector’s progress in addressing climate and environmental issues. In the words of CEPA’s President and CEO Chris Bloomer, “We must consider climate change in what we do, and we need to communicate more effectively about what the industry is doing to address the issue – including how we fit into the solution.”

A wealth of ideas to consider

In addition to considering climate change in industry activities and decisions, three of the many take-aways were:

  1. A call for regional and national leadership on an energy vision and strategy (national and/or regional) to guide the oil and gas and pipeline industries into the future.
  2. The need for more effective education and communication as part of a joint industry effort to share a coherent, factual story about the industry’s breakthroughs, achievements, and commitments.
  3. The notion of creating an energy corridor, where energy infrastructure projects could move ahead without lengthy approval processes and have reduced environmental, social and economic impacts.  

CEPA looks forward to continuing to engage with environment, Indigenous, and industry leaders who can think critically, challenge, and communicate the narrative about the future of oil and natural gas in Canada.