From the growing political and regulatory challenges to indigenous opposition that recently led to hundreds of train delays and cancellations across Canada this past month, one thing is clear: building a pipeline or any type of energy facility in Canada is no easy feat. And unfortunately, energy companies and investors are growing weary over the regulatory hurdles and vocal opposition to new energy development.
After the latest rail blockades and pipeline protests made international headlines – it begs the question: what are the economic ramifications of Canada’s increasing unfriendliness towards energy investment?
Around $150 billion, according to a recent analysis from the Financial Post:
Canadian and international investors have had a hard time getting shovels in the ground on their projects, even after securing regulatory approval. The reasons have been many: pure economics, political divisions, Indigenous disapproval and environmental concerns.
All of the above factors have left a slew of projects stranded as Canadians are unable to agree on our need to develop resources and at the same time fight climate change. Together, they make up around $150 billion of lost investment opportunity that would have generated taxes, jobs and businesses for the domestic economy.
The article goes into detail on several projects that have been proposed in recent years but ultimately were not completed due to the challenges described above.
Just earlier this month, Bloomberg reported Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was pulling out of a $3 billion gas export project in Quebec after weeks of rail blockades and regulatory scrutiny.
Opposing the construction of new energy infrastructure projects will not reduce Canada’s need for traditional fuel sources. Similar to the United States, the key to maintaining a strong economy and meeting the energy needs of consumers in Canada and allies around the world is through a diverse energy portfolio, based on an “all of the above” strategy, utilizing wind and solar but also acknowledging the important role of natural gas and oil in the modern global economy.