Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Chair.
To the witnesses, I particularly appreciate your being here, but I will direct my first questions to Ms. Strom.
Suncor is a really serious player in energy generation. You're a $50-billion corporation, which makes your revenues greater than those of the Province of Alberta. So it's really quite interesting that your CEO, Steve Williams, seems to have stepped out and started a really good conversation in conjunction with Ecofiscal on climate change and pricing carbon.
Currently in Alberta you're at about $15 a tonne for your intensity-based regime. What does that shave off the bottom line for Suncor?
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
I appreciate that this is maybe a level of detail for which you would not necessarily be prepared, but I'd be interested in how Suncor allocates its $15 per tonne and what influence it has on the fund itself.
My secondary line of questioning has to do with the statement by your CEO, who said “Climate change is happening. Doing nothing is not an option we can choose”. He talked about the leadership position and echoed Chris Ragan, “The truth is that a federal government of any political stripe would face significant challenges instituting a top-down, one-size-fits-all carbon pricing policy, especially if associated revenues would then flow out of the provinces”. My sense, having had various oil companies into the office recently, is that there's a real appetite, particularly in Alberta, to, if you will, spread the pricing pain in the form of a tax on consumers or on the general population.
I'd be interested in knowing Suncor's position on this conversation, in 25 words or less.
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you both.
Mr. Fortune, carbon offsets are all the rage these days. Your work is really, in some measure, kind of leading work as far as carbon offsets go. Those were probably not recognized for a long time, but they are now. Do you get any credit for the carbon offsets that you achieve by buying a quarter section or a half section, or whatever, of land?
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Even in Quebec, where they have kind of a cap-and-trade system, there's no benefit or there are no certificates issued for the work you do?
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
One way or another, about 80% to 85% of the economy is going to be pricing carbon probably by the end of the year, Ontario probably being the leader. It strikes me as anomalous that we would buy carbon offsets in other countries, yet not buy carbon offsets in this country. Have you engaged in any discussions about that with any government authorities?
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Well I have to say that those migratory birds are a lot smarter than MPs.
I think if you sought it, Chair, we might have unanimous consent to decamp the committee to Mexico, for February and March at least. We need to do a study.
An hon. member: We could do a video conference.
Hon. John McKay: Following up on Mr. Sopuck's and Mr. Toet's conversations, we have wetlands giving ecological benefits and carbon sequestration, nutrient runoff, as Mr. Toet pointed out, runoff generally—all that sort of stuff. We have the rural communities providing urban and near urban communities, and possibly other rural communities, with a significant benefit for which nobody is getting paid. That's going to carry on for the foreseeable future.
Absent a carbon pricing regime, be it at the federal level or provincial level, how do you propose that those communities or individual landowners—assuming there was a will—be paid for their significant benefit, other than if you will through the goodwill of corporations? Everybody does everything for a variety of motivations, maybe even greenwash and things of that nature. Outside of a carbon pricing regime, how do you price that benefit?
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
I guess that kind of loads it on the taxpayer there, as opposed to loading it on the broader society, those who are using carbon or getting the benefit of not having their homes flooded and things of that nature, which is one public policy response, I suppose. Do you have any other suggestions?
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Has anybody from the federal government or any entity representing the federal government come to you, as a leader in the industry, and asked you for your opinion as to how carbon should be priced and what credits you as an industry leader should be getting for the innovations you are undertaking, which right now are on your own dime?
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you to all the witnesses for appearing, whether in person or virtually.
Ms. Kennedy, Professor Leach in his comments—I'm going to read from the notes he provided so it's a summary of his comments—says, and I think this is about the future benefits, how he's assessed the benefits of the oil and gas sector.
He says:
For a new, in situ facility, and assuming that oil prices remain at US$90/barrel, a prototypical project would likely continue to meet typical investment benchmarks of a 12%-13% rate of return even at carbon prices of well over $100/tonne, or equivalently with regulatory requirements for carbon capture and storage.
What's your assessment of that statement? Do you agree with it? What does it mean for Suncor in the future?
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