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PSAC tells Trudeau and Notley to stand up for the oil industry

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Some strong words from the president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) on Tuesday as he called on the federal and provincial governments to stand up for the oil industry.

As PSAC President Mark Salkeld announced the forecast for oil wells to be drilled in Canada next year, he came down hard on the Trudeau and Notley governments for not backing the industry enough in its quest to get its product to tidewater.

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“From my perspective, it is totally irresponsible that Canada is not getting its oil and gas to tidewater to other parts of the world to help raise the quality of life and balance out the energy poverty picture,” Salkeld told News Talk 770. “We could do more good in lowering greenhouse gases globally by getting our oil and gas offshore than we can by leaving it in the ground.”

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Salkeld was also critical of the federal and provincial governments for implementing a carbon tax and saying that would help obtain a social licence in a bid to get more energy projects approved.

“That social licence thing is a myth. It is a set of goalposts that will never stop moving.”

PSAC is predicting 7,900 wells will be drilled in Canada next year, up about 400 from this year. Most are in Alberta (3,998).

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Salkeld said those numbers could be much higher but investor confidence in Canada is very low right now and he added the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline project was another blow to that confidence.