Canada can teach the US much about growth and jobs

Aug. 13, 2012
The US can learn much about growth and employment from the friendly neighbor it is mistreating over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The US can learn much about growth and employment from the friendly neighbor it is mistreating over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Canada officially welcomes resource development and the consequent wealth. The US lately has tended to see resource development as a pocket to pick to fund adventures in uneconomic energy.

Business promoters from Canada and the US highlighted the contrast at a meeting July 31 in Washington, DC.

Canada “provides important economic lessons for government leaders in the United States,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the US Chamber of Commerce.

“By actions like streamlining the approval process for energy development, which has allowed the country to take smart advantage of its rich oil sands, and taking steps to produce a business-friendly climate by cutting taxes, Canada’s economic transformation has resulted in stronger profits and job creation.”

The US could do likewise, Donohue said, “by enacting job-creating policies and fostering an environment for growth.”

Instead, it has delayed approval of the pipeline between Alberta and the Texas Gulf Coast for exaggerated environmental reasons. Canada has fared better than most industrialized countries since the financial crisis “because of the strength of our financial sector and healthy household and corporate balance sheets,” said Perrin Beatty, Donohue’s counterpart at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The public policies we choose determine the kind of country and the level of living standards we will enjoy in the decade ahead.”

In the past 20 years, the executives noted, Canada has lowered taxes and encouraged energy production. One result is growth of an oil sands industry expected, according to a press statement, “to contribute $1.7 trillion to the Canadian economy over the next 25 years and create almost 600,000 jobs.” The Keystone XL pipeline, the statement added, would not only supply US refineries but also create 250,000 US jobs and generate $20 billion in economic activity. Governments just need to let the necessary work proceed. In Canada, that’s not a problem.

About the Author

Bob Tippee | Editor

Bob Tippee has been chief editor of Oil & Gas Journal since January 1999 and a member of the Journal staff since October 1977. Before joining the magazine, he worked as a reporter at the Tulsa World and served for four years as an officer in the US Air Force. A native of St. Louis, he holds a degree in journalism from the University of Tulsa.