PROCESSWEST Magazine Online

Teck Frontier withdrawal a “blow to every Canadian”

February 24, 2020   Don Horne




A pro-resource sector community group is cautioning Canadians not to celebrate yesterday’s withdrawal by Teck of its $20-billion proposed Frontier oil sands project.

“Let’s be very clear. Teck’s withdrawal of its project from the regulatory process is devastating news to those communities, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, that consulted with the company since it first entered the regulatory process in 2011,” said the founder of Canada Action, Cody Battershill. “Stakeholders provided their feedback, achieved several important revisions to Frontier’s plans and then threw their strong support behind the proposal. Now all they have is a lot of uncertainty.”

Teck had reached agreements with all 14 Indigenous communities in the broader Frontier project area, and was projecting direct employment of up to 7,000 workers during construction and up to 2,500 workers during operation, and $70 billion in tax revenues to government over the 40-year life of the project, which might have supported programs like education and health.

“Frontier was cutting-edge. The greenhouse gas emissions intensity of Frontier was expected to be about half of the oil sands industry average. The company also predicted it would have a lower carbon intensity than about half the oil currently refined in the U.S.,” Battershill said.

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CanadaAction.ca is a volunteer-built organization that supports Canadian energy and natural resources development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

The withdrawal of the project follows more than $100-billion in Canadian energy projects that have recently been shelved in recent years at a time when global analysts say the world will need trillions of dollars of new investment in oil and gas projects to avoid future world shortages.

“Canadians I talk to are frustrated at having to sit on the sidelines of the global energy markets and watch as billions of investment dollars leave our country,” he said. “It hurts workers, suppliers, contractors, employees, families, communities and taxpayers right across Canada.

“In fact, the only winners are other oil and gas producers around the globe,” continued Battershill. “This is not something we think Canadians should want to celebrate.”


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