The Bedrock of the Canada-United States Energy Relationship: Fostering Job Creation and Energy Security through the Development of Clean Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas

Article excerpt

Session Chair--Steven Reed

Speaker--John Felmy

Speaker--Steve Winberg

Speaker--Danielle Droitsch


MR. REED: Good morning. Welcome to our panel discussion on the Canada-United States energy relationship. My name is Steve Reed. (1) I am an attorney with the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. and for the last thirty years or so, I have been specializing in United States federal energy regulation, particularly with respect to Canada-United States energy relationships, and now representing our good friends from Enbridge (2) for a year.

Before I introduce our three distinguished panelists, I wanted to say just a few words about our over-all topic. As you all know, we live in a world with a growing appetite for energy in all forms and, as a result, developments in the energy sector sparked a great deal of interest, not just from industry insiders but from the general public as well. We only have to think about the news stories that have dominated the headlines for the last several months. For example, the nuclear disaster in Japan that is raising questions around the world about the future of nuclear power. (3) Political developments in the Middle East that are leading to rising oil prices that threaten the economic recovery around the world, as well as impacting people directly at the gas pump. (4) Closer to home, in terms of the Canada-United States energy relationship, is an ongoing controversy in the United States over whether to issue a Presidential permit for the Keystone Pipeline to carry crude oil from Western Canada to the United States Gulf Coast. (5) It has featured an aggressive public campaign on both sides. Living in Washington, I even hear ads on the radio each day driving to work with pros and cons on the Keystone Pipeline, a truly unforeseen development.

In short, this is an unusually pivotal time in the world energy sector. Important and far-reaching decisions are being made daily that are going to affect industries in both countries and the public as well.

With that background, we are truly fortunate to have with us three distinguished and knowledgeable panelists who can give us valuable insights into the issues affecting the Canada-United States energy relationship today.

First up today will be John Felmy, Chief Economist of the American Petroleum Institute in Washington. (6) John has a long and extensive background in the energy industry stretching back more than thirty years. A Ph.D. economist from the University of Maryland, John is responsible for overseeing the economic statistical and policy analysis done at the American Petroleum Institute, which is an organization that represents more than four hundred members of all aspects of the petroleum industry.

Our second speaker today will be Steve Winberg, (7) who is the Vice President for Research and Development in Coal Conversion and Power Development at CONSOL Energy (8) in Pittsburgh. Like John, Steve has more than thirty years of experience in many aspects of the energy industry, including such leading topics today as carbon capture and sequestration, coal-to-liquids conversion, greenhouse gas limitation technology, and other areas. I would also point out that Steve has his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and John is a graduate of Penn State, so I hope we can keep the Panther/Nittany Lion rivalry to a minimum here.

Our last speaker is Danielle Droitsch, (9) who is the Director of United States Policy for the Pembina Institute in Washington. (10) The Pembina Institute is an organization dedicated to analyzing and supporting sustainable energy solutions. Danielle, I would note, was originally from the Washington area where I live, Arlington, Virginia. However, she moved to Canada with her husband where she became the Executive Director of Water Matters in Alberta before coming back to the United States to take her current position at Pembina in 2010. …