CAPP Says North American Cooperation is Key

With the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as the Canada/United States Free Trade Agreement firmly in place, Canadian producers said North America as a whole must come together and continue to work toward a reliable supply of gas and oil to quench the appetite of the North American energy markets. It is critical, they said, that Canada and the United States develop additional global strategies to address energy production and consumption, especially with the constantly growing interdependence of the countries' economies.

To achieve this goal, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) believes the countries should stick with the already successful system in place, while renewing a policy effort as well energy strategies. In their report, Oil and Natural Gas Strategies for North American Energy Markets, the group called for recognition of resource development as a "policy priority" and reform of regulatory practices to "facilitate responsible, market-driven resource activity."

The countries must also come together to ensure coordinated and timely action for the development of frontier gas within a "framework of inter-jurisdictional cooperation" with the understanding that the market will decide timing, routing, size and other aspects regarding development, the report said. North America must also continue market-oriented policies that respect and support "freedom of contract and contract sanctity."

CAPP said in order to keep up with current and future market needs, there must be a "major expansion" of the natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Canada and the northern states. To implement this, CAPP emphasized that cooperation and non-discriminatory treatment of pipelines transiting either Canada or the United States is essential.

The report also calls for renewed public policy to foster market-oriented activity by improving access to resources, regulatory approval processes, competitive taxes and fiscal regimes. CAPP also believes that governments have a responsibility to address aboriginal and community interests, consistent environmental policy, as well as support for research and development and conservation.

In summary, CAPP advises that there needs to be support for strategies and policies that are consistent with the operation of free markets and open competition, while continuing to develop properties in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner. To view the entire report, visit Capp's web site at www.capp.ca.

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