Kenney calls U.S. preference for OPEC ‘inexplicable’

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney Source: Government of Alberta file photo

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney urged the U.S. to change its energy policies that he said prioritizes oil and gas imports from OPEC countries over liberal democracies like Canada.

The head of Canada’s largest oil-producing province, speaking at CERAWeek by S&P Global on Tuesday, commended President Joe Biden’s decision earlier to ban imports of Russian crude in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, Kenney questioned Biden’s 2021 decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline connecting Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, and his administration’s recent requests to OPEC countries such as Venezuela to pump more oil to ease price.   

“It is inexplicable for us as Canadians to watch what’s happening in American policy emanating from Washington right now, an administration that understandably is desperate to replace Russian imports with oil from somewhere else,” Kenney said. 

“How could this be that Canada’s closest friend and ally would make an arbitrary and retroactive decision to limit exports from a friendly allied liberal democracy while pleading with the socialist dictatorship of Venezuela, the mullahs in Iran and with other OPEC dictatorships to sell them oil to the United States?” he said.

Kenney called for bilateral talks between the U.S. and Canada to improve energy security, and for Canada to prioritize the construction of more liquefied natural gas terminals to export more energy to Europe. He also urged investors to rethink corporate environmental, social and governance goals, to consider oil and gas investments in liberal democracies that have more transparent environmental records.   

“It’s time to add a second S to the ESG, and that is security,” Kenney said. “It’s something we can no longer pretend is immaterial to ethical investment in energy.”

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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