Suncor oil and gas CEO makes comments on sustainability at panel

Ottawa –

The ongoing political battle in Canada between climate action and the economic benefits of the oil and gas industry will be on full display today when the CEO of oil sands giant Suncor appears in a House of Commons committee.

Rich Krueger was invited to the Natural Resources Committee after speaking to shareholders in August about the company refocusing on its oil business and less emphasis on switching to lower-emission energy sources.

Environment Minister Stephen Guilbault said Kruger’s comments prove why Ottawa needs to organize climate action and set limits on oil and gas production emissions because companies like Suncor won’t do it alone.

In an op-ed published in the Calgary Herald in September, Kroger said his comments were taken out of context and that the company remains committed to decarbonizing its core oil business.

Suncor is part of the Pathways Alliance, a consortium of oil sands companies investing in carbon capture and storage technology.

However, Suncor had begun to back away from renewable energy even before Kroger took over as CEO, moving last year to sell its solar and wind assets.

Calgary Liberal MP George Chahal, who was recently elected chair of the natural resources committee, said he hopes the meeting will bring some clarity about the company’s plans.

“I think it will be an interesting meeting to have the CEO of a major oil company on the panel, and I think it will be good to hear his perspective on the direction of his company and the future of the energy industry and why he made that decision. The comments he made.”

Guilbault is scheduled to publish draft regulations later this fall that would set a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas, then lower that cap over the next decade.

The oil and gas industry accounts for more than a quarter of Canada’s total emissions and the country cannot meet its climate goals without significant reductions in emissions from this sector by 2030.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2023.

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