Energy industry at risk from public censure, IEA head says, Pipelines, EU rules pose challenges

Energy industry at risk from public censure, IEA head says by Dina O’Meara, August 16, 2012, Calgary Herald
Canada must better represent its unconventional resources to a skeptical public or risk allowing critics to derail investment in its shale gas and oilsands projects, says the head of the International Energy Agency. Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA, said Canada needs to speed up the development of technologies that would reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas development. “Let’s not make this mistake – the risk to industry of losing its social licence to operate is real, and I don’t need to tell you that underestimating public sentiment simply is not good business,” she told a downtown audience Wednesday. “Crossborder pipelines, European regulations, domestic concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are all challenges for Canadian industry,” she said. ….van der Hoeven said she learned industry is aware of the need to retain public support by protecting the environment and the safety of communities. The former Dutch politician said Canada’s energy industry also needs to set timelines to achieve those goals, and be transparent about its operations or risk seeing development halted by public opposition.“And they know if they want to keep their social licence to operate, and that is the basis of everything, they have to take care of these issues, they have to involve the community, and not only the non-governmental organizations, and be transparent about it,” van der Hoeven said.

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