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Monday, June 08, 2009

top government and energy industry officials discuss climate and copenhagen at low-key banff conference.

You wouldn’t know it from the near complete lack of media coverage, but a low-key conference hosted by the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE) brought some of Canada’s top government and energy industry officials to Banff this past weekend. The June 4th to 6th meeting focused on the upcoming Copenhagen Conference.

Thanks to a long-time reader, I was able to get my digital hands on a draft copy of the conference delegate program for 'The Search for a Canada U.S. Climate Change Accord: the Road to Copenhagen and Beyond.' The delegate package lists scheduled discussions and working sessions on topics ranging from pricing carbon, modernizing Canada's electrical grid, harmonizing energy policy with the United States, and developing clean energy technology.

According to the draft program, conference attendees included:

- Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach (with his Chief of Staff Ron Glen and media spokesperson Tom Olsen also attended. Read Stelmach's speech)
- Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner
- Saskatchewan Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff
- Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen
- Quebec Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Minister Line Beauchamp
- Manitoba Minister of Conservation Stanley Struthers
- PEI Minister of Environment, Energy, Forestry Minister Richard Brown
- BC Environment Minister Barry Penner
- Yukon Environment Minister Elaine Taylor
- NWT Environment & Natural Resources Minister Michael Miltenberger
- Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice

- CAPP President Dave Collyer
- Suncor President Rick George
- ATCO President & CEO Nancy Southern
- Nexen President & CEO Marvin Romanow
- Alberta CCS Development Chair Jim Carter
- TransCanada Pipeline President Hal Kvisle
- EPCOR President Don Lowry

- Alberta's Washington DC Envoy Gary Mar
- former US Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins
- University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera
- U of A Chairman Brian Heidecker
- University of Calgary President Harvey Weingarten
- National Chief Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine
None of Canada's municipal leaders or members of the media were included in the list of attendees.

By organizing a conference of this size, my source pointed out, CSEE is clearly showing that it has more clout than an average academic unit. While it's positive to see such collaboration happening between government and energy officials, it would be interesting to discover who provided the impetus and funding to hold a conference like this. While its secretive nature is suspicious, I hope that conferences like this one will lead to more action than rhetoric when our representatives travel to Copenhagen in December 2009.


Curmudgeon-at-Large said...

If the politicians from other provinces are as concerned about the environment as Alberta's premier and minister, and if the only attendees were politicians, nothing will come of this meeting, except possibly a joint strategy of denial.

Anonymous said...

Is this where they sort out fututre board appointments if political decsions are made the "right" way?

Accountability Avenger said...

Was Tom Olsen there to make sure Stelmach and Renner were using their talking points?

Anonymous said...

Why was this kept secret?

There's a second meeting being held in Washington DC on June 19.

Chandler Kent said...

Um, I don't think it was "secret" folks. If it was, I doubt that Stelmach's office would have posted his speech. I also doubt that there is some huge right-wing conspiracy here, as the list of attendees included members of Liberal and NDP governments from across Canada, as well as the Director of the Pembina Institute. Sometimes, it is helpful for our government folks to hear from industry and academia in small sessions. It might even help them learn more about the issue and some innovative ways to address it, and surely you guys can't be against that. As for how CSEE is funded, it's on their website.

Anonymous said...

Does CSEE hold the political clout or were they acting as a surrogate for another organization or interest? Great to see our leaders from government and industry meeting to talk Climate Change and Energy. CSEE partnered with the Canadian American Business Council and will be holding joint meeting with Canadian leaders and American business and congressional leades in Washington D.C. on June 19. All in secret. All positive.

Jane said...

From the list it looks as if Canada's politicians were just lining up to get their instructions from the oil and power companies as usual. All quite normal for planet Exxon-Mobil. No doubt at Copenhagen Canada will play its usual role of hooligan at the football match.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the report?
I have briefly and noticed the table: "GHG Life Cycle Emissions (1000 litres of transportation fuel consumed in Chicago)"

This seems to me to be playing with numbers, to divert focus from production GHG, and to make it seem not that bad so PR people can use this as talking points.

Anonymous said...

good to hear!

student energy conference this weekend

telus convention centre


Anonymous said...

"CSEE is clearly showing that it has more clout than an average academic unit"

...and who runs CSEE?

None other than Bruce Carson...former advisor to our illustrious, climate change champion PM Harper.

Mystery solved.

Alison said...

Activists disrupt June 19 follow-up CABC energy forum in Washington
Attendees - Gary Doer, Gary Mar, Jeff Passmore
Sponsor - Exxon