CALGARY – The premier of the Northwest Territories is blasting federal policies including promises to restrict greenhouse gas emissions that he says will stifle a viable energy sector in the North.
Bob McLeod told the Arctic Oil & Gas Symposium on Wednesday that a national carbon price and a five-year ban on drilling in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea have created a “no-win situation” for his territory’s efforts to develop a strong resource economy.
The federal government is proposing a carbon price of $10 per tonne in 2018 that would grow to $50 per tonne by 2022.
The drilling ban was announced in December by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said the measure was needed to protect the Arctic’s ecosystem.
At the same time, then-U.S. president Barack Obama declared a permanent ban on drilling in the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean — a move that U.S. Republicans have vowed to reverse under President Donald Trump.
McLeod says if the U.S. ban is overturned, it will result in a competitive disadvantage for Canada’s North.
He said his government is urging the federal government to end the drilling ban after five years.
“We want to have a decision that will give us some hope,” he said in Calgary.
“I think for a lot of people, the prime minister took away hope from ever being able to make a long-term healthy living in the North by suggesting there should be a lifetime moratorium in the Beaufort.”