Former Alberta Investment Management Corporation Chief Executive Leo de Bever is warning Donald Trump’s presidency could exacerbate Alberta’s painful recession.
In an interview on BNN, de Bever, now chairman of Oak Point Energy, said the U.S. president-elect’s view of climate change means he’s unlikely to implement a carbon levy or tax, creating an economic disadvantage for Canadian energy producers competing with unencumbered U.S. shale players.
“Trump seems to think that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, we clearly have a different view,” he said. “So depending on how we implement that carbon tax, it could be a huge disadvantage for Canada.”
De Bever said the already low-cost nature of U.S. shale production remains a hurdle for Canadian producers unto itself, and that Canada needs to find a way to lower the costs of oil sands extraction to compete.
“[The U.S. is] figuring out how to survive at $40, $50 oil, so just the nature of the industry would suggest that if they can get their technology in line and keep their costs down to that kind of level, then production will eventually rise,” he said. “Right now we’re still the highest-cost producer on the wrong end of the continent.”