From Global News

The fallout from the mayor of Whistler’s request for an Alberta energy giant to pay for climate change expenses could now affect the resort municipality’s bottom line.

CIBC has confirmed it has removed the oil and gas portion from the agenda of its annual Whistler Institutional Investor Conference, which is set to kick off in January.

January 23-26, 2019 22nd Annual CIBC Whistler Institutional Investor Conference Whistler, BC

The news comes after Global News confirmed at least one energy company, PrairieSky, had pulled out, specifically citing the request, which analysts in Alberta said had sparked outrage and “sadness” throughout the industry.

Whistler request for Alberta oilsands company to cover climate change expenses causes outrage

The industry’s shunning of the conference, which will be celebrating its 22nd year, is further evidence that Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton’s letter to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) has struck a nerve.

In the letter dated Nov. 15, Crompton asked the company to cover the costs being paid by taxpayers to deal with flooding, drought and extreme weather, which the mayor argues are being caused directly by CNRL’s operations.

Crompton released both written and video statements saying he didn’t mean to offend anyone or make any companies or industries feel unwelcome in Whistler. He also acknowledged Etam’s argument that Whistler’s residents and tourists also contribute to fossil fuel emissions.

“Our goal was not to ignore our own role in climate change but to encourage change and action on climate change,” the mayor said.

“We strongly believe that all levels of government, industries and individuals bear responsibility for solving and the costs of climate change impacts.”

On Friday, a spokesperson for CNRL shared the letter it sent back to Crompton and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, which calls on the local government to join other municipalities in “supporting market access for Canada’s responsibly developed natural resources and share the facts with others.”

“We know that we still have more that we can do, and by working together, we are confident that the actions we take now can accelerate positive change,” the letter continues.

Calfrac Follows Up on Whistler Conference Controversy

Calfrac press release:

CALGARY, Dec. 14, 2018 /CNW/ – Ronald P. Mathison, Chairman of Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (“Calfrac” or the “Company”) (TSX–CFW), commented today: “The controversy that has resulted in the cancellation of the energy portion of an investor conference, scheduled for January in the Town of Whistler, carries several important implications. Canadian energy companies and members of the public have reacted strongly to recent communications from politicians like the one from the Mayor of the Town of Whistler. The Whistler Mayor’s letters, addressed to energy industry companies, effectively seek to assign specific blame, and sought corporate financial contributions to address the costs of climate change on the community of Whistler.”

The conference organizers have prudently cancelled the energy portion of the investor event, as Calfrac and numerous other energy-related companies were in the process of declining to attend, as a result of the Whistler Mayor’s conduct.

“The complex issues around climate change are unlikely to be solved with simplistic proposals or confrontational approaches. It is well-known that Canada only contributes approximately 1.5% of global emissions. The global emissions that are of concern to scientists emanate from all over the world and there are a number of other jurisdictions that produce volumes that dwarf those from Canada.”

“Looking to blame energy producers in Canada, a country with among the very best oilfield and industrial practices and, among developed countries, with by far the highest percentage of energy generated by hydro and other renewable sources, is unjust. That approach also ignores the role of energy consumers, who rely on the benefits of Canadian-produced energy for heating, transportation (including to destinations like Whistler), petrochemical products and a myriad other benefits to our lives. This kind of thinking also disregards the many economic benefits that Canadian energy has brought to our country and to all the people who live here.”

“The Whistler conference controversy is only one element of a broader discussion that is needed, around: encouraging responsible energy development; facilitating needed pipeline approvals; appropriately streamlining new capital project approval rules; and remedying the recent deeply-discounted Canadian oil and gas prices, primarily stemming from transportation bottlenecks. None of these topics is simple, but a more reasoned analysis and better approach is needed than the confrontational tack of the Mayor of a jurisdiction who has looked at these matters far too narrowly, and without consideration of some of the most important information.”

Calfrac’s common shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “CFW”. Calfrac provides specialized oilfield services to exploration and production companies designed to increase the production of hydrocarbons from wells drilled throughout western Canada, the United States, Russia and Argentina.

CIBC Shrinks Event after Whistler Tries to Bill Canadian Natural Resources for Climate Change

From the Financial Post

WHISTLER, B.C. — The ski resort town of Whistler, B.C., is learning that getting involved in the fight between environmentalists and oil companies can result in negative consequences.

Part of CIBC’s annual investment conference to be held in the community next month has been scrapped after the town council took part in a letter-writing campaign demanding oil companies compensate it for its costs related to climate change.

After Whistler sent a letter to Calgary-based oilsands giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., several energy firms reportedly said they would back out of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce event.

CIBC has since decided to cancel the oil and gas part of its conference, although it says the rest will continue. According to an online agenda, 43 of the 114 companies scheduled to present were either oil and gas producers or provide oilfield services.

In a statement, Roman Dubczak, CIBC managing director and head of global investment banking, says the Canadian energy industry is “a global leader of responsible energy development,” adding the bank is committed to its energy clients.

Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton issued a video apology late last week in which he says the town joined the letter-writing campaign with 15 other municipalities led by an environmental group to draw attention to the urgent issue of climate change.

“Our aim was never to make anyone feel unwelcome in Whistler,” he said. “I sincerely regret that anyone felt unwelcome here.”

He adds many people have pointed out that Whistler itself is a consumer of fossil fuels and says the town will do what it can to improve its own local climate change impact.

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