The Canada-United States Institute and development of the common approach.

Position:Conference: US and Canadian Energy Relationship

Session Chair--Chris Sands

Session Chair--David Crane

Session Chair--Hon. James Peterson


Chris Sands

Hon. James Peterson

MR. SANDS: My name is Chris Sands. (1) We would like to recognize our terrific Executive Committee Member, Jim Peterson. (2) He will put in a quick word.

HON. JAMES PETERSON: Just ever so briefly, I want to, on behalf of all of you, thank David and Chris for what I think has been an outstanding Annual Conference.

One big mea culpa on my part, I failed yesterday to thank somebody who did an outstanding job working with Cyndee Todgham Cherniak to put on the Niagara Moot--that is Ian Laird. (3) Ian, I am sorry you are not here, but you did an outstanding job for us. You are our secret weapon in the half conference, and that is because we have had such superb presenters. Of the nineteen law schools that participated in the Niagara Moot in Toronto, sixteen schools came from the United States. (4) That was great for our balance of payments.

I would like to also, in thanking everybody else who has made this possible, give a special vote of thanks to Dan. He has worked tirelessly and has put so much thought, experience, and imagination into making this happen. Dan, you are the one who is really responsible for everything that has happened here. We are so grateful to you, and our thanks.

MR. SANDS: You know that the way these things usually start is with Jim and Jim, and we have had the Jims represented. Now you get Chris and Crane, and I am going to turn to David to talk about some of the big themes and the "take-aways" we have had from today's program and this conference.


MR. CRANE: Thank you, Chris. I found this to be a most stimulating Conference, and the reason is that we have had such superb presenters. I can hardly wait for the Canada-United States Law Journal to come out, because I want to go back and reread some of those presentations.

Now, we discussed many, many different things here, but it seems to me there were certain "take-aways" or themes that wrap right through our discussions.

The first was the sheer complexity of the issues we are dealing with. We are not just trying to find a substitute for gasoline or a faster turbine for wind power. Energy is such a powerful force in our economics and our lives more broadly. It is about water and food versus fuels, impacts on exchange rates, inflation and prices, current account balances, national security, foreign trade policy, trade policy, technological change, and our capacity to align a broad portfolio of policies. So it is an enormously complex field, and we have to have the ability to take this holistic approach. We have to see the broad picture, recognizing that an intervention in one area may trigger challenges in another--for example, if we say we want more biofuels, what does that mean for food prices? We have to think in that broader sense.

The second thing that came through to me very strongly was the sheer extent of change that will be needed to transform our energy systems. If we are serious about moving to a different kind of low-carbon economy, we face the scientific and technological challenges, institutional challenges, and the implications of all these things for different industries and regions. There will be winners, but there are also going to be losers.

The dollar bills that are going to be attached to this kind of change are enormous. We got a little bit of that in the last session. If you look at building smart grids, developing these new technologies for automobiles, and all of these many things we have to do, it will require an enormous amount of capital. How we finance these projects will require much more attention. The extent of scientific and engineering advances that are needed to transform our energy systems will require major advances in research and development and engineering in many different fields, along with resources for demonstration projects, in effect a new industrial revolution. There will be both winners and losers.

There will also be unintended consequences. Are there very many people in this room who are not wearing a watch? The reason I ask that is the advent of the mobile phone has had a huge impact on...

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