Jim Prentice says Alberta 'forgot some simple truths' on energy industry

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says the province has forgotten some key points about the sustainability of the energy industry and is vowing to work towards building as many pipelines as possible.

Premier says goal is to work towards building pipelines in every direction possible

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice addressed a crowd gathered at the Economic Club's Canadian Energy Summit in Calgary on Friday to stress that the province needs to find new ways to get oil to market. (CBC)

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says the province has forgotten some key points about the sustainability of the energy industry and is vowing to work towards building as many pipelines as possible.

In a speech to the Economic Club's Canadian Energy Summit in Calgary on Friday, Prentice said the province needs to remember that hydrocarbons are only valuable when there are competing customers — and if there are multiple ways to ship the resource.

"For a period of time we lived comfortably in a world of insatiable American demand for Canada's energy products," said Prentice.

"Along the way we forgot some simple truths. We forgot that hydrocarbons are only valuable if there is someone willing to pay for them and moreover, someone who has the ability to receive them."

Prentice said his goal is to see pipelines built in every possible direction. He wants to work with Ontario and Quebec in the coming weeks to get those provinces on board with his push to get Alberta oil to market.

Prentice says the province is looking at other options as well.

"One of the alternatives that has been discussed and is said to be technically feasible is exporting Alberta's crude via existing port facilities in Alaska," he said.

"Whether that's economically feasible or not remains to be determined."

Prentice said there are a number of private sector companies interested in pursing that option right now.

He also restated his commitment to see Alberta become an environmental leader.

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