Suncor CEO Highlights the Challenge of Uncertainty in Canadian Energy Policy for Investors

(Reuters) — Unpredictability in Canadian energy policy is scaring away capital investment in the sector, the CEO of one of Canada's largest oil producers, Suncor Energy, told a parliamentary committee on Monday.

Rich Kruger made the comments days after Canada's Supreme Court ruled that a key federal law assessing the environmental impact of major projects like oil sands plants and coal mines was largely unconstitutional.

Canada is the world's fourth-largest crude producer, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has faced opposition from the oil and gas industry as it tries to introduce legislation to curb carbon emissions and overhaul the regulatory process for natural resource projects.

"If the hurdle is set at a certain height, that's fine. We just want to know it's not a moving target," Kruger told lawmakers in Ottawa. "One of the challenges we have faced here for some time now is a bit of unpredictability and uncertainty, which then quite frankly scares away capital."

Kruger appeared before the Standing Committee on Natural Resources to answer questions on the Calgary, Alberta-based company's climate strategy after he said in an earnings call in August that it had a "disproportionate emphasis" on the longer-term transition to cleaner forms of energy.

He told lawmakers that Suncor remained committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, and would focus on cutting emissions and growing its renewable fuels businesses.

"We do think that decarbonization of our existing hydrocarbon business and looking for new alternate fuel sources and energy sources is quite frankly just good business," the Suncor executive said. 

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