CEOs, Former Ambassador to Speak at Duke Conference on U.S.-Canada Energy Relationship

DURHAM, N.C. – A one-day conference at Duke University on April 13 explores the world’s closest energy relationship – the one between the U.S. and Canada. The conference, “Hydropower, Pipelines and Petroleum: the U.S.–Canada Energy Relationship,” will explore the challenges of this crucial alliance with presentations by senior energy executives, think tanks and NGOs from both nations.

The conference takes place in Geneen Auditorium at The Fuqua School of Business from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is part of Duke University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, a multidisciplinary approach to the world’s energy future. 

Canada is the largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States, providing nearly a quarter of our imported oil, and 12.5 percent of our total usage. Canada also provides nearly 90 percent of the natural gas the United States imports, one-third of the uranium used in U.S. nuclear reactors and virtually all imported electricity.

“The U.S. energy demands will still require a high level of imported energy in the coming decades, with new environmental challenges, such as development of oil sands and shale gas. The U.S.–Canada relationship, between two democracies that are so close geographically and economically, can serve as a model for the rest of the world,” said conference organizer Stephen Kelly, visiting professor of the practice of public policy and associate director of the Center for Canadian Studies.

U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson and Duke Provost Peter Lange will give opening remarks. The keynote speaker will be David Goldwyn, until January the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy on International Energy Affairs, and a recognized expert on energy security issues. Goldwyn will discuss how the U.S.-Canada energy relationship fits into the larger U.S. government international energy picture and how the State Department approaches vital cross-border energy issues.

During the morning session, “Meeting the Energy Demand: the CEO’s Perspective,”  energy executives from the oil sands, pipeline, hydroelectric, and shale gas sectors will describe what their companies are doing to assure production while attending to environmental concerns. Panelists include:

  • Thierry Vandal, president and CEO, Hydro-Québec;
  • Patrick Daniel, president and CEO, Enbridge, Inc.;
  • Rick George, President and CEO, Suncor;
  • Moderator David Biette, director of the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In the afternoon session, “Energy in Context: Balancing Environment and Security,” think-tank, public policy, academic and NGO experts will put the U.S.-Canada energy relationship into a broader context, weighing energy security and environmental concerns. Panelists include:

  • David Wilkins, Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada;
  • David Pumphrey, deputy director, Center for Strategic and International Studies;
  • Janet Peace, vice president of markets and business strategy, Pew Center on Global Climate Change;
  • Amy Jaffe, director of the Energy Forum at the Baker Institute, Rice University;
  • Lincoln Pratson, professor of energy & environment and director of the Duke University Energy Hub, who will moderate.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register online at  Parking will be available in the Science Drive Visitors Lot. The conference also will be streamed live at Follow on Twitter hashtag #energyconf11.

The conference is sponsored by the Duke Center for Canadian Studies, the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the government of Quebec, the government of Canada, the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Fuqua School of Business, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke Office of Global Strategy and Programs.