A month ago, I outlined the vital work that Canada’s fuel refining industry was doing in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of Canada’s critical infrastructure, our industry is rising to the challenge and taking extraordinary measures to keep our workers healthy and safe while fuels and specialty lubricants continue to be produced and distributed. Our member companies have also shown that ‘We’re All In This Together’ by going above and beyond to support their employees and the communities in which they operate. This includes the donation of biproducts that are essential to produce hand sanitizer, contributing excess inventory of personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and supporting local food banks.
As April comes to a close, this work continues. While the response to COVID-19 is far from over, Canadian Fuels members also have an eye to the future and the potential of a post-pandemic world. At some point (hopefully soon), our society will turn its full attention to recovery efforts with a priority on strengthening our economy. As always, the transportation fuels sector is ready for the challenge and prepared to play a key role to support recovery efforts. Canada’s fuel production and distribution system has developed and evolved over the past century to meet changing consumer demands and important shifts in societal expectations, in particular around environmental performance. We believe that leveraging this existing infrastructure (i.e. those facilities and operations that Canadians have relied on for their essential fuel needs for decades) will facilitate a rapid economic recovery and affordable path forward to a lower carbon economy.
While economic recovery will take centre stage post COVID-19, we know that we cannot lose sight of our on-going pursuit of emission reductions. The advancement of federal and provincial climate policy will be happening in parallel with pandemic recovery efforts and our sector is ready for this challenge as well. In fact, our members have already invested in technology and innovation in order to adapt existing infrastructure and prepare for a lower-carbon future.
There are numerous examples of the ‘the future in action’ across our industry. At many retail sites you will now find both gasoline pumps and electronic charging stations. Some Canadian Fuels members have expanded their product offering to include hydrogen refueling facilities. Others are driving the development of ‘drop in’ biofuels that will work with existing fuel distribution and storage infrastructure. Investments have been made to explore dedicated biorefineries as well as bioenergy projects to convert organic waste into renewable natural gas. And the list goes on.
At this critical point in time, the Canadian Fuels Association and its members are demonstrating how the transportation fuels sector adds significant value to life in Canada and how we can continue to play an important role in our nation’s energy future.
The Canadian Fuels Association and its members will continue to rise to the current challenge of the pandemic response. Looking ahead, we are ready to help Canada move from beneath the shadow of COVID-19 and build on our history of enabling economic growth and developing cleaner energy solutions.
We’re All in This Together and we are proud to do our part.