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Howe Institute.

The analysis by associate director of research Benjamin Dachis is the first in what he says will become an annual comparison of Canada oil and gas sector with its North American equivalents.

The report comes just days before the federal government is expected to unveil how it plans to overhaul the environmental and regulatory review process for major energy projects.

Canadian governments allowed pipelines to be built expeditiously, the competitiveness of western Canadian oil producers would be greatly improved, he wrote.

While carbon taxes are getting the lion share of political and public attention, they having little negative effect, Dachis said and indeed, if they are well designed, can actually create an incentive to cut emissions without affecting competitiveness.

A lack of pipeline capacity for getting product to market, on the other hand, has a significant impact,
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Dachis said, with estimates that the bottleneck cuts about $5 off the profits of every barrel of oil produced in an average western Canadian well.

is where a lot of emerging oil and gas investment is going, said Dachis. where the magic is happening. Howe report is consistent with what we seeing. he thinks the report underplays the impact emissions taxes and regulations will have down the road.

Shannon Stubbs, Conservative critic for natural resources, said in a statement Thursday that investment in Canadian energy has declined substantially in the last two years and delays getting pipelines built are key reasons.

Proponents in all three cases cited regulatory holdups as contributing to the demise of the projects, although regulation was only one factor.

regulatory process sure didn help, but at the end of the day, market forces probably made the decision, Dachis said.

The plummeting price of natural gas made new pipelines less economical. revived the once moribund Keystone XL pipeline. and the Enbridge Line 3 replacement comprise a lot of new capacity that would make the argument for Energy East tougher.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr restated his government support for the project earlier this week. The Liberal government approved the project in 2016.

The federal Liberals have spent the last two years consulting on how to overhaul the regulatory and environmental reviews for major energy projects,
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arguing the process needed to be more transparent and more fair. Legislation is anticipated next week.