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Furthermore, as the United States moves forward with the Keystone Pipeline, desperately needed Canadian projects stand defeated or stalled by governments in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec. Ottawa’s acquisition of the Kinder Morgan project provided a great exit for the company, but it didn’t serve the long-term economic interests of Canadians because it put politics above professional project management. Meanwhile, rising Canadian gasoline taxes along with taxpayer-funded consumer incentives supporting electric cars continue to distort the market, putting further pressure on the ability of oil companies to make strategic decisions, both upstream and downstream.
As managers in the Canadian energy sector struggle with increasing political interference, American oil executives are being freed to function as they should, focusing on competing for global market opportunities
The birth of management as a profession was one of the greatest breakthroughs of the 20th century. And we need to remember that business education and management consulting emerged from the success of free enterprise capitalism. The word “free” is particularly important to remember. Simply put, to successfully compete in the global marketplace, businesses need to be free of political agendas when deciding where to focus corporate resources and cash flows.
The last thing Canadians need in the so-called Age of Disruption is the heavy hand of empowered government politicians and public servants watering down the traditional role of professional management and politicizing critical corporate decisions. And yet, as managers in the Canadian energy sector struggle with increasing political interference, American oil executives are being freed to function as they should, focusing on competing for global market opportunities to drive cash flow (some evidence of this is found in dramatically lower pump prices for gasoline in the U.S.). That government has opened offshore oil drilling and eased restrictions on domestic oil fracking operations. Meanwhile, U.S. corporate tax rates have dramatically dropped, and many punitive regulatory and environmental constraints have been eased. These changes greatly enhance the capacity of U.S. oil company managers to function effectively, while Canadian counterparts are being increasingly hampered by socialist policies.