The CEO Poll: The way to go?

Obama's energy and climate change proposals get mixed reviews from Canadian CEOs.

Business leaders give the federal mini-budget high marks.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s energy and climate proposals currently before Congress have garnered somewhat mixed reviews from a group of Canadian CEOs surveyed recently by COMPAS Inc.

The 121 respondents were largely in favour of many of Obama’s initiatives, but split on others. The proposal to weatherize one million homes annually gained the most support, with 88% of the respondents in favour of the idea. Ending oil imports from the Middle East and Venezuela by 2019, and developing carbon capture and sequestration were also popular efforts. “I think the program is very optimistic and a reasonable start,” wrote one respondent.

The panelists were divided on increasing the use of biofuels, and on the implementation of a cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions, however. “A tax is a tax by any other name,” wrote another respondent. “Americans and, to only a slightly lesser degree, Canadians will be paying a steep price for the current unprecedented government intrusion into the market.”

But still others were more supportive of government efforts to bring about change. “An alternate fuel supply to end our dependence on fossil fuel is the only long-term strategy that makes any sense,” wrote one CEO. “The infrastructure to support whatever alternate energy will be used (electric or hydrogen or whatever) needs to be subsidized and standardized so we can adopt it.”