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You do it your way, and...

02 Oct 2019 | News Roundup

Apparently there’s a big brouhaha in Lotusland, with southern B.C. municipalities wanting to sue oil companies for selling their citizens gas and heating oil while northern cities say mind your manners. It seems easy enough to solve. Why don’t the cities that hate oil and gas ban it within their boundaries, and the ones that don’t carry on using it? In which case the northern cities will be happy to sell it to them.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the problem at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference is that radicals led by Victoria want to send a nasty letter to the oil companies demanding compensation for their climate-related costs as a prelude to suing them. A major problem with this whole idea is that if it comes to litigation they’re going to have to explain away their own willingness to buy and use oil and gas, which will be most embarrassing.

Never mind. Some 20 cities voted “Aye” and Vancouver has already sent 20 such letters. But up in rugged, rain-in-your-lunch-bucket Fort St. John, they’re not interested in “symbolic” gestures. According to mayor Lori Ackerman, “Our relationship with oil companies is different because we understand the realities. We aren’t extracting, producing and shipping petroleum products for our own use. We ship it because there is a demand.”

Indeed. And not just from the people in Fort St. John. Everyone in Vancouver and Victoria too. And both sides of the costs of the lawsuits will end up on households: “Litigation will lead to significant legal costs for taxpayers and settlements will be paid for by consumers with higher energy prices, she said.”

Of course it wouldn’t be the first time politicians engineered giant cost increases then complained about high prices. We already saw the spectacle of B.C.’s premier denouncing oil pipelines then threatening to sue Alberta if it shut them off, and praising carbon taxes then wondering why gas was so expensive in Vancouver. And just wait until the oil companies do what the cities want and stop selling oil there.

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