It seems that Canada’s oil and gas producers still think they will be spared if only they throw their support behind the plan to destroy them. The Globe & Mail reports that: “Canada’s oil and gas sector is hopeful the federal government will live up to its budget-day pledge to speed up the time it takes to build major infrastructure projects”. But it is a fatuous hope, not least because the projects in question are intended as replacements for oil and gas. As the Globe added, “The promise was part of a federal budget that also contained a host of tax credits and incentives for clean electricity, hydrogen, critical minerals and other technologies the government believes Canada must invest in to meet its international climate commitments.” And while it is possible that those now running this country will try to speed up the regulatory process, though not very likely given their overall record of ineptitude, what is not possible is that, if by some odd chance they succeed, it will benefit the hydrocarbon producers, or the innocent bystanders called “consumers”.
The politicians want Net Zero and they want it now, and investing in hydrocarbon infrastructure that will take years even to come online is not compatible with their vision. (Nor, regrettably, are tradeoffs, of the sort that prefers LNG to coal even in the short run.) As the Globe story further noted, “Since 2008, no fewer than 18 new LNG export terminals have been proposed… including 13 in B.C., three in Nova Scotia and two in Quebec. Only the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat, B.C., is anywhere near completion.”
Yes, and there’s a reason beyond the genuinely problematic incompetence of the Canadian government on virtually all files. They don’t want to build fossil fuel infrastructure. It’s not rocket surgery.
Or is it? An opinion item in the Globe & Mail by one of their most senior columnists bore the caption “A lack of political guts leaves Canada on the sidelines amid global LNG boom”. And while journalists, we repeat, do not write their own headlines, this one properly captures the author’s view that “No matter that there is a strong case for exporting LNG that helps lower overall global emissions, a lack of political guts is hurting Canada’s reputation – and the planet.”
Lack of guts? Hardly. Gambling our economy and future on unproven technologies smacks of rashness not timidity. As that column says, after noting approval for one project with major aboriginal ownership:
“Unfortunately, the same goodwill politicians displayed toward Cedar has not been extended to other LNG projects in Canada. Instead of expediting such projects amid Europe’s scramble for alternatives to Russian natural gas and efforts to wean Asian economies off coal, federal and provincial politicians find excuses to change the subject.”
Excuses? It’s not excuses. They hate and fear fossil fuels. They really do. It’s why they go around saying stuff like we have to stop using them or the planet will burn up. Or, in congratulating the rival Progressive Conservatives for winning the Prince Edward Island provincial election as though he had done it, Canada’s Prime Minister promised to “accelerate the fight against climate change” along with the “good middle-class jobs” “quality health care” “life more affordable” blah blah blah. The fact that it’s trite doesn’t mean it’s insincere. Why is it so hard to understand?
And why is it hard to understand that it doesn’t matter that “The world prefers Canada’s oil, suggests a new study from market researcher Ipsos.” The politicians who run Canada hate our oil and everyone else’s. Hate it. Want it dead. And plan to kill it.
For instance a Toronto Star piece about killing off oil and gas by 2034 includes the sort of priceless line that could only be written by people in well-heated rooms with well-stocked fridges:
“there isn’t room for any country in the world to increase fossil fuel production, and wealthy countries like Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. must be the first to end production to give smaller, poorer nations an equitable transition and provide them with financial support.”
So not having any energy for them is “equitable”. Weird, huh? But you can certainly forget Canadian oil and gas being the last to go because, “Kevin Anderson, one of the authors of the report and a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester” wailed, “Many people are suffering and dying from climate change a long way from the places that are causing the problems like the E.U., the U.K., Canada, the U.S.” And so it’s only fair that they get to cause the problem while we die.
It’s called social justice or something. Unlike the bit where, “Catherine Abreu, founder of Destination Zero and a member of Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body” rants:
“Canada’s plans for fossil fuel expansion (are) the second largest in the world … So Canada is really one of the worst culprits in putting forward plans for this industry that are really out of step with our commitments in the Paris Agreement.”
The NZAB being, naturally, a creature of the Canadian government created and well-paid by the Canadian government to tell the Canadian government what it wants to hear, namely that oil and gas are evil and pointless. (In Canada we call such people, or they call themselves, “independent experts“. They’re a bit shy about how much they get paid and their first Annual Report doesn’t contain any boring financial statements but they somehow found tens of millions of dollars to slosh around even though we deniers have all the money.)
Of course the green fantasy includes that “Wealthy nations like Canada that are major producers, on the other hand, have very diverse economies and typically remain wealthy even once the oil and gas revenue is removed, said Anderson. For example, the report says Canada’s GDP would remain the 13th highest globally, even without revenue from oil and gas.”
See? No energy no problem. Manna rains down from a windmill or something. But it doesn’t rain down on the Canadian reliable energy industry and the sooner they figure it out the better, for them and for us.