FELDSTED -- Most western nations are facing the same problems and economic recovery cannot take place without ample and reliable energy sources
CBC News ... “May and Blanchet declare the oilpatch dead”
The Green Party's parliamentary leader Elizabeth May says governments around the world should use the pandemic, and the resulting economic fallout, as an opportunity to reorganize the energy mix and find other jobs for Albertans working in the sector.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said Alberta's "tar sands" are "condemned" and federal funds should be directed at supporting renewable energy sources rather than projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Yves-Francois Blanchard and Elizabeth May represent the lunatic fringe in Canada.
Blanchard cares nothing for portions of Canada outside Quebec. May is totally immersed in renewable energy theology, that is, the belief that renewable energy can replace oil and gas despite ample evidence that renewable energy is not “clean”, is awfully expensive and has zero hope of meeting our energy needs by 2050.
What is far more disturbing is the short-sightedness. Resurrection of the western oil and gas sector is not aimed at export sales although those sales would add frosting on our cake. We have the opportunity to make Canada energy self-sufficient.
Energy self-sufficiency would vastly increase our ability to recover from the hit our economy has suffered due to the method we chose to combat COVID-19. Energy self-sufficiency translates into price stability. Entrepreneurs and investors, the people who build manufacturing and processing plants, mines, pipelines, refineries, smelters, warehouses, and the like are attracted by long-term stability in energy prices. An ample, stable energy supply is vital and far more important that the energy source.
We cannot afford to allow the minority who are arrogant enough to decide that energy sources that feed the needs of world nations are not appropriate in Canada. That reveals a lack of comprehension combined with an arrogant disdain for how well off we are.
Were it not for gasoline and diesel fuel, our internal supply chains would crumple instantly. Our retail outlets would quickly be bare of clothing, food, household supplies, building materials, hardware, and everything else that we consider essential to our way of life. Our cities would be come barely inhabitable ghettos, cold in the winter and stifling hot in summer. Public transportation would grind to a halt. Trains would sit idle, and so would transport trucks.
The Middle East is still an unstable powder keg and with each hint of a new conflict, oil prices skyrocket, and Canadian consumers feel the pain in the costs of motive fuel and in our cost of living.
We do not have to suffer that pain. If we are energy self-sufficient, we can set a reasonable domestic price for our oil and gas and export when world prices exceed our domestic price.
Canada is not alone in facing a dire economic crisis. Most western nations are facing the same problems and economic recovery cannot take place without ample and reliable energy sources. That will be oil and gas. Nations rebuilding need the energy now, not sometime in the distant future.
The current overabundance of supply is illusionary and temporary. Oil and gas are increasingly becoming geopolitical weapons used by nations who have large supplies. The recent price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia is an example. It has nothing to do with the value of oil, it is all about political positioning.
Our vast oil and gas reserves can allow us to build the strongest economy in the world in terms of stability and become a leader and stabilizing influence in the world energy field. All it takes is a bit of vision and the political will to get it done.
John Feldsted ... is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist. He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba