CANADA’S ENVIRO GONG-SHOW OPPOSES REALITY
There are two energy worlds on display this week. There is the real one; the one full of production estimates and demand projections, investment reports and terms like “tight oil” and “upstream cost declines.”
Then there is the unreal one playing out in Bonn, Germany at the United Nations’ annual climate conference. It’s full of high-blown theories and magical solutions to over-hyped problems, plus calls for higher taxes and greater regulation backed by “green” politicians and bureaucrats.
And guess which energy world Canada is far more active in?
That’s right, the eco-fantasy world in which participants believe if they just tax us all enough and spend enough money on alternate-energy subsidies they can magically transform our economies into equally prosperous ones in which none of us use carbon-based fuels and we all have jobs as smartphone app designers, pour-over coffee artists or bike-repair techs.
After three years of bleak news in the real energy world, some good news actually emerged last week. The independent International Energy Agency (IEA) released its assessment of the state of energy use and production.
Between now and 2040, energy demand around the world will increase by nearly a third — or roughly by the amount of energy currently being consumed by China and India, the world’s largest and fourth-largest energy consumers, respectively.
And the good news for the oil and gas sector is that oil and natural gas will both continue to supply large portions of the increasing demand, even if demand for “green” energies and electric vehicles grows substantially.
Also, prices should, at the very least, stabilize.
The IEA estimates the worstcase scenario over the next 20 years will be oil at $50US to $70US, even if e-cars, wind and solar take off. Under the best-case, oil should climb to between $80US and $110US.
China in particular is likely to see a huge jump in its demand, perhaps 40 per cent above it’s current 15.5 million barrels per day.
But the good news does not trickle down to Canada.
According to the IEA, because of self-imposed “green” policies by the federal government, and by the provincial governments of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, while “Canada is well placed to export oil to China this is dependent on the construction of additional export capacity to bring inland production to the Pacific coast.”
And the IEA estimates the political climate in Canada could well prevent the construction of that capacity.
We have the oil. We can extract it. And the production of our oilsands could create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs across the country in engineering, manufacturing, finance, transportation and service.
But instead, Canada will be stuck on the sidelines due largely to “self-restraint and rules.”
Our production could rise to 6.2 million barrels per day from 4.5 million if we stopped being the world’s Climate Boy Scout. But the IEA believes that is so unlikely that it has lowered its estimate of the amount of new investment we can expect in our oil and gas sector from $1.7 trillion to just $1.0 trillion.
That’s $700 billion of realworld losses for real-world families.
Then there is the enviro gong-show in Bonn, Germany.
There, international bureaucrats, “green” politicians and eco-activists — nearly 25,000 of them — have gathered in fossil-fuel heated meeting halls and elaborate tents to guzzle trainloads of champagne and down planeloads of shrimp flown in fresh from halfway around the world, all while reassuring one another their hot-air festival is saving the planet.
These annual gab-a-thons never produce anything but reams of paper full of meaningless promises. Maybe that’s why the Trudeau, Wynne and Notley governments are so good at them.