Letters to the Editor
advocates always feeling puzzled.
When I search out figures related to how much Canada actually contributes to global Greenhouse Gas emissions, the numbers range from 1.65% to a high of 1.95%. Meaning, our contribution to global emissions is negligible. If we could reduce our emissions to, say 1.5%, which would not only be significant, but probably impossible, the world wouldn't notice. And don't forget, we live in a northern climate where we need furnaces six months of the year. We leave me occupy a large geographical area with limited mass transit so we have a greater need to drive automobiles. It is the big polluters such as the United States, Russia, and China who can really do something.
Canada already has some of the strictest emissions regulations in the world. Countries like China might sign a climate change agreement, but their governments are not foolish enough to do anything that will harm their respective economies. And of interest, under the Paris Climate Accord, China can increase its emissions until 2030 and developing nations may never have to comply.
The writer also says we have an opportunity to be a leader in alternative energy. I would like to point out that wind turbines only work when there is wind. Solar panels only work when the sun is shining. There always has to be a fuel-fired generating plant as a backup. This is redundancy and added cost. Since natural gas is clean burning, why not just have the natural gas generating facility? Moreover, wind turbines kill birds and bats, which are important to our ecosystem. In addition, wind and solar farms use up a lot of valuable real estate. These alternative energy projects always require massive government subsidies.
Look at the mess in Ontario, where many people cannot afford to pay the electricity bills. On January 31, I listened in on Premier Notley's telephone town hall meeting. Someone called in to thank her for not introducing a sales tax. I thought to myself, "What do you think the carbon tax is? It's a sales tax by another name". While our provincial and federal governments are loading us down with carbon taxes, the US is reducing taxation and easing emissions regulations. Our current politicians don't seem to understand that in addition to burdening the citizens, they are making our economy uncompetitive. The April 2018 parliamentary Budget Officer's Report estimates that by 2022 when the full $50 per tonne tax is in place, it will take 10 billion dollars out of the economy. They are taxing us for having to buy essential energy for our homes and families. The Liberals are unable to tell us how much the carbon tax will reduce emissions. That is because the tax is nothing more than another revenue source for cash-strapped governments.
Many say that big business should be taxed more, but the reality is that big business can and will move to a more competitive jurisdiction. They may be able to tax the citizens to death but not big corporations.
Premier Notley told us that in exchange for a carbon tax, we would get pipelines. We now have another tax but no Energy East, Northern Gateway or Trans Mountain pipelines. We hear plenty of talk from provincial and federal governments, but minimal action. I suspect the truth is that they are all opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline. Last week the Federal Government Purchased the Trans Mountain Pipeline. We don't want taxpayer money invested in this project. Kinder Morgan doesn't need our money. They just need the law enforced so they can get on with the work. I know a gentleman who is a long time Conoco Philips supervisor. He told me that, in December of 2016, they had a video conference with a company vice-president from Houston, TX. This VP stated that Canada was no longer a good place to invest. Reasons given include increasing taxation (i.e. the carbon tax), insufficient pipelines and no guarantee that there will ever be pipelines. They would invest their capital where conditions are more favourable. He pointed out that the US was energy development friendly. They could expect to explore, produce and get their product to market. The oil industry is a big contributor to our economy.
When the carbon footprint of a pipeline is so small, how is it better to import oil transported in supertankers across the ocean? This is currently happening at the Irving refineries on the east coast. Sounds like a large carbon footprint to me. What about David Suzuki? He owns multiple homes and jets around the world. He tells us to reduce our carbon footprint but look at his example. I find it interesting that he picks on Alberta's oil industry. Why doesn't Dr. Suzuki try that in places like Saudi Arabia or Russia, where they really do have dirty oil and see what happens?
Maybe the politicians don't hear what the oil companies are saying.
The Trans Mountain debacle is screaming to the world that a few radical environmentalists can subvert the law with im- punity. Would anyone want to invest in this climate of uncertainty? And also note, that the BC government doesn't want the Trans Mountain pipeline, but they have approved construction of an LNG facility at Kitimat with a new 900-kilometre pipeline from northeast BC to supply feedstock. Isn't this going to increase coastal tanker traffic? They also dump raw sewage into the ocean and have been doing it forever.
Jason Kenney has promised, that when elected premier of Alberta, he will set up a war room to quickly respond and, "rebut every lie told by the green left about our worldclass energy industry." He vowed to fight to get Ottawa to strip charitable status from "bogus charities" such as the David Suzuki Foundation. Further, he said that a UCP government would create a special legislative committee to probe the sources of foreign money funding any groups working against Alberta's interests. Let's face it, folks. Somebody is making a lot of money off Alberta oil that is discounted $20/barrel because we only have one customer (the USA) due to inability to access overseas markets.
Finally, I would recommend reading books like Bruno Wiskel's The Sky is Not Falling: Putting Climate Change on Trial. Let's avoid the hype and educate ourselves. There is more to this issue than the radical environmentalists would have us believe. Sincerely, William Baird