Apathy persists as federal election nears

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m told and have been told since grade school that there are a myriad of ways to cure hiccups. One way is to breathe into a paper bag – the color of the bag isn’t important, just make sure it’s paper. Another method is to stand on your head. Oh, and don’t forget drinking water upside down with your ears plugged, or having the wits scared out of you!

I’m sure you’re a bit confused at this point, as this is supposed to be a commentary on the status of the petroleum industry in this country.

As we round the corner to the federal election, brain cramps, a side effect of stage four hiccups, are becoming politically evident and something I believe the candidates are trying to hide from us. A prevailing attitude of all parties appears to be apathy, an attitude they hope will seep into the ballot boxes by osmosis.

There are a couple of items we should be wary of before we commit to the polls.

Guaranteed to get a yawn is the question of carbon taxes, which we’ve been told are needed to meet our target in concert with the Paris Accord. This level is not enforceable by any global climate police, but our own in the form of Katherine McKenna, who has chimed in that the tax levels are to cap at $50/ton in 2022, at which point gas pump prices will increase by another 11 cents a liter.

Aha! But no, you see, the 2022 level will be reassessed following discussions at the provincial level.

Maybe after the election, the successful prime minister will initiate a heated discussion with the president of the U.S. as to why they don’t have a carbon tax. Indeed, I would ask today why carbon taxation was not a subject at the just concluded G7 summit in France. Maybe it should be renamed the G5+2, with Canada being one of the two and Italy the other.

Next on the energy problem list is the fact that our very own federal government has hired the Eurasia Group out of New York as a single source to provide Natural Resources Canada market intelligence and direction to all levels of energy issues in Canada. This contract was single sourced at an annual fee of $200,000. It was also stipulated that this will be a one-person project.

The one person is none other than Gerald Butts, who resigned in disgrace in the SNC Lavalin debacle, then was hired by the Liberal government as a pre-election strategist.  Mr. Butts made it clear when he was with the World Wildlife Foundation that he was no friend of the oilsands and would just as soon shut it down. Since then, he has done just that, but in baby steps.

So, this is the person who the prime minister has commissioned to advise him on energy issues in this country going forward?

If you see a guy standing upside down with a bag over his head in the middle of a highway, then that’s me folks.

~ The Grouch

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Roger McKnight is the Chief Petroleum Analyst with En-Pro International Inc.
Roger has over 25 years experience in the oil industry, and has held senior marketing management positions responsible for national and international accounts. He is the originator of the card lock concept of marketing on-road diesel that is now the predominant purchase method of diesel in Canada. Roger's knowledge of the oil industry in North America, and pricing structures has resulted in his expertise being sought as a commentator by local, national, and international media. Roger is a regular guest on radio and television programs, and he is quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines across Canada.

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