Rumors were abound that Fifty Shades of Grey made many readers and viewers blush with uncomfortable curiosity, but that’s nothing compared to what 35 million or so Canadians have had to endure — I’m calling it 150 Shades of Red.
Suitable since we will all be celebrating, as only Canadians can, with subdued amazement that we survived the slings and arrows of the outrageous, under the table, political ‘footsy’ for 150 years. All under the sometimes-glowering shadow of the greatest economic and military force the world has ever known, our cozy NAFTA southern friends in the U.S. of A.
This is a shadow that is growing lately, and will be difficult to escape from unless we wake up and we do this as a unit, not a fragmented puzzle of fiefdoms, which is what we are now.
While the U.S. withdraws from the Paris Accord on climate change, speeds up the approval process for new pipelines while exporting its shale oil crude to anyone who wants it, reduces corporate taxes, and threatens to impose a border tax to protect domestic manufacturers, what do we do? The complete opposite.
Yes, we have remained in the Paris Accord even though we contribute all of 1.59% of global GHG emissions. Then we impose a carbon tax that makes us uncompetitive with our largest trading partner and any other country that has no intention of following our quixotic lead. The Keystone XL (or is it Gravestone?) pipeline has been in the approval holding pen for a period as long as the duration of both world wars.
The Energy East is in danger of suffering the same fate; the expansion of the existing Trans Mountain is about to be drowned in a sea of socialist political soup due to a B.C. government that may have the staying power of two weeks – or is that hours?
It looks to me that the U.S., under the leadership of a difficult to understand and impossible to predict president, has developed policies to encourage the consumer and business community. The current economic results appear to reflect that attitude.
We can only hope that President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord will be diluted when he faces the wrath of the green globalists.
In the meantime, what has this move done to the OPEC position and what effect has this had on pump and rack prices?
The traders have interpreted the Paris Accord evacuation as a signal that President Trump has opened the spigots for U.S. shale oil production. Any further increase in U.S. crude production of any kind smothers the OPEC attempt to increase crude prices with its now disintegrating cartel — soon to be renamed NOPEC. This will force NOPEC to revert to a market share war, which will only lower energy costs for U.S. consumers and industry.
Not so for Canadians, who are stuck with a carbon tax poison pill and governments at the federal and provincial levels that have become ego-hyperventilated.
One cure is for them to breathe into a metaphorical paper bag. The challenge here is that our politicians must agree on where to find one, and soon.
Roger McKnight is the chief petroleum analyst with En-Pro International Inc. Roger has more than 25 years of experience in the oil industry. He is a regular guest on radio and television programs, and is quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines across Canada.