I spent two weeks out of the country only to return to the same gunfight at the OK Corral, but things are far from OK, in fact they seem worse. Sure, the term gunfight is a political metaphor, but the debates on energy I am following in the optical and print media can only be summarized as, “if you’re shouting, you’re not listening.”
With the federal election iceberg edging closer to the Canadian economic Titanic, our politicians are in a race to see who can be the first out the door for their summer break.
With weeks left until this exodus, Bills C-48 and 69 may be locked in a room with a do-not-disturb sign until after the election. This may be a relief for the Trudeau government, as they are both cracked planks in the Liberal environmental platform.
Bill 48, which proposes a ban on tanker traffic off the Northern B.C. coast and was an election promise back in 2015, has stalled as it seems to discriminate against Alberta crude shipments, yet LNG tankers from the B.C.-approved, $40-billion Kitimat terminal can go unchecked.
Bill 69 may also be molassed in the Senate and is the subject of intense debate, with crude oil producers claiming that, if passed, it will add more roadblocks to any future fossil fuel projects. This bill adds a shopping list of social factors onto the mountain of paperwork now threatening to avalanche any investor daring to cross north of the 49th parallel.
The social variables that may have to be included in any new project in the oil sector raise a lot more questions than answers.
Does all the political correctness in Ottawa now replace work history, education, and job skills?
Does this mean we’ll force these same rules on those we import crude oil from at the rate of 750,000 bpd, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela?
Will the hypocritical Quebec government continue to allow these countries to ship their crude up the St. Lawrence to Quebec City and Montreal, while at the same time shutting down any thought of Energy East, ruling it an environmental time bomb?
How is it that we merrily import crude but can’t export it from our own tidewater other than by pipeline to our only customer, the U.S., at Canadian taxpayer subsidized prices?
Why is it that Bill 69 applies to the oil sector while other heavy emitters such as chemicals, cement, aluminum, fertilizer, and waste treatment facilities are exempt?
Why are consumers in Canada paying a carbon tax, being responsible for 1.6% of global emissions, while the U.S., China, Russia, and India pay zero-carbon tax, yet account for 70% of the same releases of GHG into the global atmosphere?
Trudeau is demanding a cross-Canada carbon tax, but it will do nothing to reduce global carbon emissions. His carbon tax isn’t an environmental plan, it’s a tax plan.
Take that to the bank if you can afford it. Take it to the polling booth if you can’t.
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. All posts by Roger McKnight