Those of us who work in the oil & gas industry generally understand the sources of energy that power our way of life – where it comes from and what it takes to get to market. It’s a specialized field, and broad understanding takes years.
We also have developed an understanding of how cheap energy has enabled the dynamic way of life we take for granted. Oil patch observers tend to watch the Paris climate talks unfold with, let’s say, something less than admiration, because that group clearly doesn’t. The whole conference looks like a sub-industry of ignorant bureaucrats and anti-business zealots promoting various loathsome agendas on the back of faulty science.
And maybe the oil patch is right. Maybe they are all delusional people looking to line their pockets one way or another. Carry on with that line of thinking if you wish, but if you do, consider the impacts of that position all the way through, and where it will get you. Does the phrase ‘Keystone XL’ ring any bells?
Energy production is dirty, period. Solar panels don’t magically blossom in nature like butterflies. It is not possible to make a wind turbine with the power generated by wind turbines. Cheap energy underpins all green developments. Yes, no one wants an oil spill off the beautiful BC coast, but why are we then ok with monstrous toxic bogs in China where rare earth minerals are processed to produce the building blocks of green energy production?
It’s because we have an open society, and free media, and fear wins every time. In the media race, the oil and gas industry has not even gotten its shoes tied and the starting pistol went off two minutes ago. No one is scared that we’ll run out of cheap energy, because the industry does everything in its power to drive prices down, and we’re good at it. It comes down to messaging, an unheard of art for the oil and gas business. You can stand there all day with your bucket of facts and no one cares, a predicament that pipeline companies still don’t seem to get.
Right or wrong, the bureaucrats and fear mongers have crafted a program that will impact us all. Our status quo response tends to be hope that their policies will be toothless and/or unenforceable. Another option is to be pragmatic and listen to what our children are being taught in schools and adapt to that reality, which is as much a fact as the number of cubic meters of oil that didn’t spill last year. It’s not a cop out, it’s adapting to a new business variable that exists now that didn’t exist 30 years ago, just as 30 years ago, we learned to adapt to new realities of that era.
Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here