In character, 350.org misrepresents recent reports from Parliamentary Budget Officer and Canadian Energy Regulator.
They claimed that recent reports by the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Canadian Energy Regulator gave evidence to suggest that the country no longer needed pipelines and any expansion would kill Canada’s prospects for fighting global emissions.
Anyone that reads the reports will find that they are reports of financial and production models based on hypothetical scenarios. This did not stop 350.org from cherry-picking the hypothetical scenarios where developing countries’ energy needs shrink in the future. They then used the hypothetical future where the global economy doesn’t need energy, to illogically conclude the Trans Mountain expansion is therefore uneconomical.
They also forgot to mention that the oil companies who contracted for the pipeline would remain financially responsible for TMX even under the highly unlikely circumstances the world needs less energy.
Most reports show that demand for reliable energy is indeed growing and the need for oil and natural gas is expanding rapidly in developing non-OECD countries. The large oil-producing companies who bear the financial risk have bet their balance sheets on a future where Canadian oil remains in high demand globally.
The 350.org argument amounts to: there is a spreadsheet model that shows if the world doesn’t need oil then the world won’t need oil so you should sign our petition against the TMX pipeline.
In the real world, the population is growing. Mostly outside OECD nations. These countries will need a lot of energy to expand their economies and increase their quality of life. Meeting this demand while at the same time lowering our existing environmental footprint is the challenge we need to meet.
This is an opportunity for Canada to maintain its global leadership in energy production. Canadians are very well positioned to be a champion for global emissions reductions, and as humanitarians for helping non-OECD countries reach their human development goals.
Canada is hands down, the best in the world supplier of oil and gas, and supplying developing countries with our reliable energy sources can help increase their quality of life and boost their economies with the lowest impacts on the environment. We outperform in the environmental, social, and governance rankings and will only get better as the oil and gas industry continues to innovate its way to low emissions oil and gas.
Growing evidence suggests that by producing more products in Canada with lower emissions than the global competition we actually do more to reduce global emissions than taxing and regulating them. If you think about it, does it make sense to have more taxes and regulations on low emissions products or high emissions products?
Navius Research found that by producing emissions-intensive, trade-exposed products like aluminum in Canada, emissions lowered globally. This is because of the obvious point that emissions are a global issue, not a local issue so policies should be looking at global impacts, not local impacts. Another thing 350.org doesn’t tell you is the reports filed with the Canadian Energy Regulator showed that the TMX pipeline will reduce net global emissions.
“Keep It In The Ground” activists never acknowledge that their campaigns to keep Canadian oil and gas out of global markets creates space for less environmentally conscious producers to supply the growing demand. When we reduce the production of local Canadian products with lower emissions, we just cause carbon leakage where the emissions aren’t reduced, they are just displaced.
At such a critical time in history, over 500,000 families that live in neighbourhoods like yours across the country need their oil and gas job more than ever. Our fellow Canadians who work in the oil and gas industry are the best in the world and are needed more than ever to meet the challenge of global emissions reduction. Leading the way in producing more energy with a lower environmental footprint is something activists and governments would help the planet most, by supporting more Canada in global energy markets.
However, if these anti-progress, anti-development groups are successful with misinforming the public about reports like the one from the Parliamentary Budget Office, the world and our environment might be worse off.