The Globe’s recent editorial “Only new pipelines can close Canada’s yawning oil-price gap” leaves a few things out of the discussion.
The first is who’s responsible.
Oil companies have no one to blame for their current situation but themselves. They were the ones that decided to over build and ignore all the warning signs that new pipeline capacity would not be coming on line any time soon. Instead, they decided to put the blinders on, ignore previous decisions over Northern Gateway and Keystone XL and believe with enough back room lobbying they could bulldoze over Indigenous rights, procedural fairness, and the courts. Unfortunately for them they can’t.
The second thing left out of the discussion is climate change – the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. The International Panel on Climate Change laid out pretty clearly what Canada, and every country around the planet, needs to do if we are to avert global climate catastrophe. Their forecast – emissions need be cut in half in the next 12 years and drop to net zero by 2050.
Where in that scenario do new pipelines that unlock new tar sands operations fit? The clear answer is they don’t. Building new 30-40 year fossil fuel infrastructure is a sure way to catastrophe.
Rather than discussing how to hasten our global demise and get a better price for it we should be talking about we turn the ship around, how we scale down production and support workers and their families in the process.
We should be talking about a green new deal and about how to democratize our energy systems and revitalize our communities with local, green energy production.
These are the conversations we should be having. Conversations that lead us out of the problem rather than deeper into it but sadly our national leaders seem to have their heads buried in the tar sands.