LETTER: Oil industry needs to take a leading role in sustainability

Hope resident Art Green shares his views on propaganda about the oil industry

For all those on both sides of the tar sands debate, the truth is far different from what is being preached by either Premier Notley or Prime Minister Trudeau.

If we truly want to get to the best result for the Canadian economy and minimize the impact on jobs in the Alberta petroleum industry, we need to know the truth, and not politically-motivated, manufactured propaganda.

The premier and prime minister’s constant misrepresentation of Alberta’s oil industry has created mass divisions throughout the national constituency.

These divisions have created false narratives that anyone opposing their ideas is anti-Canadian, immoral, and whose only agenda is to destroy our economy.

These manufactured philosophies couldn’t be further from the truth.

Given the option, all of my clan would purchase all of our energy supplies from Canadian refineries, if we could only identify where our fuel needs come from.

This is the leading edge of our opposition. Exporting our natural resources at a loss is far from the best use of our resources or the economy.

One only has to look at Alberta’s Kearl Mine facility which has increased its production to 244,000 barrels.

Through their own refining, they have value-added and doubled their production income to $749 million in its latest quarter.

One should also note that Suncor’s facility is not subject to the huge price differential so discouragingly and repetitively narrated by the Alberta premier and her Conservative counterparts.

This is because Suncor upgrades its raw crude and refines heavy oil into gasoline.

Husky Oil has recently shown that value adding our petroleum production, has showed a 48 per cent increase in profits in refining bitumen and feeding its asphalt production facilities, as well as gasoline.

The National Observer recently put out a story that only 20 per cent of tar sands production is subject to the price differential, but if you listen to the political rhetoric, it has been the bane of the Canadian economy.

But, this is only because Alberta governments of all political stripes have failed at promoting and refining value-added Canadian product.

In fact, Alberta’s recent production cuts will punish Suncor, Husky and Imperial Oil for value adding its production, while subsidizing companies who have failed at value-adding its product.

As far as pipeline capacity goes, there’s a 125,000 barrels of air flowing through the Enbridge mainline, due to over-capacity booking of space. This has been a long standing dispute between Enbridge and the regulator, who has failed to change it.

So this manufactured crisis of the Alberta oil industry is only a crisis for a minority of companies, created by overbooking pipeline capacity and the failure of current and past federal governments to amend regulations, so as it will no longer continue.

So what is with all the misrepresentation, in order to increase production that we can’t realistically get a sustainable price for or a reliable market?

Personally, I believe this is the perfect opportunity for the Canadian petroleum industry to adjust itself and take a leading role in the adaptation to cleaner and renewable energy systems.

Petroleum production will become a major factor in transitioning to near carbon free emissions.

Though burning of fossil fuels for an energy source must come to an end if want to survive as a species, it will be essential in the manufacturing of clean energy systems.

We’ll need this petroleum resource for the creation of light weight components, such as plastics and aluminum for solar panels and wind turbines, etc.

So it’s time to dismiss all this political bickering and roll up our sleeves.

We literally have a planet to save, and a very small window, to get it done.

It’s time to change our motivation from political to sustainable.

After all, the transition to clean and renewable energy systems will be the greatest economic catalyst the world will ever see.

–Art Green, Hope

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