Commentary – A made-in-home solution

Mac Olsen
The Wildrose Party certainly made the right call last week with their motion to encourage the federal government to end the purchase of ‘dictator oil’.

Wildrose Shadow Economic Development Minister Prasad Panda made the following motion in the Alberta legislature:

“Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the federal government to develop strategies to facilitate the building of pipelines within
Canada to ensure security of supply to the Canadian market thereby shifting Canada away from buying oil from countries with oppressive dictatorships.”

However, in an article in the Edmonton Journal on May 8, Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd says the best way for the Opposition to lobby for pipelines is to support her government’s climate leadership plan.

Sorry, minister, but the best policy for Alberta and Canada is to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. We have enough of our own oil that we shouldn’t have to depend on it from other countries.

And given President Donald Trump’s recent veiled threats of protectionism against Canada’s petroleum industry – yes, he did approve the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year, which I am happy about – it’s all the more reason why Canada has to look to its own energy independence.

I take issue with this government’s “climate change” agenda. It’s a needless tax grab that won’t produce any “green jobs” or viable “green energy” alternatives, and the “science” comes from left-wing groups that want to kill off Alberta’s petroleum industry outright.

Moreover, the fact that the petroleum industry is struggling to recover from the international oil price collapse, and the fact that companies like ConocoPhillips have sold or are selling off their interests in oilsands projects – these things don’t result in getting pipelines built or creating jobs for Albertans and other Canadians.

Of course, there’s the politics of the National Energy Board and the proposed Energy East pipeline. The NEB still requires the appointment of new members before the hearings can resume.

And there’s also the Quebec government’s opposition to the Energy East pipeline to overcome. Quebec should realize that this pipeline is for its benefit and the benefit of the Maritimes. Those provinces would depend less on foreign oil and could tap into a made-in-Canada solution.

I also shake my head when I hear environmentalists denouncing Alberta’s petroleum industry as “dirty oil”. I never hear them denouncing countries like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and others for their environmental records and for human rights abuses.

It’s so easy for celebrities like Jane Fonda and musician Neil Young to travel to Fort McMurray and denounce our petroleum industry.

Why don’t they go to those countries and make the same pronouncements? I find that very hypocritical.

In the end, this NDP government will likely turn down Panda’s motion. However, he’s drawing attention to the fact that Albertans and Canadians should develop our petroleum industry to the point where we can be energy independent.

That’s far more pragmatic than touting a climate change strategy that does nothing to bring jobs and prosperity to Albertans and Canadians.

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