By Hugh Holland
I recently viewed a video titled Canadian Energy – Plan B by Mr. Chris Sublicki, engineer, investment banker, entrepreneur, and CEO of Modern Resources. After ten years of research, it is the most up-to-date and realistic presentation I have found on this subject. I would encourage everyone interested in our environment and economy to invest 30 minutes in watching it, and then write down the points you disagree with, if there are any.
Before presenting his Plan B, Mr. Sublicki reviews the key facts around what he calls Plan A, that spanned the last 20 years:
- Canada is the world’s fifth largest oil producer with the world’s third largest proven oil reserves.
- Canada has been moving oil safely and efficiently by pipeline for 70 years since 1950.
- Canada has the world’s most responsible regulations on oil extraction and pipelines. Does Venezuela, US, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Nigeria have better environmental regulations than Canada?
- Canada continues to make progress and lead the world in responsible extraction and shipping.
- We have allowed US environmental activists and celebrities to pour millions of dollars into stirring up the fight that stifled development of energy resources in Canada, while oil production in their own country nearly tripled from five million barrels per day in 2006 to 13 million in 2018. Oil production in Canada increased by only 1.8 million barrels per day from 2.5 to 4.3. And global consumption increased from 85 to 99 million barrels per day.
- While Canadians spent the last 20 years arguing and fighting about conflicts between energy production and the environment, our carbon emissions have increased.
- And due to lack of pipelines, Canada has been losing $25 billion (That’s $25,000 million) per year to US price discounting. We are now seeing an exodus of billions of investment dollars and jobs from every province to the US because of decisions made months before it was clear that the Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge Main line upgrade would be built.
- A doubling of gasoline prices since 2006 has failed to curb rising gasoline consumption.
- Governments are spending billions on expanding airports in Vancouver and Montreal (including jet fuel pipelines) while advocating for a zero-carbon economy by 2050. That is entirely irrational.
- Canada produces 1.6 per cent of global emissions (Oil and Gas production is 23 per cent of the1.6 per cent). Canada could shut down completely (stop all transportation, manufacturing, heating and eating) and have no significant impact on global emissions. However, as a developed country, we have an obligation to set a good example for others, and to help supply the energy that many do not have.
So, what can be done?
Fossil fuel use can be reduced from 80 per cent to 20 per cent of global energy, but zero per cent by 2050 is a pipe dream. Liberals argue for aggressive reduction of GHG emissions. Conservatives argue for development of our energy resources and infrastructure. We can and must do both.
Canadians need to stop fighting among themselves. We need to start 2020 with a rational and informed discussion on how to reduce GHG emissions while sharing our abundant energy resources with energy-poor countries that have none.
Plan B provides a roadmap for Canada to lead the above transition from the current fossil fuel economy to a clean energy economy, rather than be crippled by it.
- Individuals, business, governments must Invest in efficiency improvements across energy spectrum
- Do what you think, say and expect others must do. Save emissions and money.
- Cars and trucks, urban transit, Oil and Gas production, residential and commercial buildings (triple-glazed windows, LED lighting, District heating)
- Replace emissions sources with LOWER emissions sources where technology currently allows
- Replace coal with natural gas for electricity generation in Alberta and Saskatchewan
- Build energy resources and infrastructure in Canada to the highest standards in the world
- Rapidly deploy the latest developments in solar power generation and storage, nuclear power generation, and pipeline safety and capacity. Use small modular nuclear reactors to replace gas heat for oil extraction to achieve ZERO-EMISSION oil-sands extraction.
- Export Canadian energy best practices to help other nations reduce their GHGs
- Canada is already recognized as having best practice in many areas such as nuclear power, hydro power, pipeline construction, and marine transportation
- Invest in additional Canadian technology to reduce GHG concentrations
- Carbon capture and storage, clean hydrogen production from natural gas.
Hugh Holland is a retired engineering and manufacturing executive now living in Huntsville, Ontario.
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