by Blaine Geddes, PhD. (Mech. Eng.)
The recent cancellation of the Frontier oil sands project by Teck Resources is an issue that should be a serious wake up call to all Canadians. The project represented a $1.1 B investment by Teck before they shelved their plans. Despite a recommendation of approval in 2013 by a joint committee of Environment Canada and Alberta Energy Regulator representatives, the Liberal government waffled and vacillated on approving the project until Teck, burdened with the uncertainty, finally withdrew its application. Shafting western resource companies is a pattern with this government.
The Trudeau government changed the rules during the Energy East development driving Trans Canada out of the project. With ineptitude and inaction they watched Kinder Morgan bail out of their Trans Mountain project dumping it on the Canadian taxpayers for us to watch costs explode to the point where it is unlikely to ever be economic and may never be finished. They quashed Northern Gateway outright costing Enbridge their investment. Encana smartly moved to a friendlier jurisdiction and is now headquartered in the USA, rebranded as Ovintiv to disguise their Canadian origins and business component to investors. Trans Canada Corporation also found it advantageous from a brand marketing standpoint to edit out their Canadian association and are now simply known as TC Energy. The government tolerance of the recent bandit rail blockades by slothful fanatics adds insult to injury helping to land lock Canadian oil and other commodities. The government’s response to the illegal rail infrastructure paralysis was only to spew empty infantile platitudes urging dialogue amid the anarchy.
In his letter to the federal minister Wilkinson, Don Lindsay, CEO of Teck Resources, effectively, but in a nuanced way, cites political uncertainty in Canada as a reason for cancelling the project (https://www.teck.com/news/news-releases/2020/teck-withdraws-regulatory-application-for-frontier-project). To have major resource projects abandoned because of political uncertainty puts us in the same league as such distinguished nations as Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, and a long list of banana republics. Investors will now have good reason to be very wary of backing resource development projects in Canada.
The motivation by the government is a concern over carbon emissions despite the fact that Teck Resources has announced a goal of carbon emission neutrality by 2050 (https://www.teck.com/news/news-releases/2020/teck-announces-goal-of-carbon-neutrality-by-2050), they are a signatory to the Paris Pledge for Action, and they are advocates of carbon pricing (https://www.teck.com/responsibility/sustainability-topics/energy-and-climate-change/).
For scant evidence of impending calamity, a modest 3.6 mm/year of sea level rise (https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level), and a planet that is 0.8o C warmer over the 1951-1980 baseline average (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/global-temperatures) because of our 200 years of industrial huffing and puffing that so happens to have enabled the pampered lives we all enjoy, we are told to panic, and are apparently doing so, by an ignorant malcontent attention-seeking hypocritical dropout school girl who instantly becomes a media darling embraced as a champion of science.
If Saint Greta is really committed to making a difference, she should shut up and go back to school and learn to engineer some solutions instead of advocating for the destruction of our industry and economy and possibly the foundations of liberty responsible for building the greatest societies on the planet. It is notable that Miss Thunberg didn’t choose to protest coal-fired power plant construction in China, or Iranian or Saudi Arabian oil facilities, undoubtedly because she would have been quickly silenced and jailed. She chose to protest Canadian oil because she could get away with it.
By acquiescing to the destruction of our oil sector we are handing the profits to the far less environmentally scrupulous producers of the world like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. The world will still burn the oil whether we produce it or not. Junior seems to have tacitly concocted his own National Energy Program that is even far more destructive than that of his father. The only climate crisis in Canada is in our political climate and Canadians should wake up and fix it before it is too late. 0.8 degrees of global warming will seem paltry to the destructive torrent that a government of ignoramuses driven by mass hysteria can unleash.
These are embarrassing times to have to admit to being Canadian.