Trying to figure out motives and agendas in debates on sustainability can sometimes be a waste of time. Other times, it seems obvious.
In a report released at the end of June, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) said TC Energy should receive no compensation for the US government’s cancelling of KeystoneXL. “Rather,” Bloomberg reported, CCPA argued the case “represents an important chance” for both Canadian and US governments “to defend their ability to pursue climate-friendly public policy without being forced to ‘unjustly’ enrich impacted investors.”
In other words, the media described CCPA as urging the Canadian government to oppose a Canadian energy company that was harmed by a US government decision while operating in good faith under the rules of the Canada – US – Mexico Trade Agreement (CUSMA), and that the company should receive no compensation.
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To be fair, CCPA, the public policy think-tank for Canadian labour, takes a somewhat complicated tactical view over whether Canada should stand down on the current dispute for fear of losing a couple of future decisions.
That may be worth considering, but I’ll leave the tactical questions to experts. I’ll only say the following:
While CCPA urges the Canadian government to intervene in favour of the US side and to abandon the Canadian side in the current Keystone XL dispute, Canada’s lunch is at risk of being devoured by our competitors.
Just take a quick tour through recent headlines compiled by the International Energy Agency that works with countries worldwide to shape energy policy for a secure and sustainable future. Some examples:
“Energy trade between Mexico and the US reached a record $81.9 billion in 2022.”
“LNG-exporting Gulf Coast states drove US natural gas demand growth.”
“US production of petroleum and other liquids to be driven by international demand.”
The US capitalizes on its strength in energy infrastructure, and Canada struggles. So, for the CCPA to pitch so explicitly for US energy interests against a Canadian company seems to show that Canadian fossil fuel opponents will do what they can to derail Canada’s prosperity.
But there’s another headline making the rounds that’s worth a look, especially if you’re an advocate of Canada’s vital government programs like health care, education and housing (among many others). It’s an Edmonton Journal headline that provides important context for the sustainability argument:
“Alberta posts historically high $11.6B surplus in 2022, spurred by oil revenues.”
This country’s vast natural resources, paired with Canada’s leadership position in renewables and climate mitigation - and supported by our strong record on environment, health, safety and Indigenous and non-Indigenous rights - should motivate CCPA to back Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers, communities and families.
How could it not?
A key excuse for pipeline obstructionism in Canada since 2010 was that oil demand was going to decline…— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) July 13, 2023
The reality is oil demand is set to hit a record high this year, and these protests have kept 🇨🇦 and the 🌎 more reliant on other suppliers. https://t.co/7pqYhXolkB
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