As the second largest country in the world, Canada is fortunate to have an incredible diversity and wealth of natural resources which play an important part in its high standard of living and national economy.
One of the best illustrations of this is the fact that in 2017, the oil sands supported and created nearly 225,000 direct and indirect jobs across the nation. Many of these jobs were found outside Alberta as well in the manufacturing-heavy provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Meanwhile, over the next two decades, its estimated that the oil sands industry will pay $1.7 trillion in provincial and federal taxes including royalties. As Canadians, we would do well to never forget what would happen if Canada began selling its oil and natural gas at full market price.
There needs to be added pipeline capacity to the coasts for access to international markets for this to happen. The added economic benefits and national prosperity would be huge!
Currently, the WCS blend is selling at up to $40 discount compared to WTI; we lose out on tens of millions of dollars a day because of this
From these facts, it’s evident that the responsible development of Canadian resources is a good thing for Canada… but is it good for the environment? As a matter of fact, yes!
Just How Committed is Canada to the Environment?
Companies involved in extraction and production of Canada’s natural resources are required to operate to some of the highest environmental standards in the world.
They know that with such a great opportunity comes great responsibility, which is why protecting the environment through sustainable development, ongoing research and technological advancements is their top priority.
However, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s some quick examples on how Canada is a leader when it comes to protecting the environment:
Canada is a Leading Environmental Steward…
Canada is a world leader when it comes to climate policy. Of the world’s top 10 oil exporting nations, it’s the only one who has implemented carbon pricing initiatives.
Canada is a world leader when it comes to producing and using energy created from hydro, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and marine energy. These renewable sources accounted for over 65 percent of its total electricity generation in 2015.
In September of 2012, Canada became the first country in the world to ban new coal plants that used traditional technology. In the first 21 years of effect, these regulations are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 214 megatonnes - equivalent to emissions from nearly 5 oil sands industries!
Between 1990 and 2012, GHG emissions for every barrel of oil sands crude was reduced by 30%. Innovation, technology and a “can-do” attitude drives economic prosperity and job creation in our natural resource sector. Global demand for oil is increasing and will for many years to come. Which country would you want to buy your oil from?
Alberta – home to the oil sands – was the first province in Canada to embrace wind power in 1993 and had the first North American industrial GHG emission regulations. It also has had a carbon tax on oil production since 2007. No other major oil exporter to the USA has a carbon tax on oil production.
Canada has set a carbon emission reduction target of 30% by the year 2030. Today, Canada is responsible for emitting just 1.6% of global GHG emissions and has one of the lowest GHG emitting electricity systems in the world!
In 2014, Canadian businesses spent around $11.8 billion on environmental protection, $6.5 billion of which was spent by companies in the oil sands. More than half of this was invested into technology and innovation designed to reduce pollution in all aspects of operations over the long-term.
Contrary to the drumbeat of doom we hear from every green group opposing pipelines and resource development in Canada, we are a leader in renewable energy. As a matter of fact, over $45 billion has been spent on renewable energy projects in Canada over the past five years.
In 2010, Canada’s natural resources were responsible for generating 46.2% of all manufacturing, 58.3% of all merchandise exports and 61% of all business investment in Canada.
Alberta law requires energy companies to completely reclaim any land disturbed by mining or drilling operations. These companies are required to develop an in-depth reclamation plan that spans the life of the project – anywhere up to 80 years – which includes monitoring, fertilization, seeding and landforming to name a few.
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These are just a few facts on Canada’s performance from an environmental viewpoint. Let’s be proud of our country as we continually improve – it’s the Canadian way!
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Sources: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Government of Alberta, Government of Canada