The war in Ukraine has pushed global energy security and responsible supply chains further into the limelight, while also disrupting energy development plans in many countries that have turned coal power plants back on and restarted discussions for nuclear power.
Amid critical supply shortages unlike any other seen in generations, Germany, Latvia and other EU member states have all asked Canada for more energy resources. With vast oil and natural gas reserves, our country is an ideal candidate to step up and help Europe as a sustainable and reliable energy source.
However, Canada has seemed hesitant thus far to pursue new LNG export facilities – particularly on the east coast – while other nations see the incredible economic opportunity and are jumping in to fill the global LNG supply gap.
Scott Thompson, host of Hamilton Today on 900 CHML, joins Cody Battershill, Founder and Chief Spokesperson of Canada Action, to discuss how Canadian energy can provide energy security to our allies and trade partners while having a positive effect on the climate.
Or, keep reading for everything said between Cody and Scott, and also be sure to check out some of our other radio events below:
- DEBATE: Should Canada Be Taxing the “Excess Profits” of Energy Companies?
- DEBATE: Does the Oil & Gas Divestment Campaign Hurt or Help Canadians?
- DEBATE: Does Sebastian Vettel’s Oil Sands Rhetoric Hurt or Help Us?
Why We Can Support Both Canadian Energy & the Environment
Scott: You know, it's amazing, for the longest time, Canadians were just kind of in denial about our Canadian energy industry. Lost was the desire for Canadians to be self-sufficient, energy self-sufficient. Lost was the idea that we could take our clean, for example, liquid natural gas and supply that to real polluters that are burning coal.
We certainly know what's going on with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the weaponization of natural gas. There's a time when no one seemed to care about any of that stuff. And then all of a sudden there was a global pandemic and life completely changed. And we are where we are now with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what we see.
So, in a poll, a strong majority of Canadians believe that liquid natural gas can help improve energy security, help us to be self-sufficient, and of course, help the rest of the world, even if we have less than 2% of greenhouse gases and we cut it down to one.
Although we're taxed to the bejeebers and our lifestyle changes, how much do the differences that actually make as opposed to helping those countries that are 20% and 30% getting off coal?
Let's bring in Cody Battershill, founder of Canada Action, a national resource advocacy group and is with us. Now.
Cody, thank you for the time. I hope you're doing well.
Cody: Hey Scott, thanks for having me. I really appreciate being on the show.
Scott: I know that attitudes out west are way different from what they are here, but I'm starting to see the position change. Even in the east.
Are Canadian's attitudes changing about our energy industry and the need for us to be energy self-sufficient and help others? We can save the planet by helping others get off dirtier forms of energy than ours. Are we seeing those attitudes change?
Cody: You know, Scott, I really think we are. And this poll goes to show that at a national level, a strong majority, more than 70%, know that we could take our clean natural gas, export it to the world, which would lower emissions by helping to replace coal. And now a coal fired power generation.
Now we know what's going on in Ukraine, that it's not just about the environment, it's also about people and families and human rights. Energy security is absolutely critical as well. And Canada is a leader in that reliable supply.
We can support wind, solar, natural gas, nuclear, oil. We need all of the above because energy demand is growing and demand for all of the above is growing.
Canada has a really important role to play and I think at a national level, from the Atlantic coast to the coast of BC, we are a huge producer of resources and oil and gas, mining, forestry, agriculture, you name it.
The world needs more Canadian resources. It's a positive message we can all get behind.
Scott: And Cody, I'm glad that you said this too, because I've talked to so many experts that have said the same thing, and for some reason, this discussion always happens on the fringes or the extremes.
And what you said was, and I've talked to many energy experts who have said the same thing, the future will include renewables, but until we get there, it's going to be a mixed bag of fossil fuels, renewables, whatever it is, to get us through all of this. It's a bit of everything, isn't it?
Cody: It's absolutely a mix of everything. We have a record that we can all, as Canadians, hold our heads high and be proud of. We're a leader in wind. We're a leader in renewables already. We're a leader in reducing emissions from our oil and gas production. We're a leader in carbon capture. We're a leader in hydro and nuclear power generation.
And we need to get... When we have our LNG facilities built, we will have the lowest emissions on Earth for liquefied natural gas. That, in my mind, is an absolute no-brainer, so to speak, because it's Canadian jobs, Canadian communities, Canadian revenues for government, and lower global emissions.
As the world demand for natural gas grows and grows and grows, and so too, as the demand for wind and solar grows, we can mine those critical metals and minerals required for those energy sources in Canada as well.
We can support all of the above working together while protecting the environment and providing the energy security the world needs.
Scott: The Prime Minister recently said he couldn't see a business case for natural gas, which I just find absolutely astounding considering everybody's house. And if it's not that, it's something worse. Is heated with natural gas.
Is there a business case for this? We keep hearing, oh, yeah, in five years this won't be needed. But gee whiz, five years ago, has things changed? They really haven't. So is there a business case for this?
Cody: In the last ten years, Canada had almost 20 LNG projects proposed by private business ready to make multi-billion dollar investments. And unfortunately, a lot of those investments left Canada. And instead they happened in Australia, they happened in the United States, they happened in countries like Qatar. Those are the world's three largest LNG exporters.
The German chancellor who came to Canada just went to Qatar, and Qatar said they're signing deals to give Europe and Germany more LNG in five to seven years from now. There is absolutely a business case, which is why Nigeria is going to send more LNG to Europe.
Argentina is going to build their first LNG facility. The United Arab Emirates. Norway. Australia. The United States. Mexico is looking at building LNG. All of these other countries recognize the reality that natural gas demand is going to grow and grow and grow.
So let's seize this important opportunity for Canada, maybe streamline some of the regulatory hurdles and attracting investment to Canada is the right move for families, for communities, and for the environment.
Let's get it done. Let's work together.
Scott: Has Canada shut down its Canadian energy industry before viable alternatives have been there? I mean, are we caught with our pants down here?
Cody: Well, you know, Canada is importing a lot of oil. We've been importing oil from places like Saudi Arabia. We were importing oil and refined products from Russia over the last decade.
We aren't completely self sufficient, and we should be. And we have hurt local families.
We've seen investment. For example, several years ago, the Norwegian National Oil Company sold their assets in Alberta because Greenpeace was protesting in Norway. Then they invested in Brazil. And all of these protests against responsibly produced oil and gas from our neighbours and our family members in Canada, our fellow Canadians, all of these protests, it hasn't reduced demand by a single barrel.
Demand has never been higher. Demand is still growing. And all of the Green groups, so to speak, all they've done is help other countries, other suppliers that have weaker climate, environment, human rights standards. That's not a win for Canadians and it is not a win for the environment.
Scott: Do Canadians do you think Cody really have a grasp of this issue? Are they simply reading the headlines and, "yeah, we got to save the planet," let's move on, without even really following where this is going or how we ended up where we are now?
Cody: Yeah, energy is really complex.
The fact is, natural gas is not just heat for homes. Natural gas allows a lot of industrial processes to happen. Natural gas actually helps make fertilizer that's feeding half the world right now. So it is very complex.
As Canadians, we have to try to cut through the polarization, raise the level of decorum, work together, and understand that small businesses, manufacturing operations, and supply chain businesses in Ontario are helping the energy industry in the Atlantic provinces and the energy industry out west.
Mining, forestry, agriculture, renewables, oil and gas, we all win as Canadians when we work together as provinces and as a country.
And so at Canada Action, and people can check us out on social media, our website, order some free stickers. We're trying to educate, to invite collaboration.
We're very proud of our record on renewables, but we're very realistic as well as proud about our world-leading record on oil and gas, human rights, and the environment as well.
Scott: It's going to take a mixed bag to get us out of this.
Cody Battershill with the founder of Canada Action, national resource advocacy group, a new poll Canadian sea our energy products as a boost to global sustainability and self-sustainability.
Cody, thanks for the time. Be well.
Cody: Thank you so much.
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