Imagine if you chose to live your life saying “no” to everything that came your way. It’s hard to fathom, because there are times when you have to say “yes,” and there are also times when you have to sit back and reflect on the information you have first before making a decision.
With the anti-Canadian energy crowd, however, it's always a “no” regardless if the facts show that Canadian energy projects are beneficial to the global environment.
These opponents say "no" to pipelines that are the safest way to transport oil and gas, energy commodities that will be around for a very long time given the latest demand projections.
They say "no" to projects like Bay du Nord, an offshore Canadian oil development expected to have greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensities well below the global average.
They also say "no" to Canadian LNG projects with the potential to displace more emission-intensive forms of power generation overseas.
One analysis found that a fully developed LNG Canada could reduce global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 82 megatonnes (MT), the equivalent of taking 18 million cars off the road.
That's no small potatoes.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says coal-to-gas switching has prevented 500 million MT of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere since 2010 and that natural gas will be a critical transition fuel in the years to come.
No surprise here, but anti-Canadian energy activists also say "no" to coal-to-gas switching, and "no" to natural gas.
Anti-energy activists frequently misinform the public about our world-class natural resources sector, hoping that Canadians will believe the anti-energy rhetoric and also say “no” to new projects despite the facts.
One of the most common pieces of misinformation from said "environmentalists" is that Indigenous communities do not support pipelines like Coastal GasLink and the Trans Mountain Expansion.
Sure, some Indigenous groups oppose these projects, but what about the vast majority of First Nations saying “yes” to them?
For example, 120 out of 129 Indigenous groups potentially affected by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion either support it or do not oppose it. Also, while a handful of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs oppose Coastal Gaslink, the elected councils of all 20 First Nations along the pipeline's proposed route – including the Wet’suwet’en’s elected leaders – support the project.
Opponents of Canadian energy would never dare to mention the majority ownership stake in TMX being sought by Indigenous coalitions, or the 10 per cent equity ownership stake obtained by 16 First Nations in the Coastal GasLink project.
We all know why.
Don't get us wrong, it's important to listen to all voices in the conversation for a more balanced perspective. But a fact-based and informed discussion is not what these anti-Canadian energy activists want.
They also promote the notion that Canadian LNG projects will be disastrous for global emissions.
One study by an ENGO-aligned earth scientist suggests BC LNG to Asia “…will not reduce global climate emissions as industry claim,” which goes on to say that Canadian LNG will actually have the opposite effect and increase emissions worldwide.
On the other hand, research groups at Stanford University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary conducted three independent life cycle assessments of a potential LNG supply chain from Canada to China.
They all concluded that Canadian LNG to China for power and heat generation, when compared with coal, could accomplish a 34 to 62 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generated.
It's important to note that all three university groups conducted their research seperately and without contact. They also made a declaration of competing interest, stating:
“The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.”
Which study above would you believe – or say “yes” to?
Despite new Canadian energy infrastructure benefitting the global environment in various ways, opponents will never give them a “yes” no matter the circumstances. For whatever reason, their usual response is “no” as they turn a blind eye to the emission-reducing benefits these projects can bring to the world.
This always “no” attitude is not fair for Canadians, nor is it very realistic given the projected growth in global oil and gas demand over the next few decades.
Quite frankly, we need to start saying "yes" to Canadian energy while having a more balanced and informed conversation about our role to play in the world’s future energy mix.
Global energy supply shortages over the past few years have highlighted the need for more responsibly produced Canadian oil and gas on world markets. Additionally, energy security concerns have pushed governments to seek out new stable and reliable suppliers for the job.
Canada is one of the most stable and responsible energy producers in the world. By continually saying "no" to Canada, anti-energy activists are essentially saying "yes" to ceding market share to often less stable producer countries with much weaker protections for human rights and the environment.
It's also peculiar that these groups say "no" to Canadian energy, but show no opposition to the billions of dollars worth of oil we import from dictator and autocratic nations abroad every year.
If these activists were serious about the environment, they would champion our made-at-home energy projects. Our energy sector is a global leader in new emission-reducing innovations and spends the most on cleantech and environmental protection of any industry in the country.
Our oil sands sector, for example (responsible for ~63% of Canada’s production in 2019), has reduced its GHG emissions intensity per barrel by 44 per cent since 1995.
Oil sands producers have also invested more than $9.3 billion into research and development since 2009 – notably higher than other major global oil producers on a per barrel basis.
Additionally, Canada decreased its total volume of gas flared from oil and gas operations by 42 per cent between 2015 and 2019. We are now responsible for just a fraction of a percentage point of total gas flaring emissions associated with oil and gas production globally.
These are just a few examples of our global leadership amongst the world's top energy producers on Environmental, Social and Governance metrics.
If Canada isn't producing the energy the world needs, then another country will. Canadians should want as much global energy market share as possible because we are one of the most environmentally conscious energy producers on earth; we owe it to the planet, as a responsible steward and major producer of natural resources.
For as long as global energy demand is expected to grow and remain robust, saying “no” to Canadian oil and gas won’t get us far in helping fight against climate change, nor will it benefit our resource families here at home.
Inadvertently, a "no" to Canada is a "yes" to other producer countries who often just don't care as much about the things that we do i.e. democracy, human rights and the environment.
What country do you want the world’s future energy supply to come from?
It's time we all take a more balanced approach toward our world-class natural resource sectors, including anti-Canadian energy opponents.
It’s time to say “yes” to Canadian energy projects, and “yes” to a more balanced discussion.
if you agree with our message or are curious about what we do, we invite you to join us at Canada Action on social media today! We hope to see you there!
Share this page to spread the word.
Did you know that Canada is the world’s fourth-largest producer and exporter of oil and is also the fourth-largest producer and sixth largest exporter of natural gas? Generating tens of billions in government revenues each year and employing hundreds of thousands of Canadians...
Canada’s oilsands industry is well-positioned to be a reliable, sustainable source of crude oil for decades to come says a newly released report by BMO Capital Markets. Survivor Canada: The Unparalleled Position of Canadian Oil in a Transition Challenge lays out several facts...
It’s another year, and who would of thought that amid skyrocketing energy prices and widespread supply shortages, Hollywood celebrities would continue trying to use their influence to shut down Canadian pipelines.Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. But amid a new global discus...