Why I Chose Canada’s Energy Sector

Delmoy Daley, a Jamaican-Born Petroleum Technologist Living in Canada, is Shocked at Canadians Not Being Proud of their Own

drilling rig on green prairies in Alberta

“You will never know the worth of something until it is lost” - Grandmas around the world. I grew up on this proverb and have learned over the years that we should always cherish the things we have that make us the best version of our self.

As a child growing up, one of my favourite cartoons on television portrayed the conflict between an oil worker and some environmentalists. I was always very confused watching this cartoon because even as a child I wondered why the oiler was always portrayed as the bad guy and that there was never a middle ground reached between these two groups.

In Jamaica, I grew up caring about energy and the environment equally because both are of huge importance to my home country. Jamaica’s economy is greatly dependent on tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, all of which wouldn’t be possible without oil and gas, but also not possible without a healthy environment.

In 2018, I chose to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry not only because of the importance of energy for my own country, but also for those nations around the world. Also having a love for the environment, I decided to look for a country with a sustainable and responsible energy industry to pursue a post-secondary engineering education in. Canada was on the top of my list!

Canada’s Energy Sector is Responsible

From my research that followed, I found that Canada accounted for less than 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the oil and gas sector making up just a fraction of that. With Canada responsible for nearly 5 per cent of global oil production, I thought that was a great start.

But what really got me interested in Canada was how much money the oil and gas industry was investing in environmental protection and clean technology.

For example, in 2014 Canada’s oil and gas industry spent $6.5 billion of the $11.8 billion spent by businesses on environmental protections – or 55% of the total expenditures in the country. I also found that Canada’s oil and gas sector was the largest spender on clean technology, accounting for more than 70% of $1.4 billion spent annually.

Canada Ranked 1st on the Global Cleantech Innovation Index of the G20, and 4th Globally

Concern for the Future of Canada’s Energy Sector

Entering Canada, I was excited and ready for the new journey into an industry that was producing energy in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. However, as a post-secondary student I have become very concerned about my future in Canadian oil and gas.

International students like myself are coming here from all over the world with the hopes of beginning a promising career in an oil and gas industry, of which produces some of the cleanest barrels on the planet. But the reality for myself – and my peers in school – is that we can’t open a newspaper, or read a social media feed without seeing negative commentary or editorial regarding the oil and gas sector.

I am saddened to see how oil workers have been made out to be the bad guys in Canada - just like they were in my childhood cartoon.

Let’s Support a World-Class Energy Sector

Today I am thinking if it will be possible for my children to follow in their father’s footsteps (if they choose to do so). This is the reason why I was led to pro-energy advocacy to debunk misinformation suggesting that this wealth-generating, job-creating, environmentally responsible industry cannot exist if we want to "save" the global environment.

I do believe that just like the phoenix rising from the ashes, this great industry will rise again – especially considering that global demand for oil and gas is projected to grow for decades to come. In Canada, the oil and gas industry was, and is very much still a huge part of the nation’s economy, and will be an integral part of the transition to a lower-carbon economy as world-class innovators and clean tech leaders.

If the rest of the world knows that the Canadian oil and gas industry is one of the best there is, why do opposing “environmentalists” in Canada fail to do so? It should very well be the opposite. If these opponents actually cared about the global environment, they would support the Canadian oil and gas sector through-and-through.

About the Author

Delmoy Daley - Canada Action Guest Blogger

Delmoy Daley is a Petroleum Engineering Technology graduate from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) with a passion for pro-energy advocacy in Canada. Delmoy’s native land is Jamaica, but he considers himself Canadian at heart!

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