by Tina Olivero

    TINA OLIVERO: Petroleum is the bridge to new energy

    The consideration of oil and gas as a valuable commodity has many angles of debate.

    Some believe oil and gas will be the primary source of energy for another 50 years and nothing will be more effective at meeting world oil demand.

    Others believe we should eliminate oil and gas for other cleaner sustainable fuel sources.  Some think that the smartest thing we can do with oil and gas is use it to bridge us to a new energy future.


    The thing about differing perspectives is that they all have merit, and rather than wasting time, fighting over disagreements, how about coming together and merging commonalities in the interest of a solid plan to move forward?

    What if we turned concerns into opportunities. Use opposition as a path to solutions. Create differences as a place to build new structures of unity. Sound a little too altruistic?

    Merging perspectives will most probably be the fastest, most economical way to create a new energy sustainable world. Think about it. The path to solving climate change.  The highest level of good for a sustainable new energy future.  The place where globalization happens on a new energy scale.  That’s a conversation worth having.


    It’s the oil and gas industry that has catapulted us into the industrial era and modernized our world. The industrial era gave way to the new digital economy we live in today. All come with progress and a price.

    It’s easy to see that with every advance of humankind, there is an opposing negative impact as well.  While cars are one of our most significant advances, people still die in car accidents every day, and the environmental impact of vehicles is unprecedented. But we don’t stop driving our cars; we progress and mitigate risk. That’s also true of the oil and gas industry. We don’t stop oil and gas production; we continue while we mitigate risks and utilize it to bring in new energy like wind, solar, geothermal and more.

    Oil and gas are the foundation of our world. It’s the most sought-after commodity on the planet because it is in everything we have and do. From the phone in your hand to the gas in your car, to the clothes on your back. The petroleum industry saturates everything.


    As an energy nation, our focus has to be on a safe environment and people.  The oil and gas industry in Canada is already extremely good at that. Canadian oil companies and their subcontractors are among the top environmental and safety stewards in the world. That is a fact.

    What’s troubling about oil industry rhetoric is that it’s most often out of context, over-reactive and irresponsible. For example, we have insurance to protect us from car accidents. We need to have that same level of knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of the oil and gas industry and its operations and limitations. Otherwise, we are working against ourselves, trying to eliminate that which sustains us and our current way of life.

    Canada’s the world’s 3rd largest producer of oil. Because of oil and gas, we have enjoyed prosperous economic conditions and oil and gas has been the foundation of Canada’s economy.

    What happens to our entire economic system if we take that down? Have we thought it all through? The world won’t work without oil and gas. Canada won’t work without oil and gas.

    You only have to look at the last 32 months in Canada to see the results of the oil price collapse. 40,000 + job layoffs meant a socioeconomic impact that was unprecedented and staggering.

    People need purpose and focus in life, and the oil and gas industry, directly and indirectly, has been a strong foundation for many Canadians. We don’t want to lose that foundation and end up with extreme socioeconomic impacts that affect each of us right here at home. Impacts like cuts in education, health, and other social programs. Socioeconomic impacts like a rise in addiction, spousal abuse, suicide, and mental illness, all of which we have seen on the rise in the last year or so across Canada, especially in oil and gas regions.

    What’s Canada worth without oil?

    How can we even think about getting to new energy without oil? The reality is, there is no new energy without the support of oil and gas.

    Wind turbines are made of petroleum products. Trucks used to transport and erect a wind turbine use gas.  The wind can’t blow 24-7, so you need another energy substitute when the wind doesn’t blow. That can be a petroleum fuel. Get the picture?

    When Bob Dylan said, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,” he was right. New energy is where we need to go, and lo and behold, it’s oil and gas that is going to get us there.

    Like it or not, life’s comforts always come with some setbacks.  Sometimes environmental and in extreme cases, just like car accidents, sadly the loss of life.
    Environmental accidents and loss of life will also occur in new energy regimes as well. Let’s drop the finger pointing and be pro-active with an all-inclusive new energy mix. One that unites differing perspectives and solves the challenges of the day.

    Now that’s what I call a conscious sustainable mindset!

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