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Canada Action is an advocacy group that promotes Canada’s natural resources and aims to dispel misinformation about the country’s energy industry. The group recognizes the need for a transition to renewable energy while also acknowledging the continued demand for petroleum. In this article, we will explore Canada Action’s perspectives on the need for petroleum, the importance of renewables, and Canada’s natural resource opportunities. Here’s what Canada Action had to say:
Why do we still need Petroleum?
Despite the push toward renewable energy, the demand for petroleum continues to grow. Petroleum products are essential for many aspects of modern life, including transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture. The energy shortages experienced globally in recent years have highlighted the importance of reliable energy sources. These shortages were caused by factors such as COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, lack of investment in new supply, and geopolitical tensions.
It is important to note that while we need to transition to renewable energy, we cannot do so at the expense of reliable energy sources. Taking on a “replacement” policy that replaces reliable forms of energy with intermittent ones risks serious consequences, such as supply shortages and rolling blackouts. The best method of implementation is to take on an “addition” policy, where renewables are added to our existing supply.
Why do we need renewable energy sources?
The push towards renewable energy is essential to combat climate change and reduce emissions. The most important renewable energy considerations of our time include developing the resources required to transition from relying on liquid-based to material-based energy systems. However, we must also consider the human impacts of sourcing these materials from jurisdictions that do not share the same concerns for human rights, environmental protection, and democratic values.
The potential supply-demand bottlenecks with critical minerals used in renewable technologies, as we have seen with Russian fuels amid the war in Ukraine, highlight the need for a strategic plan to address this issue. For example, China currently dominates in global aluminum refining and smelting, lithium and cobalt refining, and graphite production and refining. As such, we may run into the same potential supply-demand bottlenecks with critical minerals as we have with Russian fuels. It is essential that we find these minerals in a sustainable and ethical manner.
What are some of Canada’s Top Energy Natural Resources?
Canada has a wealth of natural resources that can contribute to the country’s energy sector. The liquified natural gas (LNG) sector on Canada’s west coast has a handful of Indigenous-led projects that have yet to receive regulatory approval from provincial and federal governments. These projects, such as Cedar LNG and Ksi Lisims LNG, have the potential to create huge economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and Canadians alike.
A healthy LNG sector in British Columbia could generate more than $500 billion in economic activity over the next 40 years, creating nearly 100,000 jobs and over $6 billion in wages.
Canada’s oil and gas sector is also poised to continue its immense contribution to the country’s overall wealth and prosperity. From 2000 to 2019, the sector generated nearly $505 billion for Canadian governments, and from 2023-2032 it is expected to generate another $594 billion.
The industry is the “backbone” of the Canadian economy, as many well-known economists have repeated time and time again.
Why is there so much misinformation out there and how do we dispel it?
One of the most common misconceptions about the energy sector is the notion that we will be getting off oil and gas anytime soon. Anti-Canadian energy activists often point to “net zero” scenarios as proof that the world is using less oil and natural gas. However, the reality is that these are just possible projected scenarios. Shell has said that liquefied natural gas demand will grow 76% by 2040 in its latest industry outlook. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency found in its most recent World Energy Outlook that global oil demand is projected to grow to ~104 million barrels per day by the mid-2030s.
How do we overcome our current energy challenges?
One of the biggest challenges facing Canada’s energy industry today is regulatory uncertainty. The regulatory process for energy projects in Canada is often lengthy and cumbersome, with multiple levels of government and stakeholders involved. This can create significant delays and uncertainty for energy companies, which in turn can discourage investment in the sector.
To address this challenge, Canada needs to streamline its regulatory process and provide greater clarity and certainty for energy companies. This could involve streamlining the approval process for energy projects, establishing clearer guidelines for consultation with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders, and ensuring that regulatory decisions are based on scientific evidence and sound economic analysis.
Another challenge facing Canada’s energy industry is access to global markets. Canada’s energy resources are located primarily in Western Canada, which is far from major international markets. As a result, Canadian energy companies often face significant transportation costs and logistical challenges when trying to export their products.
To address this challenge, Canada needs to invest in critical energy infrastructure, such as pipelines and export terminals, to improve access to global markets. This could involve working with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders to ensure that energy infrastructure is built in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Canada needs to continue to invest in research and development to drive innovation in the energy sector. This could involve supporting the development of new technologies for carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, as well as investing in research on the environmental and social impacts of energy development.
Canada’s energy industry is facing significant challenges as it seeks to balance the need for petroleum with the transition to renewables. However, by adopting a pragmatic and strategic approach to energy policy, Canada can continue to play a leading role in the global energy sector while also contributing to global efforts to address climate change.
By investing in critical infrastructure, streamlining regulations, and supporting research and development, Canada can ensure that its energy industry remains competitive, sustainable, and prosperous for years to come.
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