A Canadian oil and gas publisher is gearing up to tell his industry’s story (from that industry’s point of view) during the country’s 150th anniversary next year.
Canada150Energy.com hasn’t gone live yet. But Bill Whitelaw says the outreach effort, focused on 150 “ordinary Canadians”, will embody his vision of what a Chief Story Officer could do to salvage the fossil industry’s reputation with an often skeptical public.
“It’s a place to tell energy stories,” Whitelaw writes.
“It’s a place to build energy trust.
“It’s a place for Canada’s oil and gas industry to meet ordinary Canadians for everyday conversations about the role energy plays in their lives.
“It’s a place to story-tell about the energy resources that Canadians own, and on whose behalf, and for whose demands, those resources are developed.
“It’s a place about the trust Canadians should have in the men and women whose efforts are developing those resources in a way that is both environmentally and economically responsible.
“It’s the place where, as Canada turns 150 in 2017, the petroleum sector can develop and nurture the quality conversations about energy that will be so critical to shaping the next 150 years of energy development, consumption, and conservation.”
But don’t look to Whitelaw for anything approaching a balanced take on Canada’s post-carbon future. “If Canada is ever to have anything that resembles a true national energy strategy, it won’t be built by vacuous politicians seeking policy and territorial compromises through personal ideologies and swaying whichever way political winds happen to be blowing—and being held hostage to shrill but increasingly vocal minorities,” he writes. “Those minorities have no interest in dialogue that builds a nation; their only objective is cold-turkey divorce from all things carbon, with little thought to the consequences. But right now, they’re in the storytelling driver’s seat.”
A “real national strategy,” he maintains, “will be built from the grassroots up by ordinary Canadians taking true ownership over their own resources, and exerting sufficient will at the ballot box to give politicians a concrete mandate to shape and execute policy that balances the environment and economy, with energy as the fulcrum.”