In a head-snapping turn of logic, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) told the federal government in August that it accepts a price on carbon—but that its members should get the money raised in order to preserve “a vibrant and competitive oil and gas sector,” the Canadian Press reports.
The CP report cites a CAPP submission released to Greenpeace Canada after a freedom of information request to the Saskatchewan government, which opposes such a price.
“Any pricing mechanism implemented should contribute to a vibrant and competitive oil and gas sector while efficiently and effectively facilitating reductions in GHG emissions,” the 17-page brief stated. “CAPP recommends that any policy initiatives should seek to not only preserve, but enhance the economic competitiveness of the upstream oil and gas sector.”
The recommendations were contained in a CAPP submission to the federal government, but released by the government of Saskatchewan, whose premier Brad Wall opposes a national carbon price, and whose Saskatchewan Party has received millions of dollars in donations from oilpatch companies.
CAPP Oilsands Issues Manager Krista Phillips tried to explain to the Canadian Press in an interview how a measure designed to reduce carbon emissions could be compatible with the continued “vibrancy” of an industry largely responsible for producing of them.
“Fossil fuel combustion is not the only end game for our industry,” Phillips said. “There’s lots of products, lots of markets, that demand petroleum products. We want to become the lowest-carbon supplier of products, globally. What we’re suggesting is the revenue generated go back to our industry for technology and innovation to help us become that low-carbon supplier of petroleum products.”
While “Canada does not keep such detailed statistics,” CP reported, “according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 75% of the 7.1 billion barrels of petroleum products Americans consumed in 2015 was gasoline, distillate fuel (such as home heating and diesel), and jet fuel.”