Albertans this spring and Canadians this fall should not be fooled into voting for climate destruction just because Big Oil wants them to, Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart writes in an opinion piece for iPolitics.
Canadian fossils showed their hand last month, when the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued an overheated wish list for the upcoming provincial election in Alberta that calls for six new tar sands/oil sands pipelines, four major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, assorted tax cuts and regulatory breaks, and a doubling in the growth rate for Canadian oil production.
“We should see this power play for what it is: the act of an increasingly desperate industry that fears its days are numbered,” Stewart states. “They seek to delay climate action long enough to wring out a few more dollars for themselves, while imposing enormous costs on the rest of us.”
The wish list spins off from an International Energy Agency (IEA) projection that the world will need more oil, arguing Canada should be the country to supply it. “What they conveniently omit is that the IEA publishes a number of scenarios with very different consequences for climate change, ranging from bad to something that makes a Netflix dystopia look tame,” he notes. CAPP’s campaign demands assume growing oil demand in a scenario where “the world has failed to make a transition to renewable energy,” resulting in catastrophic average global warming above 3.0°C.
But that future is not as certain as fossils might want voters—and their own investors—to believe.
“The IEA also publishes a scenario where oil demand drops by over 25% in the next 20 years, as climate policies take hold and vehicles are powered increasingly by electricity from renewable sources like the wind or sun,” Stewart writes. CAPP member Suncor Energy had to acknowledge some of that new reality, he notes, after shareholders forced management to look at the future of fossil and tar sands/oil sands demand in a low-carbon world.
“So which possible future does Big Oil want you to vote for?” he asks. “When you look at the details of the VoteEnergy.ca package, it is clear that they are backing the 3.0°C of warming world.” And in what Stewart calls “a brilliant but evil twist”, the wish list calls for a “made-in-Alberta climate plan” that parallels Donald Trump’s deregulatory and incessantly pro-fossil approach to the climate crisis—when many of the companies that control CAPP have had a major hand in shaping current U.S. policy.