ACTIVIST CLAIM: With the election done, Stand.earth promotes a petition for Prime Minister Trudeau to end oil and gas production.
THE FACTS: Anti-oil and gas activist groups should be promoting real zero production and consumption technologies, instead of half-hearted mandates.
Here are some facts and sources to have a reasoned conversation about activist climate plans:
- It’s the pot calling the kettle black for activists who claim the government is using different definitions of “subsidies”. According to this analysis done by economist Ross McKitrick, the claims by anti-oil and gas organizations about subsidies are overstated and use faulty accounting or stretching the definition of subsidy. Almost all real subsidies are for green initiatives to reduce emissions.
Activists have been called out before for their problematic definitions of ‘subsidies’.
- They also call for ending the expansion of oil and gas. Stopping the building of oil and gas infrastructure goes against the growing demand for responsible energy in non-OECD countries. They will need responsible energy produced in countries like Canada with zero-emission technologies to help develop their economies and better their quality of life.
- If we’re going to reduce emissions, we will need to use circular economy technologies like carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration, which groups like the International Energy Agency see as “offering the potential to contribute – directly or indirectly – to emissions reductions in almost all parts of the global energy system,” including for sustainable oil and gas.
- Activists are calling for the restart of the just transition consultation to shift workers to green jobs. Most of these “green jobs” are often created overseas, rather than domestically.
- Activists are also calling on the government to mandate UNDRIP. Indigenous leaders are concerned that if UNDRIP is implemented improperly, it could mean the loss of thousands of Indigenous jobs, countless business opportunities, and the much-desired financial independence of First Nations communities.
There are twice as many Indigenous people employed in the industry than the Canadian average. According to PetroLMI, 13,900 self-identified Indigenous Peoples were directly employed in the oil and gas industry, a rise of 26% from 2014.
Stories that get it right
Former energy executive Gwyn Morgan writes about the effectiveness of natural gas at displacing heavier emission fuels. He notes that many anti-oil and gas activists have shamed natural gas as “fracked gas”, claiming it as an environmental travesty even though groups like the International Energy Agency have said that it has helped put the equivalent of 200 million EVs on the road over the last decade and a bit.