Setting the record straight on the day’s top anti-oil and gas media stories
ACTIVIST CLAIM: Toronto Star article claims there are massive subsidies to the oil and gas industry and suggests moving them to renewables.
THE FACTS: Canadian oil and gas generates billions in revenue for governments across Canada – and invests heavily in minimizing environmental impact and lowering emissions through innovations such as carbon tech.
Here are some facts and sources to have a reasoned conversation about oil and gas subsidies:
- According to the Montreal Economic Institute, despite claims by anti-oil and gas organizations, most of the ‘subsidies’ they identify are just a particular tax treatment that is common to the natural resources sector as a whole and other industries too, including renewables
- Many of the ‘subsidies’ reported by activists are actually cleantech subsidies being used to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency.
- A policy brief from the International Institute for Sustainable Development notes that Canada announced almost $15 billion in financial support for “green” initiatives in 2020.
- The oil and gas industry contributes an average of $26 billion per year in taxes which goes to important civil services like health care.
Statistics Canada (2020b). Table 10-10-0017-01: Canadian Government Finance Statistics for the Provincial and Territorial Governments
Statistics Canada (2020c). Table 33-10-0006-01: Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises, by Industry Type Statistics Canada (2020d). Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises, by Industry Type (x 1,000,000). Custom tabulation.
Statistics Canada (2020a). Table 10-10-0016-01: Canadian Government Finance Statistics for the Federal Government
- The oil and gas industry invests more than any other industry to expand clean technology to produce reliable energy while lowering environmental impacts.
Stories that get it right
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has upset the international political chessboard, with the ramifications of this war reaching as far as Canada. Indeed, according to an Ipsos poll commissioned by the Montreal Economic Institute, a strong majority of Canadians (72%) want us to export our vast energy resources to European countries, like Germany, that depend in large part on Russia for their supply, while only 17% are opposed to this. In Quebec, support remains very high, at 65%. Moreover, 68% of Canadians want us to build the necessary energy infrastructure, including pipelines, in order to export our resources to Europe. In Quebec, a majority (54%) is also in favour.