ACTIVIST CLAIM: ENGO worker groups see more government spending to support the transition of workers from oil and gas jobs.
THE FACTS: Jobs, if they come at all from a transition off oil and gas, may end up overseas.
Here are some facts and sources to have a reasoned conversation about a ‘Just Transition’:
- The end of the article correctly states that ‘just transition’ jobs may not necessarily stay in the same area. The jobs that activists promote will come from a transition are often created overseas, rather than domestically. A significant portion of jobs in an energy transition are mining jobs, processing jobs, and manufacturing jobs in other countries.
- One of the top new jobs is expected to be windmill technicians making less than average oil and gas wages. A transition may end up being to a lower standard of living.
Unlike oil and gas jobs, most green jobs can be outsourced to low-wage jurisdictions. Even those jobs that are created in Canada may have to compete with lower-cost labor which will limit wages.
- Green energy is hard to export. The oil and gas industry is 81% exported. There is a high likelihood the export component of oil and gas jobs simply will be lost and not replaced.
- The third option of keeping our Canadian jobs through an energy transformation using the three R’s of the circular economy Reduce-Reuse-Return has not been discussed or considered:
Technology like carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration is advancing rapidly and will continue to improve and be deployed in more places at lower costs to make more oil and gas production net-zero. In addition, emerging circular economy technologies hold the promise of true sustainability for oil and gas.
- Even though billions are being committed to it, leaders barely discussed carbon tech and circular economy technology. They are actively dismissing this third option besides carbon taxes and transitioning off of oil and gas as a way to effectively reduce emissions.
- By encouraging policy that supports the development and use of emissions reduction technology, we can ensure workers will still have jobs and keep producing responsible energy at the same time.
- We are in the middle of an energy transformation. If oil and gas can be net-zero or true zero, then why would we need to transition away from them. We can produce responsible energy and export it to the world to help developing countries achieve a better quality of life.
Stories that get it right
Utica Resources Inc., a Quebec-based company is taking the Quebec government to court over issues with licensing permits. Utica alleges the government acted illegally and with political motives in refusing the company’s application for an exploratory drilling licence on the Galt project near the town of Gaspé. This comes on the heels of Quebec flirting with the idea of permanently banning oil and gas development. Quebec has a vast reserve of natural gas and oil but refuses to develop them.