Skip to content

Connecting the Dots

A fix for fuel prices

In North America, inflation is raging like a house fire. Do you attempt to avert your gaze from gas price signs?
If we and other nations don’t want to patronize Russian oil production, wouldn’t it make sense for Canada to be in oil production, transportation and the export market with both feet? Wouldn’t it make sense for the federal government to be onboard with that?
Not to be haphazard about it, polluting left and right, no! Actually, pipeline companies such as Enbridge are becoming ever stricter about protecting the birds, bees and farmers field as well as the aquatic creatures where ever pipe is laid.
I’ve been an environmentalist from forever, as I bet many of you are. What I find encouraging is news of cleaner ways of extracting, refining and using energy.
In a conversation with MP Larry Maguire, he pointed out that Canada has the raw resources and the technology to lead the way in energy production around the world and to reduce greenhouse gases worldwide.
Did you realize that not so far away, just over at Estevan there’s a carbon sequestering energy production plant where coal, yes coal, is cleanly burned? It’s converted into electrical power and even the remaining ash is used in another industry, the construction industry.
As an example of progress, check out the website saskpower.com. Information there says, “In the fall of 2014, Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, became the first power station in the world to successfully use Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.” The power plant “produces 115 megawatts (MW) of power—enough to power about 100,000 Saskatchewan homes. It’s capable of reducing the SO2 emissions from the coal process by up to 100 per cent and the CO2 by up to 90 per cent.”
Why isn’t Canada prepared to supply a somewhat cleaner source of energy than say … Venezuela or Saudi Arabia to world markets, and to ourselves?
The Centre for Strategic & International Studies, in a brief says: “Venezuela’s oil sector currently sits at historic lows… . Decrepit pipelines and decaying refineries, unrestricted flaring of greenhouse gases, and government hostility toward environmental groups have all contributed to a growing crisis in one of the world’s most bio-diverse countries.”
We don’t want to be that country and we aren’t. But we’re apparently purchasing their oil product. Why?
Canada imports oil from Saudi Arabia, I’m told. This huge oil producer promises carbon neutral oil production by 2060. They’re in no rush to slow their fossil fuel production either. According to Al Jazeera “Although the kingdom plans to reduce emissions within its own borders, there is no indication Saudi Arabia will slow down investments in oil and gas, or relinquish sway over energy markets by moving away from the production of fossil fuels.” 
Yet here we are, arguing in court over bill C-69, environmental impact assessment, regarding how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada. 
Four judges of a five-panel Alberta Court of Appeal ruled against bill C-69, saying the federal government’s environmental impact laws violate the Constitution. However, this is a non-binding decision; one which Premier Jason Kenny expects to be challenged by the Trudeau government in the Supreme Court of Canada.
According to a construction industry magazine, Journal of Commerce, May 16, 2022, Alberta c-69 by Russell Hixson, “Bill C-69 sought to overhaul how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada, which Alberta argued violated the rights of provinces.
“The court argued the legislation ‘would permanently alter the division of powers and forever place provincial governments in an economic choke hold controlled by the federal government.’”
The bottom line for me: we need to run our own country with prudence and develop our energy with the technology and ingenuity we have. And a dose of goodwill.