Anyone with even a modest understanding of history will grasp how tyrannies and autocracies interact with democracies when it comes to energy: by using oil and natural gas as a weapon. This is sometimes literal and obvious during wars — tanks and jets do not run on vegetable oil — but also during peacetime.
If you’ve heard that Canada should skip plans to export natural gas to Asia, including from a few anti-oil and gas academics, you’ll notice one theme that pops up: how Canadian energy firms really shouldn’t waste their time, because there’s no money in it.
An iPolitics columnist recently argued our 2020 Canadian Energy Centre report on foreign oil imports can be seen as a call that Canada “should eliminate all U.S. imports.” This is in error. It is opposite of what our research and commentary on the same have stated, including explicitly that “it would be a mistake to advocate protectionist measures.”
Commentary: A primer on flaring in Canada’s oil and gas sector — or why Canada is ‘tops in flaring drops’
If you’ve ever spent time in Western Canada and driven anywhere near an oil or gas well, or a refinery, you might (especially at night) have noticed a smokestack-like pipe on the latter with a flame at the top. If you are nowhere near such spots, you might anyway be familiar with the phenomenon if you go online and see pictures of refineries in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Texas, or any other place where oil and gas is brought to the surface.
Despite the reality of cold winters and the need for oil and natural gas to survive them—to say nothing of the use of such products by American businesses, the military and hospitals—Minnesotans have recently been subject to the same anti-oil and gas advocacy that Canadians (who also live in a cold climate) have seen for two decades.