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.
This time last year, University of Manitoba Professor of the Environment (emeritus) Vaclav Smil — who wants less carbon emissions but is also the world expert in how energy transitions take place — wrote of some relevant facts of life — energy ones: “Designing hypothetical roadmaps outlining complete elimination of fossil carbon from the global energy supply by 2050 is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking that ignores fundamental physical realities.”
Imagine you’re in Germany and wonder if it’s a good idea to rely so heavily on natural gas imports from Russia, where the governing regime is accused by your own German politicians of killing journalists and of an attempted murder of the Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny. For instance, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, blamed that latter “incident” on the Kremlin.