BINNION: A welcomed, pragmatic shift on federal enviro policy

Article content

Something strange is afoot in the federal government.

Advertisement 2

Article content

For years, the Trudeau government has punished the oil and gas industry, its workers, investors, and consumers. However, it appears that they’ve emerged from their ivory towers and taken a turn in the right direction. One that respects taxpayers and hard-working Canadian families. And one that may return Canada to our position of strength on the world stage.

Since his election in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been the “saviour” of the environment at home and abroad. He even flew one of the largest delegations to Glasgow’s climate change conference to tout our measures to international audiences.

Back at home, his government effectively killed the Transmountain pipeline using taxpayer money, stood by when President Biden cancelled Keystone XL, and raised their own carbon tax amidst the worst inflation in decades. The environment has always been priority number one for Trudeau – even at the expense of jobs, the economy, and taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Recently, however, cracks have begun to appear in the fake facade of dogmatic environmental purism in the PMO.

Perhaps it began with the Line 5 pipeline debacle when Michigan’s Governor Whitmer tried to shut down the essential petroleum supply for Ontario and Quebec. Concerned for his electoral strongholds essential to his tenuous minority status, Trudeau joined the chorus of multi-partisan MPs, economists, unions, and First Nations opposing the shutdown.

A little belated but essential. And it seemed to work. With one hand the federal government was restricting the oil and gas industry while, with the other, it ensured petroleum would flow in Central Canada.

But it’s become much more pronounced in recent months.

Advertisement 4

Article content

In March, ministers Wilkinson and Guilbeault embraced carbon tech as an essential part of the fight against climate change. Canadian carbon tech innovation captures and recycles carbon emissions, lowering our country’s carbon footprint while creating useful products or disposing of it safely.

Like with Line 5, we at Modern Miracle Network rejoiced at the federal government’s answer to our call. Carbon tech, we had long argued, will be critical to reducing emissions during a gradual energy transformation. It will allow petroleum producers to achieve net-zero emissions without extreme disruption to society and the economy.

Then again, a mere week later, Wilkinson said Canada needed to increase our oil and gas exports to the U.S. by 5%. It seems international pressure following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine succeeded where desperate cries from constituents in Canada fell on deaf ears. Once again, it was a surprising shift for the environment’s “saviours.” This pragmatic approach – reduce emissions through carbon tech while increasing exports that would benefit our economy and support our NATO allies – marked a dramatic shift in policy for the federal government.

Advertisement 5

Article content

And we agree, again.

Just a few weeks ago, Trudeau himself crystalized this change in direction by announcing a climate change plan that supports the oil and gas industry by investing in carbon tech. And even the CN Tower-scaling Guilbeault joined in by approving the Bay Du Nord project in Newfoundland. It seems there is a future beyond bicycles and windmills.

At Modern Miracle Network we welcomed the federal government’s tack to a pragmatic approach to the environment. The old ban-and-block approach never worked but investing in innovations like carbon tech and creating a viable pathway to net-zero emissions would. And it is.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Now that the federal government has joined many Canadians with their first tepid steps in this new practical policy direction, it’s time for them to commit. A gradual 5% increase in petroleum exports to the U.S. – as announced by Wilkinson – is good, but it won’t have the desired effect. Now that we all agree this is the right approach, it’s a matter of percentage – and 5% is too little. NATO needs our products.

The world needs our responsibly produced petroleum to replace bad actors on the global market. Let’s increase our investments in carbon tech and double our exports by 2050. We cannot stop now.

It’s strange to say, but under Trudeau, Canada may be back.

Michael Binnion is the Executive Director of the Modern Miracle Network, whose mission it is to encourage Canadians to have reasoned conversations about energy issues

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.