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Author Topic: Will federal parties secure Canada's energy future?
Babbler # 560

posted 09 January 2006 06:49 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The spike in world oil prices after Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to plan for coming oil and natural gas shortages. The Americans are discussing how to ensure security of supply. So are politicians in many countries. But not in Canada. We now have only 8.7 years of proven supply of natural gas. Conventional oil production is falling. Alberta's tar sands have plenty of oil, but it comes with horrific environmental damage. During an election campaign, Canada's main political party leaders seem oblivious to Canada’s energy security needs.

Parkland Institute

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 11615

posted 09 January 2006 07:40 PM      Profile for donf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Could it be that the only way we can ensure a supply to deal with unexpected disruption would be to opt out of NAFTA so that our supply would not simply disappear down the pipeline because the supply here would tend to depress Canadian oil prices?

We should not have to do much more than install large tank farms in all usage centres to take care of the local area if we can not get the oil there temporarily. But keeping them filled and fresh is another question. Why would anyone own a large supply of oil, administer keeping it fresh, accept the risks, unless there is to be some financial payoff when it does become a scarce commodity?

THe fact that our overall supply is running out is also a matter that dropping out of NAFTA speaks to. We certainly would have a lot more years of supply if we were not exporting so much. But we might have to cut back our own consumption too if we want to have enough fuel for even one more generation.

A lot of 'our' oil and gas is however already sold to US markets, so that part of it is somewhat beyound our grasp. We could leave them owning it but unable to export it?

That treachery appears to be part of the sollution.

In effect, once out of NAFTA, we would have to put into effect a plan to cut our consumption and stop exporting, and allow our US owners of oil sell only to the Canadian market.

We may have some political backlash from employees of companies that might see themselves cut off from a US market with Nafta's end.

But the big political backlash would come from consumers who want to go on using up the existing resources just as fast as possible, and from suppliers of same who want the right to sell as much of it as possible, as fast as possible and to the highest bidder.

We will also have people insisting on getting arctic methane hydrate into play to compensate for deliberate reductions in production of southern gas, conversion to 'clean coal' because we do not want any of that left for another generation either.

Frankly, democratic means will not likely solve these problems. We will not tolerate any change in our lifestyle until the change is unavoidable, the shortages irreversible and permanent, totally beyond control.

From: Middlesex Ontario Canada | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michael Watkins
Babbler # 11256

posted 10 January 2006 08:39 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
At the present, our supply is increasing, not decreasing, but its the supply of non-conventional oil.

There's certainly lots of reason to look at resource security - whether its from a supply view point or ecological view point. Oil sands production produces three times the amount of Green House Gases than that from conventional oil; the investment required to produce are also quite enormous.

We can't simply turn off the taps, NAFTA or not - there are many complications. One is that the US is quite likely to consider that an act of war, under the Carter doctrine, developed by that ol' softy ex president of theirs. Secondly, there's the little matter of investment in the sector... what a thorny problem. And thirdly nationalizing oil has in the past led to coups and worse, inspired by the US and that other bastion of democracy, Britain.

I think you'll find even many conservatives are in favour of relooking at Nafta particularly the resource lock-ins that we signed and Mexico did not, but not until more education on the matter is done. People just don't understand the issues.

Canadians as a whole would need to be prepared to accept a different lifestyle and also be prepared to fund the research and development required to replace non-renewable energy sources, where its practical (now and into the future) and as solutions are available.

But few seem willing... and that is most certainly not a partisan failing. Me, a Conservative, am far more ecologically driven than all but one of my circle of friends. We sold a car; bought a tandem and ride our young kids all over Vancouver, almost all of the year round. We are doing things at our kids school and in the community to help build awareness. Meanwhile most of my dipper friends have been utterly unwilling or unable to change their lifestyles. I have hopes of changing their minds in time...

I think the best way forward is for Canada to move past the rhetoric and actually become a world leader in moving to alternatives; revisit NAFTA; and cautiously look at energy policy. Its a long term process that needs to be undertaken and we should have started 10 years ago.

But unless the US also starts reforming its use of the resource, there will, unavoidably, be dangerous conflicts ahead.

From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged

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