David Marsden: Our oil industry has too few friends

Elizabeth May and Yves-Francois Blanchet are just the latest in a long line of Canadian politicians to slag our oil industry and fight the notion of energy self-sufficiency.

The Green party leader and the Bloc Quebec boss are johnny come latelies in saying the industry is dead.

Remember Denis Coderre, who as Montreal mayor, led the fight against the Energy East pipeline that would have carried western oil to the East Coast?

The pipeline should have replaced the tankers plying the Atlantic Ocean carrying foreign oil from who knows what dodgy regime.

Coderre, of course, is the same guy who oversaw the dumping of eight billion tonnes of sewage into the Saint Lawrence River.

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Like so many so-called environmentalists, he had no problem opposing the responsible and efficient transportation of an essential product, and at the same time, betraying his rhetoric by his actions.

If opposing Energy East meant a continuation of the oil-bearing trains that caused a disaster such as Lac Megantic in Quebec, so be it, Coderre seemed to conclude.

Alberta oil will still find its way to the Atlantic coast, of course. Free enterprise has a way of achieving what needs to be done.

Irving Oil has received a licence to ship Canadian oil from British Columbia, and through the Panama Canal, of all places, using foreign tankers.

The oil will travel 11,771 kilometres, which is more than twice what would have been necessary with a safe pipeline.

For those counting greenhouse gases at home, that’s a loss for the environment.

The fact Quebec could have stood in the way of common sense is testimony to Canada’s greatest failing. It lets the bleating of self-entitled malcontents stand in the way of the common good.

We still have the spectacle of B.C. Premier John Horgan, who has fought Canada’s largest export, energy, at every turn, while catering to the shipment of dirty coal from Canada’s western port.

Horgan is no friend of Canadian oil, whose party, represented by former premier Rachel Notley in these parts, can’t wait for the end of well-paying jobs in the oilpatch.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is another energy doomsayer.

“We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow,” said Trudeau, who keeps tinkering with the rules to keep Canadian energy castrated.

“We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels.”

It’s a sad fact that our critical energy industry has too few friends.

Elizabeth May and her Quebec doppelganger are just the latest of fools who don’t understand what powers the economy and provides our necessities.

Either that, or they’re pandering to their ill-informed supporters.

Anyway, we can’t expect them and their ilk to see the light.

David Marsden is managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

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