It’s time to start weaning ourselves off fossil fuels

Alberta citizens are rallying to support protesting oilpatch workers who are jobless because they have lost fossil-fuel jobs.

Their plight is like grain farmers hailed out several years in a row, or industrial workers whose jobs have been computerized or moved offshore.

All three situations devastate the families that are involved.

Each Albertan has been, and is, part of the oil industry. This has been the case ever since the Imperial well blew in at Leduc in 1947. The government of the day legislated that no one was allowed to obstruct petroleum production. This is largely still the situation today. Now, legal permission for new oil development is in the hands of the Alberta Energy Regulator.

The AER also controls the water used in finding and putting into production new oil and gas sources. Oil exploration continues even in a time of over supply.

Since 1947, we have gradually become a petrostate to the degree that both provincial and federal governments place corporate oil interests ahead of present and future human needs for clean air and fresh water.

Everyone uses oil products in our daily lives. We all know that this dependency won’t change overnight, but in view of evident new climate extremes, it’s time to begin.

Janet Walter, Red Deer

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