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Analyst says Enbridge Line 5 fight shows Trudeau, Biden playing both sides on energy issues

The Trudeau and Biden administration are playing both sides of the coin in energy issues.




Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said the feds plan to take “whatever measures” to sustain the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said he wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do whatever he can to save the line.

But on the other side of the 49th parallel, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer cites environmental concerns as justification for cancelling the critical pipeline, which transports Alberta-based crude oil and natural gas liquids to refineries across the Midwest and Ontario. 

Jason Hayes, Director of Environmental Policy to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, doesn’t buy that line of reasoning.

“The state of Michigan appears more concerned about following a Sierra Club scorecard than it is about the broad negative impacts the closure of Line 5 will have on the region,” said Hayes.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg publicly called for the closure of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, as did Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland at the 2018 Netroots Nation convention.

“It’s time to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure in America. No more pipelines!” Haaland said.

By prioritizing the demands of progressive green pressure groups in the Democratic Party over a critical trading partner’s concerns, the President Joe Biden administration is trying to play both sides of the coin in energy issues, said Hayes.

“While other pipelines exist to transport oil to the U.S. from Canada, the threatened closure of the Line 5 pipeline sends a damaging and profoundly short-sighted, but still apparent and unmistakable, signal to one of Michigan’s largest trading partners,” said Hayes.

“Canadian officials, state legislators across the state of Michigan, the Governor of Ohio, building trade representatives in Canada and the U.S., and others, have also voiced their objections. The Consul General of Canada in Detroit, Joe Comartin, has noted that shuttering Line 5 will negatively impact refineries in Sarnia, Ont. and Quebec.” 

Democratic senators have also said Biden is going down the wrong path.

“The pipeline is essential to Sarnia-Lambton and the region at large. It is responsible for 50,000 jobs in related industries across the border — everything from refineries and downstream processors to home heating, jet fuel, and agriculture, said Marilyn Gladu, MP to Sarnia-Lambton.

She pushed back against Whitmer’s claims, as environmental studies indicate alternative means of transporting crude, including trucks and railcars, are less safe than the pipeline. She showed great concern over Canada’s limited pipeline capacity, as “there aren’t enough of them (trucks and railcars) to move the same volume as the pipeline, daily”. 

A shutdown would lead to fuel shortages and price increases across Ontario and Quebec, and further dependency on foreign supply to meet regional demands.

“My colleagues and I are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening, and secure jobs and energy for the region,” said Gladu, who called on all Canadians to sign Petition e-3081, which demands the prime minister defend Canada’s economic interests regarding Enbridge Line 5. 

She hopes the petition will pressure the prime minister to appeal to Biden to intervene and prevent Whitmer from inflicting overwhelming and catastrophic economic effects on Ontario, Quebec, Wisconsin and Ohio.

With the petition set to collect its final signatures Monday, Mike Simpson, Executive Director of Operations of the Canadian Energy Centre, or the “energy war room,” says it is too early to speculate on the actions the federal government might take. 

“We have asked our supporters to sign the petition and help grow it. What this shows is we need all Canadians to engage in this debate and support energy,” said Simpson.

However, he argues signing the petition is but one mechanism to alleviate concerns for the country’s key economic driver. 

“Canadians should talk to their neighbours and networks so that the federal government can realize supporting oil and gas is the right thing to do,” said Simpson.

“Every single person uses more carbon-based products in their daily lives than they probably even realize. If you look at the covid situation, the number of plastics needed for masks and PPE etc., are all based on fossil fuels.

“Decision-makers need to realize this is not an us vs them situation. It needs to be understood advocacy for the industry is not just government or industry responsibility. It is government, supporters, industry, workers, and everyday Canadians – once this is recognized, that path forward will be easier to follow.

“Climate change does not stop at our borders. It is a global problem, and we believe responsibly developed Canadian oil and gas is a big part of the solution.” 

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s Edmonton reporter.


Energy report tells feds to incentivize moves away from oil

The IEA calls for the Canadian government to creating transparent changes to the oil and gas industry but incentivizing technology changes and creating emergency oil stocks.




A new report says Canada should further invest in clean in electricity and that our country is already among the cleanest energy production in the world.

The International Energy Analysis (IEA) came out with a report outlining recommendations for Canada’s energy future, including balanced decarbonization across the country.

That means higher coordination between federal, provincial and territorial levels to set clear targets for energy efficiency in buildings, transport and industry sectors.

The IEA calls for the Canadian government to create transparent changes to the oil and gas industry but incentivizing technology changes and creating emergency oil stocks.

Canada’s electricity system is one of the cleanest globally according to the IEA report, as 80% of supply is from non-emitting sources such as hydropower and nuclear power.

“Canada’s wealth of clean electricity and its innovative spirit can help drive a secure and affordable transformation of its energy system and help realize its ambitious goals,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“Equally important, Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions — of both carbon dioxide and methane — from its oil and gas production can help ensure its continued place as a reliable supplier of energy to the world.”

The report follows Environmental Minister Steven Guildbeault’s announcement for Canada to be ready to eliminate fossil fuels in 18 months, with zero-emission cars and stricter methane regulations.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole expressed concern on Twitter with the zero emission plans, calling attention to the need to invest in the oil sector rather than turn away from it.

Energy makes up over 10% of Canada’s GDP, being a major source of capital investment, export revenue and jobs, making the net-zero goals both a challenge and opportunity.

Since the last IEA review in 2015, Canada has made international and domestic commitments dedicated to transforming the energy sector, including a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40‑45% by 2030.

Canada is also a part of the United Nations zero-emission 2050 target that involves over 130 countries worldwide.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard.

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O’Toole mocks Guilbeault’s two-year fossil fuel plan

Full implementation of this ethanol use would create a 60% increase in heating a home, according to the advocacy group Canadians for Affordable Energy.




The federal cabinet is planning to phase out the use of fossil fuels in the next 18 months, but didn’t mention how much Canadians rely on fossil fuels and what costs this initiative entails.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in the next two years Canadians should also see more stringent methane regulations and zero-emission vehicle standards.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was opposed to the proposition, and highlighted the need for using Canada’s fossil fuel industry and supporting those who work in it.

“Canada is a cold country. We need fossil fuels, natural gas, to heat our homes,” said O’Toole in a video standing in front of a freezing cold House of Commons.

O’Toole tweet

“Someone so disconnected from reality that he’s making policy that will hurt our country. Division and absolute disconnect from reality.”

Guilbeault stressed the need for faster action on environmental initiatives by the Liberal government.

“I mean, maybe 2024, but that’s the type of time frame we have to work with and it’s going to be tough because on the one hand, some people are going to criticize us for not giving them enough time to be consulted, but the state of climate change is such that we need to learn to do things faster and that’s certainly true of us as a government,” he said.

Guilbeault acknowledged many of his proposed environmental actions will cause significant costs to consumers, but stated the luxury of waiting to make environmental changes is something Canadians don’t have any more.

The Clean Fuel Standard, implemented in 2021, mandated higher use of renewable energy in everyday consumption which includes tripling expensive ethanol content in gasoline and increasing carbon taxes.

Full implementation of the ethanol use would create a 60% increase in heating a home, according to the advocacy group Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Guilbeault complained about regulators taking too long to finalize the Clean Fuel Standard, as the regulation took five years to finalize and implement.

“One of the things I told stakeholders when I was in Toronto recently and then in Calgary, one of the things I told the department as well is we don’t have that luxury anymore,” said Guilbeault.

“We don’t have five years to consult every time we want to introduce a new measure.”

Canada’s two major parties are opposing on the matter.

O’Toole ended his statements on Twitter saying the Conservative party will keep fighting to keep Canadians warm and fossil fuel jobs safe.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Energy report says fossil fuel usage set to plunge in Canada

The news was met with glee from Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.




The use of fossils fuels in Canada is set to drop drastically in the next three decades, says a new report.

The Canada Energy Regulator predicts fossil fuel use will fall by 62% by 2025.

The forecast predicts Canadians will use significantly less gasoline and diesel over coming years, resulting in a 43% decline in the use of refined petroleum products by 2050.

Electricity use could rise by as much 45% as people change over to electric vehicles.

The report predicts wind and solar power will be used to help meet the rise in demand.

The news was met with glee from Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

“Some welcome news from The Canada Energy Regulator: fossil fuel use will fall by 62% in Canada by 2050. We’re making progress, the work continues!” he tweeted.

The forecast calls for Canadian crude oil production to peak at 5.8 million barrels per day in 2032, and then to decline to reach 4.8 million barrels per day in 2050.

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