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US releases 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves as gas prices soar

It comes the same day as a legal challenge from Calgary-based TC Energy seeking $15 billion in damages after Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project on his first day in office in January.

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Faced with escalating gas prices because they are short of oil, US President Joe Biden has authorized the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the countries Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

It comes the same day as a legal challenge from Calgary-based TC Energy seeking $15 billion in damages after Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project on his first day in office in January.

The move was done in concert with China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK, which will also tap into their own strategic reserves.

“Today’s announcement reflects the president’s commitment to do everything in his power to bring down costs for the American people and continue our strong economic recovery,” the White House said in a statement.

The US is facing the same inflation battle as Canada, with inflation at a 30-year high in the States.

Biden last week asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether oil companies are illegally increasing prices.

But The Hill reported Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said on Tuesday Biden’s own policies were to blame for needing to tap into the strategic reserve.

“We are experiencing higher prices because the administration and Democrats in Congress are waging a war on American energy,” Barrasso said in a statement, arguing Tuesday’s announcement would not fix the problem alone.

“Begging OPEC and Russia to increase production and now using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are desperate attempts to address a Biden-caused disaster. They’re not substitutes for American energy production.”

“At the same time, the Administration remains committed to the president’s ambitious clean energy goals, as reflected in the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed last week and the House-passed Build Back Better Act that together represent the largest investment in combating climate change in American history and is a critical step towards reaching a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels.”

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Declan Carroll

    November 23, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    This foolish action by the Biden regime shows how infantile their understanding of the most basic economic principles and the oil business in general. Releasing this oil reserve is a temporary solution to the problem. It does not address the root cause of the problem which is lack of production and capital expenditure to find new deposits. Even after deposits are found there is an 18 month lag between discovery and production. Until these issues are addressed there will be no relief at the pumps. If your an investor this is a buy on dip opportunity because as soon as these reserves are used up the price is going to start spiking again. Only the most incompetent, corrupt and stupid people in our society are in charge. It is a satanic inversion of our meritocracy.

  2. Left Coast

    November 23, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Imagine if Canada had built the 4 pipelines that were approved back in 2014 . . . Canada would be cashing in getting the global price instead of a $20 per barrel discount.
    Govts. at all levels would be rolling in Royalty Cash . . .

    Instead we are loading oil on Railcars, in the USA Buffet’s San Fran/Burlington Railway is making him billions. There have been several Oil Train derailments in the USA over the last decade, but hardly a mention in the media. In Canada it’s only a matter of time till an oil train drops into the Fraser Canyon . . .

    Investigate oil companies for price fixing? When the largest profiteer off a Gallon of Gas is the friggin Govt. and they do nothing to earn it.

  3. Dennis

    November 23, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Go Brandon!

  4. Westcanguy

    November 23, 2021 at 9:53 am

    In the past, every time the Americans have done this with their reserves, oil prices went up even higher. The province of Alberta thanks President Brandon

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Energy

VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.

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Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre

British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.

Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC  generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.

As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.

Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.

BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.

That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.

If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.

BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.

The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19  levels. 

Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.

Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre

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Energy

Petitions call for Suzuki sanctions, fundraising boycott

“There are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” vowed the 85-year-old activist.

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There are now dueling petitions circulating demanding action against eco-activist David Suzuki for saying if governments don’t take drastic action on climate change, pipelines would be blown up.

At an Extinction Rebellion event in Victoria, BC in November Suzuki crossed the line between peaceful activism and extremism, opponents say.

“There are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” vowed the 85-year-old activist.

Now the Alberta Proud group has started a petition to have the University of Alberta revoke an honorary degree it gave to Suzuki in 2018.

“The implication of the use of terrorism to achieve political goals should be considered unthinkable in Canada, or any civilized country,” the Alberta Proud petition reads.

“In 2018, the University of Alberta gave Suzuki an honourary degree. This was a bad idea at the time, given his decades of hostility preaching against the industry that provides so much prosperity to Alberta — and all of Canada — and employs thousands of U of A alumni.

“This should be the last straw. Let’s send a message to the U of A: take a stand against threats of violence & environmental extremism, and revoke David Suzuki’s honourary degree.”

The online petition already has close to 1,300 signatures.

The Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) is taking a different tact with its petition — they are going after donors to the David Suzuki Foundation, which raised $13 million in 2020 alone.

“David Suzuki has refused to denounce extremists and used dangerous rhetoric about blowing up pipelines. But the David Suzuki Foundation keeps raking in millions from big companies and foundations,” reads the CEC petition.

“The other day Suzuki crossed a dangerous line and only apologized after a public backlash. But he didn’t apologize for or condemn the group he was speaking to who said that world leaders could be killed due to inaction on climate.

“Their donors are supporting David Suzuki, his extreme agenda and his dangerous rhetoric. Let’s tell them that supporting David Suzuki is not acceptable. It’s clear that he won’t stand up to the extreme elements in the environmental movement.

“You can help by sending the biggest donors a letter demanding they stop donating to the David Suzuki Foundation.

“Activists like David Suzuki only listen to the people who write their cheques. By putting pressure on donors activists will think twice before condoning violence. These companies and foundations need to divest from Suzuki.”

The CEC petition has 3,000 signatures as of publishing.

Suzuki has a long history of environmental hypocrisy, as Western Standard columnist Barbara Kay pointed out this week.

Suzuki has multiple lavish homes, including one in Australia, which he visits regularly with his five children.

Kay notes the David Suzuki Foundation has a dozen registered lobbyists in Ottawa and another eight in B.C.

The foundation takes funding from fossil fuel companies like ATCO and the pension fund of Ontario Power Generation, which has operated both coal-and-gas-fired plants.

His family is of Asian provenance, but he has complained of immigration from Asian and African countries. Suzuki once claimed “up to 90% of cancer is caused by environmental factors,” when in fact it is more like between four and 19%, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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Energy

KAY: Green extremists ignore indigenous voices that don’t fall in line

Barbara Kay’s debut column with the Western Standard.

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In mid-November, a handful of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in BC spearheaded yet another attempt — thwarted by the RCMP — to scuttle Coastal GasLink’s $6.6 billion natural gas pipeline. The half-completed pipeline will run 670 km from Dawson Creek in northeast BC to Kitimat on the west coast, there to be processed in an $18-billion terminal financed by LNG Canada’s joint partnership, then exported as low-emission liquified gas to replace high-emission coal-based energy in client Asian countries.

In their latest act of mischief earlier this month, the scofflaws blockaded a workers’ camp, trapping up to 500 workers without food or water before the blockage was dismantled; they stole or vandalized heavy machinery, and they caused destruction to forestry roads sufficient to bring the movement of police and industry personnel to a halt. 

It certainly doesn’t help matters when prominent voices on the left egg on the activists. Longtime political gadfly David Suzuki was roundly criticized when he opined, at an Extinction Rebellion event, that “there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.” This was a shockingly imprudent impulse. Most of Canada’s energy and transportation hubs run through native lands that cannot be adequately policed against sabotage. (He has since apologized, but the unfiltered instinct to say it remains “problematic,” a word frequently trotted out by progressives when critiquing the manifold perceived sins of conservatives.)

It also doesn’t help when our political and cultural elites continually harp on Canadians’ inherent shame as collective genocidaires, not to mention endless land acknowledgements that beg the question of why we seem to admit the land was “stolen,” but don’t give it back. 

Instead of inviting reconciliation, our various forms of breast-beating are inspiring revanchism. The mantra one hears with increasing frequency amongst indigenous activists these days, “Land Back,” means exactly what it says. Those chanting it have been encouraged to believe, by non-indigenous allies in government, academic and environmental-activist circles, that their hunting and gathering ancestors understood the concept of land “ownership” as we do today, and that consequently, 3% of the Canadian population deserves legal title to a third of our land mass. 

That is not going to happen, and such lines of thought should be discouraged by everyone with political and cultural influence. The 1997 Supreme Court Delgamuukw ruling made clear that Wet’suwet’en land title is limited, and that the Crown has use of the title land for the public good.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault recently tweeted: “Indigenous peoples have been stewards of this planet since time immemorial. The fight against climate change is not possible without their knowledge and leadership.” But whose leadership exactly? Elected band council leaders who signed on to the pipeline project, or a small group of unelected hereditary chiefs who do not enjoy support from more than a tiny fraction of their people? There is little clarity on this important distinction from government officials.

And whose “knowledge”? The CGL met the highest environmental standards in planning its project. They complied with all provisions set out in eight provincial and federal regulatory environmental Acts. They requested meetings with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (which represents the hereditary chiefs) to discuss issues related to the project over 40 times, with no response from them. If the hereditary chiefs had “knowledge” it was important for CGL to know, they had ample occasion to share it and chose not to.

None of our climate-obsessed progressive elites ever emphasize what an economic boon and lifeline to independence this pipeline and other eco-responsible projects are to indigenous peoples (a far greater boon than government handouts). While indigenous Canadians make up 3.3% of our general workforce, they represent 7.4% of the country’s oil and gas sector workforce. 

As for indigenous peoples being “stewards” of the planet: Even if we all agreed that indigenous people are “stewards” of the land, why should we assume that all indigenous people are of the same mind as Steven Guilbeault in his opposition to resource development? There is plenty of diversity amongst stakeholder populations, including amongst the hereditary chiefs. Yet the establishment media rarely draw attention to this diversity, preferring, as befits the modern, culturally self-loathing progressive spirit, to romance the anarchic dissenters.

Majority Wet’suwet’en opinion is pro-resource development, and it is time their voices were heard and respected. I, therefore, recommend a visit to the Canada Action site, where you will find many strong statements such as these below: 

  • “There’s quite a bit of support for this project,” says Bonnie George, Witset First nation, Wet’suwet’en. “But people are afraid to speak up because, in the past few years, people that [have] spoken up were either ostracized…[or] ridiculed, bullied, harassed, threatened, and being called a traitor – a sellout….There’s a small group of members from the Wet’suwet’en Nation that doesn’t support the [CGL] projects.”
  • “Twenty First Nations participated extensively during five years of consultation on the pipeline and have successfully negotiated agreements with [CGL]. This is on the public record,” says Karen Ogen-Toews of the First Nations LNG Alliance.
  • Theresa Tait-Day, a hereditary chief of Wet’suwet’en Nation, says the voices of female hereditary chiefs “are not being heard. “We have been working particularly with LNG and [CGL]. Our people wanted a benefit and they wanted to be able to make a decision on a positive note. However, we’ve experienced lateral violence and coercion since then by the five chiefs who claim to represent the nation” (since then, two chiefs of the five have dropped out of activating)…The protest organizers are conveniently hiding beneath our blanket as indigenous people, while forcing their policy goals at our expense.”
  • The Haisla Nation are associated with the Kitimat terminal project. Speaking for them, Crystal Smith says, “I’ve seen the impacts first hand. I’ve felt the impacts firsthand. The focus for us is the long-term careers. For the first time, we’re funding culture and language programs…This independence is what we want. This is what we need more of in our community. We need to heal our people. No other government…has been able to heal our people the way they need it.”
  • Also for Haisla Nation, former chief councillor Ellis Ross: “Professional protesters and well-funded NGOs have merely seized the opportunity to divide our communities for their own gains…and ultimately will leave us penniless when they suddenly leave.”
  • “This is one of the biggest projects in Canada, who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?” asks Derek Orr, former chief, McLeod lake Indian Band.

Who indeed? Only virtue-signalling enviro-alarmism obsessives, irresponsible disruptors who get a thrill out of “direct action” that sows chaos and disorder, and patronizing Nanny Statists who prefer that indigenous peoples continue to boil their drinking water than admit that responsible capitalism providing work, resources and human dignity is the way forward for Indigenous populations.

Barbra Kay is a Senior Columnist for the Western Standard

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