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Demian Newman pens second open Letter to fellow Canadians

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23 minute read

We give a lot of credit to Demian Newman in his ongoing attempts to bring reasonable discussion to the pipeline debate. In this most recent opinion piece, he links to a lot of different sources of information to support his argument.  Take the time to read this article as well as the opposing POV written by Mike Sawyer, linked at the end of this story.

Read Demian’s first Open Letter by clicking this graphic: 

Here’s Demian’s second Open Letter:

Dear fellow Canadians,

In my original Open Letter, I had a very simple and basic premise; I do not believe shutting down Canada’s oil and gas industry will help the environment or climate change. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe it would have the adverse effect.

Over 200,000 people have read my opinion piece, and a lot have left very positive comments. But there have also been some opposing viewpoints. Which is good, because I wanted to start a conversation. With that in mind, I have summarized all the opposing comments below, with a response to each (minus the personal attacks…which I quickly dismissed).

Before we dive into all the comments concerned with my original letter, I would just like to summarize again; that Canada’s oil and gas industry putting up an OUT OF BUSINESS sign today, will not help Canada, or the planet, on any environmental level. Because, 1) you (and I), will not change our energy consumption. 2) that energy will simply be provided by another country, which does not have the same environmental regulations and standards to extract and sell their natural resources as Canada does.

If you’re protesting Canada’s industry because you’re fighting climate change, then I need to remind you that this is a worldwide issue, not a just a Canadian one. So, if that’s your intention, then you need to use your efforts to make worldwide change. Not just suffocate Canada’s industry.

If you’re already getting fired up that I’m not getting to the Q&A conversation, I promise I heard them all. But I don’t think a lot of people heard me before commenting on my first letter. And a lot of those voices were coming from a city that I absolutely love, but is obviously on a very different page regarding Canada’s oil and gas industry than me.

So, to my friends in Vancouver; I should’ve focused a bit more on the project which has been such a bone of contention for you – The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. And I’m not going dive that deep into this, as again, the basis of this letter was a conversation with everyone from my first letter. But I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up that your former Mayor, Greg Robertson was vehemently opposed to a Canadian pipeline (the TMX), but last June signed a $150M pipeline deal to get the ever-expanding Vancouver airport jet fuel – from the state of Washington.

This is the part where I’m left scratching my head again, as Mr. Robertson fights against a Canadian pipeline, saying “it’s not worth the risk. In fact, it’s not in Canada’s interest”. How is a pipeline from the state of Washington, instead of Canada, in Canada’s best interest?

I’d dive into the hypocrisy of Mr. Robertson blasting Canada’s oil and gas industry, by saying that the TMX would put “people and the environment are at risk”, but a pipeline direct to the Vancouver airport from the state of Washington, is apparently no issue. However, I will refrain, as I like to travel. And though commercial airline travel certainly isn’t the best for the environment, I do believe that Canada’s airlines/airports are doing everything to be a world leader in reducing their environmental footprint – because I’d expect nothing less of a Canadian industry.

To use an analogy, I didn’t have a chance to in my first letter; I do believe Canadians protesting Canada’s oil and gas industry would be the equivalent of Canadians boycotting Westjet and Air Canada, but still going on the same holidays – just using international airlines instead. This idea is obviously ridiculous, as no one could believe this would help the environment on any level.

But then there are protesters all over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, but not one to be found fighting against the 4000 tankers bringing imported oil to Canada each year. Again, it’s head scratching.

I do think to understand why it’s happening, we need to have a cross-Canada conversation.

So, below are all the opposing opinions from my original letter (and I do apologize if I missed any, as I did try and summarize all of them). I’ve done this in a Q&A format, with the Opposing Comments (summarized) and then My Opinion. And it is only my opinion, and I’m sure someone else can give a much better reply, should they want to keep this conversation going…

Opposing Comments: 

I received a lot of similar comments, that there’s no point in investing in a dying industry with no future.

My Opinion:

If you’re referring to no future based on worldwide oil reserves? The math on “Proven Reserves” is pretty straight forward, and everything you look up has it at 50ish years. This is based on today’s technology, and when you consider how far technology has come in the past 10–15yrs the opinions get pretty varied on how long the 50 years extends into. As this technology makes producing the “Probable Reserves” and “Possible Reserves” more likely by the day.

Without getting pulled down on this, I hope we can agree that fossil fuels aren’t running out any time soon – but aren’t a “forever solution”. So, we do need to find energy from multiple sources.

Opposing Comments:

It’s not a dying industry, it’s a dead industry. It’s the Model-T to the horse and buggy, Netlfix to Blockbuster video, or the Internet to traditional media.

My opinion:

I’m sorry, but if fossil fuel energy was a dead industry – then it’d be dead. But absolutely every economist is saying that fossil fuel consumption will continue to increase worldwide each year. I don’t have to copy a link for this, as you can find Google results by the hundreds for factual data. And it’s not hopeful data, but factual based estimates which provide information that every country, Fortune 500 company, bank, etc is listening too, while investing for the future.

At the bottom there is a link to an Energy Minute video, which does a great job explaining that the decrease in oil used by Canada between now and 2040 is more than offset by the increase use from developing nations. I’ve also again added Chris Slubicki’s video link (below) to this, as there’s a big portion of his presentation that explains this (and everything) much better than I ever could.

Opposing Comments: 

A lot of people asked for proof that Canada is a world leader in oil and gas environmental standards.

My opinion:

The one thing I realized after my original letter, is that I’ve done a terrible job archiving everything I’ve read/watched/heard over the years, which drove the opinion for my first letter. So, if I could ask anyone for the stats on Canada versus the world on environmental standards in this industry, that’d be great. I know I’ve read hundreds of positive articles over the years (maybe more).

However, I have included the very public list of oil producing countries flaring gas in a link below (billions of cubic meters of gas which releases CO2 into the atmosphere). Canada ranks 22nd for the gas our industry emits (typically methane, ethane, butane, propane and hydrogen sulfide). I’m reading that as extremely positive, since we’re 7th in oil production over that time (2013-2017). Our 1.3 bcms pales in comparison to Russia (19.9) Iraq (17.8), Iran (17.7), or the USA (9.5). And don’t get me started on Nigeria who flared 7.6 bcms, which is more than 5 times the gas Canada flares, even though we produce almost twice as much oil.

I also included another link below of an interesting article this past month, where we have the least political corruption of any country involved in the oil and gas industry. Which is kind of funny, as I don’t think any Canadian would be surprised by that.

Opposing opinions:

Even though I didn’t mention the TMX pipeline in my original letter, I had numerous people say they were for Energy East and BC LNG, but dead-set against TMX – because of the certainty (as in absolute certainty) that there will be a tanker spill in the Vancouver harbor. And it could threaten the Orca population.

My opinion:

I agree. It might surprise people (but I really hope it doesn’t) that I also don’t want an oil tanker spill, nor do I want those tankers to endanger a single killer whale. And now that the feds bought TMX last summer (which is a whole other letter for another day), and EVERY CANADIAN is officially a pipeline company owner, I do think we should take these concerns seriously.

Current info will tell you that the TMX being built would increase tanker traffic off the coast of BC by 6.6.%. Certainly not a huge percentage. I also understand that any increase needs to be measured against its environmental impact.

The National Energy Board (NEB) just came out last Friday, that they want the creation of the marine mammal protection program in response to the TMX. So, it’s good to see the NEB doing its job as a 3rd party nonpartisan review board on international and inter-provincial aspects of the oil, gas industry – which certainly doesn’t need to be removed as per bill C-69 (again, another topic for another letter).

Also, for the spills, I did see the plans for the (I believe quadrupled) emergency response program for tanker issues, because of the 6.6% additional TMX tanker traffic. Which was followed up with how incredibly unlikely an event like this would be, as the tankers are handled with tug boats until they hit open water.

What is easily accessible on Google are the stats on tanker spills (below). Worldwide it’s been 2 large tanker spills (700+ tonnes) since 2010. I also believe that two is, two too many – which is why I believe the Canadian industry will add a ton of safeguards over and above worldwide standards (like they do with their pipelines).

Speaking of, there is still nowhere near the Canada wide education on pipelines and the Canadian environmental standards for safe construction and maintenance of them. As somehow a record of 99.9995% pipelines with zero issues in Canada isn’t good enough. Neither is the fact that Canadian pipelines rate of spills were 57 per cent lower than in Europe and 60 per cent lower than in the United States over the past decade.

I understand that it should be 100%. But honestly, what is?

Opposing opinions:

Many in BC are upset as they are viewed as a mere obstacle for Alberta to get their oil to market. When Alberta gains all the benefit financially.

My opinion:

Federal and provincial governments will see $46.7 billion in additional taxes and royalties from construction and 20 years of operation. At the point, where a CANADIAN OWNED pipeline is making Canada billions, why as a Canadian who wants green energy vs fossil fuels, wouldn’t you demand your current government use that money to research and develop this green/clean tech. Seems like a win-win…with some compromises. But every reasonable solution requires compromise.

Opposing Comments:

The romance of the electric car saving everything. And there are a lot of Canadians with this idea.

My opinion:

I can’t underscore my confusion on how the electric car has been so romanticized.

I completely understand the low emission side of the argument. But I’m shocked at how many people stop there, as if the electric car is “an environmental mic drop moment”, and don’t look any further. I think the video on the Energy Minute website does a fantastic job of both the pros and cons of the electric car (link below). But I also couldn’t help but include a link regarding on of the concerns on the batteries (also below).

Opposing opinion:

Not super surprising that I received lots of anti Oilsands “tarsands” “dirtyoil” comments, where Fort Mac got slammed pretty hard.

My opinion:

I included a few examples in my original letter about Oilsands GHG emissions dropping 29% since 2000 and a barrel of oil from there being a smaller carbon footprint than that of a barrel from California. But it fell on deaf ears.

So, this part of my letter isn’t for those you oppose the Oilsands, but instead is for those companies working in Canada’s Oilsands. It’s time to spend millions on a cross-Canada public relations campaign for this industry. And don’t tell Canadians how many jobs it creates. Cause I’ve heard from Canadians – and they don’t care.

Its time promote the thousands of real stories, where Canadian oil and gas projects cost so much more because of the extra time and effort needed to do them in the safest and most environmentally responsible way possible. Show Canadians what Fort Mac was before; unusable farmland with oil literally bubbling up through the ground. Show them what I’ve seen, that the reclamation efforts after the oil is extracted and the area is returned to a lush green forested area, where people would be shocked that oil and gas wells used to be there.

Perhaps we also need to get Canadians angry, and show them how they’ve been manipulated by groups like The Rockefeller group (article below) to demonize the Canadian Oilsands for their financial benefit.

Opposing Comments:

Who cares if protesters are paid? Doesn’t mean they don’t believe in their cause.

My Opinion:

I feel really bad that there are Canadians who’ve spent an enormous amount of time and effort at these protests and rallies, thinking they were trying to benefit the world. When they were actually helping line the pockets of billionaires. It makes me angry.

I hope they all look into it. And it makes them angry.

Protesting a Canadian pipeline based on saving the environment, probably wasn’t funded by environment loving humanitarians. But instead funded by a corporation with this in their Corporate Guidance: From the very beginning, the campaign strategy was to land-lock the tar sands so their crude could not reach the international market where it could fetch a high price per barrel. This meant national and grassroots organizing to block all proposed pipelines (taken from the Vivian Krause interview link below).

Again, I’d be mad.

Last and my favorite Opposing Comments:

That I’m a millionaire lobbyist for Canada’s Oil and Gas industry.

My reality

I wish! That sounds fantastic!

But alas, I’m just your run of the mill sales guy.

I absolutely benefit financially from a booming oil and gas industry. And I was frustrated by this downturn hitting me financially, but not enough to type out these massive rants. These are 100% based on Canadians working together for an oil and gas industry we should all be proud of; as the best, safest, and most environmentally friendly in the world. As anything less would be un-Canadian.

Again, I’m Demian Newman. And I’m shocked so many people read my last rant. And even more so, if you made it through this epically long one.

Links to articles I’ve mentioned above:

Worldwide future of oil (This is a brand-new website, which can only grow through donations. And both sides of this debate hopefully want a no-partisan website which has no agenda other than educating everyone on the facts of energy. So, I’ve donated in hopes they grow this site, and I hope you do as well):

https://energyminute.ca/video/83/oil-what-does-the-future-look-like

The electric car:

https://energyminute.ca/video/76/the-electric-car

Vivian Krause interviews:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/vivian-krause-tar-sands-campaign-canada-oil-1.4895487

https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/corbella-vivian-krause-should-become-a-household-name-across-canada

Counties flaring gas:

http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/gasflaringreduction#7

Canadian’s being manipulated by groups like The Rockefeller group:

https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-the-great-american-conspiracy-to-sabotage-canadian-oilpatch

Creation of the marine mammal protection program:

https://www.jwnenergy.com/article/2019/1/neb-wants-trans-mountain-marine-protection-program/

Chris Slubicki Youtube video:

https://youtu.be/raMwTUjB224

Oil tanker stats:

https://www.itopf.org/news-events/news/article/2017-tanker-oil-spill-statistics-positive-downward-trend-continues/

Ranking Canada’s oil industry on corruption:

https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/canadian-oil-bashers-are-shooting-themselves-and-the-environment-in-the-foot

35,000 children in Congo’s mines (related to electric car, and all batteries):

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/oct/12/phone-misery-children-congo-cobalt-mines-drc

Here is a link to a story that includes Demian’s first Open Letter, and a response from Mike Sawyer.  

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Alberta

Lightning the latest to learn Dallas Stars’ defence can be downright offensive

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EDMONTON — The Tampa Bay Lightning are the latest team in the NHL playoffs to discover how much the Dallas Stars’ defence can be, well, downright offensive.

The Stars scored twice via defenders jumping into the play en route to a 4-1 win over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.

Dallas head coach Rick Bowness calls it a high-risk, high-reward strategy change born out of necessity in the modern game.

“We had to change the way we were playing with the puck,” Bowness told reporters Sunday on a Zoom call.

“Since we went to (return to play training) camp on July 11 that was the focus, and it continues to be the focus.

“In this league, you better have your fourth guy joining the rush or you’re not going to create enough chances off the rush, and you’re not going to spend enough time in the offensive zone.”

Dallas is three wins from the Stanley Cup in a playoff run powered by the offensive production of defenders like Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, and Jamie Oleksiak.

Heiskanen, 21, is the team’s top playoff point-getter, with five goals and 18 assists. Klingberg is tied for third (three goals, 17 points). Oleksiak has five goals in 22 playoff games after never getting more than five in any regular season in his eight-year NHL career.

Bowness said the strategy carries high risk if everyone isn’t in sync. The forwards have to gain the zone and dish the puck and fill the gap when the defence activates. If a player loses the puck or doesn’t rotate, the dominoes can fall on a disastrous odd-man attack headed at high speed the other way.

“Some nights it’s there, it works, and some nights it doesn’t. But they’re coming,” said Bowness.

“We’re after our D all the time to keep coming, and when that happens you’re putting a lot of onus on the puck carrier to make the right decisions.

“We’re here where we are because of the play of our defence and their chipping in offensively when they have to.”

With Dallas, the defence can play offence, but the offence can also hustle back and play defence, as evidenced in the third period of Game 1. Tampa Bay found its legs in the final frame and leveraged three Dallas minor penalties to blitz Anton Khudobin with 22 shots on net in 20 minutes.

Khudobin stopped them all, but credited teammates with clearing out rebounds and stopping pucks at the point of attack. The Stars allowed 35 shots on Khudobin in total but blocked another 26.

Dallas forward Jason Dickinson said they are succeeding in keeping shots to the perimeter and collapsing in on the net when pucks got through.

“We’re all on the same page. We don’t get running (around). When we’re in doubt we pack it in and we’ll expand from there and protect the house first,” said Dickinson.

“When it does open up, we have (Khudobin) there to shut the door for us.”

Khudobin, a journeyman backup in his 11th season, is having a storybook post-season, starting 19 games for an injured Ben Bishop and racking up 13 wins. Against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final he allowed just eight goals on 161 shots for a .950 save percentage.

But Bowness said even keeping shots at a long distance is not good news.

“When we’re seeing that, we’re on our heels and that’s not how we play the game. We play the game on our toes going north,” he said.

The Lightning have yet to lose back-to-back games in this post-season, which has seen teams play in so-called isolated bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto to prevent contracting the coronavirus.

Forward Blake Coleman said they’ll be a different team in Game 2 Monday night at Rogers Place.

“Nobody is proud of the way we played, and we have a very proud group,” said Coleman.

“I expect every guy to look in the mirror and bounce back and play better than they did in Game 1.”

Looming over the series is the question of whether former two-time league scoring champion and Lightning team captain Steven Stamkos will return.

Stamkos has been out since March after undergoing surgery for a core muscle injury. He’s skating with the team in practice.

Will he play in Monday’s Game 2? Tampa head coach Jon Cooper was asked.

“I guess there’s always a chance, but as of now I don’t think so,” Cooper replied.

Bowness said they’re planning for him: “We’re expecting Steven to play at some point.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

RCMP in Alberta say man dead after he called 911 and told police he wanted shootout

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CALLING LAKE, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say a man is dead after he’d called them multiple times, telling them he wanted a gunfight with police.

Police say officers in Athabasca, Alta. received multiple 911 calls from a 51-year-old man who asked police to come to his home in nearby Calling Lake.

They say during those calls he made comments that he wanted to engage RCMP members in a shootout.

Police allege the man exited the residence multiple times before ultimately confronting RCMP members on the street.

They say that confrontation led to an RCMP member discharging a service firearm.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and no other injuries were reported.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province’s police oversight agency, says it has been directed to investigate the officer-involved shooting and will provide more details later.

RCMP, meanwhile, say they will continue to investigate the actions of the man and the events leading up to the confrontation.

The Canadian Press

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