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Stop The Cap On Oil And Gas


5 minute read

From Project Confederation

With the United Nations’s 28th Climate Change Conference in Dubai generating headlines, we all knew it was only a matter of time before Canada’s radical eco-activist Environment Minister did something stupid.

And here it is, from Steven Guilbeault himself:

“The Government of Canada’s plan to cap and reduce emissions from Canada’s largest emitting sector is ambitious, but practical. It considers the global demand for oil and gas — and the importance of the sector in Canada’s economy — and sets a limit that is strict, but achievable.”

That’s right, folks – the Oil and Gas emissions/production cap is finally upon us.

We launched a campaign last year, around this same time, warning that this was coming.

Now, we know just how bad it actually is.

If you already agree that we should Stop The Cap On Oil And Gas,
click here to sign the petition, but if you want more details, read on!

The framework that’s being proposed by the federal government would cap emissions at 35% – 38% below 2019 levels.

How exactly would this be done?

What will it cost?

No one knows.

The federal government just says that they’ll release the details via regulation sometime next year.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is livid, issuing a statement:

“[The announcement is an] intentional attack by the federal government on the economy of Alberta and the financial well-being of millions of Albertans and Canadians.”

“Justin Trudeau and his eco-extremist Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, are risking hundreds of billions of investments in Alberta’s and Canada’s economy.”

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe echoed Smith:

“[The cap] will have serious economic impacts on Canadians and limit our sustainable Canadian energy products from providing heat and electricity to the world.”

“Saskatchewan will protect our constitutional right to build our economy in accordance with the priorities of Saskatchewan families and businesses.”

The federal government has been in legal hot water lately over constitutional overreaches – with the Supreme Court deeming the Impact Assessment Act unconstitutional in October and the Federal Court ruling the plastics ban unconstitutional in November.

Ottawa has consistently ignored provincial jurisdiction on a wide range of issues, and their inability to stay in their constitutional lane has been a major source of tension with the provinces.

This emissions cap is just the latest example, as natural resource development is guaranteed to be the sole jurisdiction of the provinces in the Constitution of Canada.

As such, the emissions cap is clearly unconstitutional – but even if it wasn’t, it would be a terrible policy anyway.

First, it’s an admission by the government that the carbon tax – their signature climate change policy – is not working.

The entire purpose of the tax was to be a “market mechanism” to reduce emissions, and yet now they’re admitting that they need even more regulations to reduce emissions.

This cap is a direct and deliberate attack on western Canada’s oil and gas industry.

Remember – the cap will not apply to any industry other than oil and gas.

Ontario’s automotive industry, Quebec’s cement industry, and other high-emitting industries in other parts of Canada are not having their emissions capped.

The cap also excludes refineries – even though that is part of the oil and gas industry – because many of Canada’s refineries happen to be in regions of the country that mostly vote Liberal.

If the federal government were actually concerned about the environment, they would implement policies designed to reduce emissions across all industries and all regions of Canada.

Instead, the hypocritical and political nature of Ottawa’s climate agenda reveals their true intentions and undermines the credibility of their entire plan.

That’s why we’re renewing our campaign calling on the federal government to back off, respect the Constitution, and stop infringing on provincial jurisdiction.

If you agree, please sign our petition to Stop The Cap On Oil And Gas:

Josh Andrus
Executive Director
Project Confederation

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Government policies diminish Alberta in eyes of investors

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From the Fraser Institute

By Julio Mejía and Tegan Hill

Canada’s economy has stagnated, with a “mild to moderate” recession expected this year. Alberta can help Canada through this economic growth crisis by reaping the benefits of a strong commodity market. But for this to happen, the federal and provincial governments must eliminate damaging policies that make Alberta a less attractive place to invest.

Every year, the Fraser Institute surveys senior executives in the oil and gas industry to determine what jurisdictions in Canada and the United States are attractive—or unattractive—to investment based on policy factors. According to the latest results, red tape and high taxes are dampening the investment climate in the province’s energy sector.

Consider the difference between Alberta and two large U.S. energy jurisdictions—Wyoming and Texas. According to the survey, oil and gas investors are particularly wary of environmental regulations in Alberta with 50 per cent of survey respondents indicating that “stability, consistency and timeliness of environmental regulatory process” scared away investment compared to 14 per cent in Wyoming and only 11 per cent in Texas.

Investors also suggest that the U.S. regulatory environment offers greater certainty and predictability compared to Alberta. For example, 42 per cent of respondents indicated that “uncertainty regarding the administration, interpretation, stability, or enforcement of existing regulations” is a deterrent to investment in Alberta, compared to only 9 per cent in Wyoming and 13 per cent in Texas. Similarly, 43 per cent of respondents indicated that the cost of regulatory compliance was a deterrent to investment in Alberta compared to just 9 per cent for Wyoming and 19 per cent for Texas.

And there’s more—41 per cent of respondents for Alberta indicated that taxation deters investment compared to only 21 per cent for Wyoming and 14 per cent for Texas. Overall, Wyoming was more attractive than Alberta in 14 out of 16 policy factors assessed by the survey and Texas was more attractive in 11 out of 16.

Indeed, Canadian provinces are generally less attractive for oil and gas investment compared to U.S. states. This should come as no surprise—Trudeau government policies have created Canada’s poor investment climate. Consider federal Bill C-69, which imposes complex, uncertain and onerous review requirements on major energy projects. While this bill was declared unconstitutional, uncertainty remains until new legislation is introduced. During the COP28 conference in Dubai last December, the Trudeau government also announced its draft framework to cap oil and gas sector greenhouse gas emissions, adding uncertainty for investors due to the lack of details. These are just a few of the major regulations imposed on the energy industry in recent years.

As a result of these uncertain and onerous regulations, the energy sector has struggled to complete projects and reach markets overseas. Not surprisingly, capital investment in Alberta’s oil and gas sector plummeted from $58.1 billion (in 2014) to $26.0 billion in 2023.

The oil and gas sector is one of the country’s largest industries with a major influence on economic growth. Alberta can play a key role in helping Canada overcome the current economic challenges but the federal and provincial governments must pay attention to investor concerns and establish a more competitive regulatory and fiscal environment to facilitate investment in the province’s energy sector—for the benefit of all Canadians.

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Proposed legislation seeks to suppress speech about climate change and fossil fuels

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NDP MP Charlie Angus

From the Fraser Institute

By Kenneth P. Green

Canada is a constitutional parliamentary democracy where differences of opinion are to be resolved through elections, which people are persuaded by words and ideas, not threats of violence. Stripping people of the right to express themselves freely will introduce violence into the democratic process, disenfranchising some people and disenchanting others.

It’s rare, in today’s political world, for someone in power to whip off the velvet glove and show the iron fist beneath. It’s a bit gauche for our times. But that’s what happened recently when federal NDP natural resources critic Charlie Angus tabled a member’s bill that would clap anyone who says negative things about the government’s fossil-fuel-phobia into the pokey—and rob them on the way to jail. We’re not talking about a slap on the wrist, but about million-dollar fines and years in jail for simply expressing a positive thought about fossil fuels. So much for the fundamental freedom of expression in Canada.

Angus’ Bill C-372 would fine and jail people for the most innocuous of speech relating to climate change or fossil fuels. Even daring to speak the obvious truths such as “natural gas is less polluting than coal” could land you in jail for one year and cost you $750,000. If you produce fossil fuels and are found guilty of “false promotion,” you’d face two years in jail and a $1.5 million fine.

Enacting such speech restrictions would be destructive of the fabric of Canadian society, and even though this member’s bill (like most) will go nowhere, it should trouble Canadians that we’ve reached a level of political discourse where members of Parliament feel they can blatantly propose stripping Canadians of their freedom of expression, obviously convinced they’ll not pay a price it.

Specifically, Bill-372 and its pernicious idea of speech control would cause harm to two major elements of Canadian civilization—our democracy, which depends on the free exchange of ideas as Canada elects its leaders, and our mixed-market economic system where actors in the market require a free flow of information to make informed decisions that can produce positive economic outcomes and economic growth.

Let’s start with that democracy thing. Canada is a constitutional parliamentary democracy where differences of opinion are to be resolved through elections, which people are persuaded by words and ideas, not threats of violence. Stripping people of the right to express themselves freely will introduce violence into the democratic process, disenfranchising some people and disenchanting others. Canada already has to work hard to promote engagement by the public in the political process. Things like Bill C-372 would not make this easier. A less politically engaged public cedes ever more power to entrenched politicians and political activists, and leaves power in the hands of smaller minorities with extreme enough views who think opposing ideas must be suppressed with force.

Regarding free speech, consider this. Without a robust mixed-market economy, the voluntary exchange which leads to economic activity does not happen. Productivity declines and scarcity, the eternal scourge of humanity, resurges and people suffer. Freedom of expression is central to the operation of market economies. People must be free to share information about the value of things (or lack thereof) for decisions to be made, for prices to manifest, and for markets to function effectively. Without open communication in markets, diversity of goods and services will diminish as some goods and services won’t be promoted or defended while others are freely to advertised.

Bill C-372 should and likely will die an ignominious death in Parliament, but all politicians of all parties should denounce it for what it is—an attempt by government to suppress speech. Unlikely to happen, but one can always hope for sanity to prevail.

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