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Dan McTeague

Trudeau is destroying the Canadian economy one regulation at a time

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It is amazing, with ever increasing energy costs in Canada and throughout the world, that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to promote the extreme Green Agenda that will destroy Canada’s energy industry.

The latest example? Just the other week, the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) released a study that describes how the Trudeau government’s proposed Emissions Cap for the energy sector would “cost the Canadian economy between $44.8 billion and $79.3 billion a year” and would “cause substantial losses, without achieving any net reduction in global emission.” You can read the study here.

In case you’ve not heard about Trudeau’s new way to destroy our economy, let me take a step back and explain.

The Trudeau government is proposing an Emissions Cap to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the oil and gas sector by 42 percent by 2030. This policy is another piece in their larger, foolish plan to try to achieve “Net Zero” GHG emissions by 2050.  Keep in mind Canada contributes only 1.5% of global emissions, so this plan, if even achievable, would reduce only 0.45% of global emissions.

One of the options proposed to achieve this “Net Zero” craziness is a cap-and-trade system. According to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault “one of the advantages of a cap is emissions reduction certainty.”

Another certainty that Guilbeault failed to mention is that companies will think twice about investing their money in Canada.

Canadians need to consider that. The oil and gas sector is the single largest revenue provider for the Canadian government, generating $45 billion a year in annual economic activity, and  contributes $170 billion a year to the GDP. The economic consequences of this plan are significant, and they will mean a dramatic drawback in social programs in this country. How are we going to pay for our hospitals, our education system? How are we going to pay for our roads and our infrastructure?

As the MEI study found, this emissions cap will result in “substantial losses without achieving any net reduction in global emissions.” Why? Because whether this government likes to admit it or not, there is an increasing global demand for oil and gas. We can either produce those resources here or get them from another country that has no environmental, much less labour standards, such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran.

And here’s the rub. This cap on emissions would apply only to the oil and gas sector. This emissions cap would not apply to the concrete industry, the automotive industry, or the mining industry. And it certainly won’t apply to the jet building industry in Montreal. These must have better lobbyists than the oil and gas industry.

For that reason, an emissions cap, layered on top of carbon taxes, layered on top of a Clean Fuel Standard, layered on top of pipeline blockages, layered on top of Bills C-48, C-69, preventing oil from being shipped from other parts of the world — is clearly a vendetta against the sector that provides over 500,000 jobs to Canadians and contributes billions to our economy. And it is ultimately a vendetta against our pocketbooks, the interests of our society, and the Canadian way of life.

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions. Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

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Dan McTeague

The problem with Electric Vehicles

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

For years now we’ve been hearing about the wonders of electric vehicles (EVs). Enormous amounts of money have been spent by governments to entice people to buy them, from subsidies to free charging stations.

Here in Canada, the Trudeau Liberals have already subsidised EVs at a cost of $1 billion. Another $680 million in the next five years will go toward the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) to build an entire new infrastructure of charging stations.

In Ontario, Doug Ford’s government are ready “to become a North American hub for the next generation of electric vehicles,” and Ford’s PCs have recently committed to matching a $295 million investment from the Trudeau’s Liberals to retool the Ford Oakville Assembly Complex to become a global hub for battery electric vehicle production.

Electric vehicles are held up as the great green alternative to gas-powered vehicles.  In fact, the federal government has set a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks to be zero-emission by 2035 [read: electric and not gas-powered]. This is even more ambitious than their previous goal of 100% sales by 2040.

And, it seems, virtually the entire Canadian political class has either embraced or surrendered to the seemingly unstoppable momentum of EVs.

Well, here’s an interesting twist. Just the other week it was revealed that the Swiss government is considering legislation that would make it illegal for people to drive EVs over the winter except when it’s “absolutely necessary”.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Swiss government is discouraging people – to the point of making it illegal! – from driving their electric cars.

Why? Simple: there is not enough energy supply in Switzerland to power them.

Confused? How can this be?

Let me explain.

During the summer months, Switzerland gets around 60 percent of its energy from hydropower. But in the winter, hydro can’t produce enough energy, so the country imports a lot of electricity from France and Germany – both of which have long been dependent on Russian oil and gas imports.

Now that those “fossil fuels” have largely been cut off, these various European countries – not just Switzerland – are facing severe energy shortages this winter. This means that there won’t be enough electricity for people to charge their EVs.  This move highlights the obvious flaw in this push towards electrification, especially EVs. While EVs don’t burn fuel, you need to charge the battery which, of course, requires energy.

Still confused?  Right – perhaps you have never stopped to consider where the “energy” comes from that powers the EV charging stations?

Or did you just think that it was “magic” that powered the EVs?

Almost everywhere in the world, the charging stations are getting a lot of their power from oil and gas – the very same “fossil fuel” energy that EVs were supposed to replace. In many places, the power is coming from coal.

So to be clear, most countries typically need coal or oil or gas as a source of energy to power the charging stations, the very charging stations upon which many EV owners “power” their smug virtue signalling.

Some EV owners think, and even say out loud, that they are more concerned about the environment than you are. How can they say this?  Well, this is because they have an electric vehicle, while you drive a gas-guzzling vehicle that is destroying the planet.

All the while, their very same electric vehicle most likely gets its energy, ultimately, from the same sort of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuel that you do.

Ahem. (There are many other issues with EVs including the very expensive batteries with materials mined out of the earth, which is hardly a “zero emission” activity, or the reliability of the vehicles in our northern climate. More on that in another post.)

Consider too that here in Canada, the Trudeau government is pushing hard for us to move away from fossil fuels which provide reliable base power to our grid, towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which are unreliable and intermittent.

Now imagine how this could play out over the next decades. If governments follow through on their plans to ban traditional gas-powered vehicles, it is their stated hope that everyone will have to drive an EV.

But, at the same time, governments want to shut down the traditional energy sector which – for the foreseeable future –provides most of the energy supply that powers EVs. If we’re forced to get all our power from wind and solar, that just means most people will never be able to drive anywhere.

We should consider what is happening in Switzerland as a warning shot. Our energy grids simply cannot provide enough power for electric vehicles, and this move towards EVs for everyone will fail.  The Trudeau government is promoting a short-sighted, virtue-signalling policy that will cause significant societal harm along the way.

Maybe the disastrous situation in Europe this winter will lead to some long-overdue second thoughts about EVs, and the whole climate change agenda.

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Dan McTeague

COP27 – Playing the fiddle while Rome burns

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In case you missed the (mainstream) media frenzy, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) just wrapped up in Egypt.

This is the annual conference that highlights just how completely out of touch the elites, environmentalists and world leaders truly are, including our own prime minister.

In the weeks leading up to COP, the media was full of hysterical statements from politicians, UN bureaucrats, and activists. In October, the British newspaper The Guardian quoted UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres: “The fossil fuel industry is killing us.” In the same piece the “co-founder” of a “change agency” (whatever that is) says we’re facing “Armageddon”.  Gutteres told the delegates we’re on a “highway to climate hell”. Celebrities fly in on their private jets and pose for pictures. Politicians make more hysterical speeches.

There were lots of meetings and negotiations. It always turns out that the last round of green plans and “climate” policies didn’t quite work, and the solution is always, well, more plans and policies. Then they do it all again the next year.

And it would be funny if it weren’t so damaging. If ever the expression ‘playing the fiddle while Rome burns’ applied, this is it.

Domestically, Canadians are struggling to pay for food, heat, and housing. Inflation is driving up the cost of everything and Canadians are feeling it. Food banks across the country are sounding the alarm on record breaking visits. They note that it is no longer the unemployed that are primarily visiting them, it is the ‘working poor’ those who are employed but simply cannot make ends meet. Many Canadians are choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families. The situation is bad. And it’s even worse in Europe, but that’s another story.

In the midst of this, the Trudeau government is focusing their time and our resources on what? Greenhouse gases that might raise temperatures very slightly over the next quarter-century.  And they are doing this at enormous expense. The cost of this climate cult to Canadians is mind-boggling. Since 2015, Trudeau has spent 60 billion dollars trying to get our tiny contribution to global greenhouse emissions – around 1.5 percent – even lower.

Over the next thirty years, the total cost of the government’s climate initiatives will be around 2 trillion. 

Let that number sink in.

But that’s just what they’re spending. In addition, we should think about rising carbon taxes and energy costs, which make everything more expensive. We should think about the jobs we’ll lose, and the massive profits we could be making if the government would let our resource sector operate normally.

And have the last 26 COP conferences slowed the warming trend? Of course not. While according to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault“progress on commitments was at the forefront of this COP,” you can be sure there will need to be a 28th, and a 29th and a 35th COP conference. At some point, Einstein’s definition of insanity might apply – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

It goes to show just how out of touch the Trudeau government is. It is an insult to have Canadians pay for politicians and bureaucrats to be “COP delegates” and to fly halfway around the world for another pointless conference. We’re on a highway to hell, alright, but not because the world may be a little warmer in 2050.

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