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Energy & the Environment

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Energy & the Environment
Oil and gas.
 
The three letter curse words.
 
Many are calling for the end of oil and gas while promoting the slogan “Build Back Better”.
 
The slogan which originated from the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in response to Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, has now morphed into the slogan for all things green and socially just.
Liberal Environment Policy
The Liberal Party of Canada’s website outlines their plan for “Protecting our Environment and Moving Our Economy Forward” as follows:
 
  1. Fighting and Preparing for Climate Change
  2. Making Communities Cleaner, More Efficient, and More Affordable
  3. Protecting Canada’s Natural Legacy
 
The document lays out a commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, plant two billion trees in ten years, provide interest-free loans for retrofits, build vehicle charging stations, set up a camping travel bursary and ban single-use plastics.
 
So what is the problem with the Liberals environmental plan? Simple. It lacks depth, neglects financial implications and worst of all, its not rooted in reality.
Zero Emissions
Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
 
Making a commitment to hit this target through “legally binding” targets ignores the reality that we live in.
 
The Parliamentary Budget Office has indicated that emissions-reductions cannot be met unless the carbon tax is drastically increased.
 
While it may be possible to tax the country into a state of zero emissions, this would significantly cripple the economy, destroy jobs and ruin lives. This is not acceptable.
 
What should the government do?
 
Up to the mid-late 1800s, wood was the primary source of energy for developed nations.
 
What changed from that point to now? Innovation.
 
Government needs to remove red tape, repeal poor policy, end harmful taxation and allow the free market to pursue new technologies.
 
How can we be sure that this will work?
 
The free market is driven to create returns for shareholders. If there is an opportunity to create profits through new technology, free markets will find a way to capitalize.
 
In order to truly implement policies that improve our environment, we need to look beyond our borders and bring leading Canadian technologies to foreign countries.
 
Canada is a significant coal exporter. Coal, when burned, is a much higher polluter than other non-renewable resources such as natural gas and hydrogen. The government should work with foreign countries to promote the use of natural gas as a substitute.
Retrofit
Retrofit Buildings
 
Plans to provide free energy audits, interest-free retrofit loans and grants for zero-emissions homes are the main talking points of the Liberal retrofit plan.
 
First off, nothing supplied by the government is free. All government expenses are bankrolled by taxpayers.
 
In the midst of reduced or eliminated incomes due to the pandemic, the likelihood of home-owners or landlords being willing to take on debt to retrofit homes or office buildings is going to be limited for the foreseeable future.
 
Similarly, the costs associated with building a zero-emission home will not be offset with a $5,000 grant as proposed in the Liberal plan.
 
What should the government do?
 
Canada is already home to stringent building regulations. Regulations that carry significant costs.
 
In order to encourage further “green” building, the market needs access to more affordable products.
 
The government could accomplish this through the reduction of red tape, and the promotion of trade deals that allow for foreign firms to bring their goods and technology to Canada.
 
Competition and innovation ultimately drive down consumer costs and will always be more effective and efficient than government subsidies.
Charing stations
Charging Stations
 
Recently, the federal government announced that it will “invest” $295 million to help Ford Canada upgrade its Oakville assembly plant to begin making electric vehicles.
 
With the increased manufacturing of electric cars, comes a requirement for charging stations.
 
According to a 2015 US Department of Energy study, costs for single port Level 1 stations range from $300-$4,500. For DC fast charging stations, $14,000-$91,000.
 
Level 1 stations add 6 miles of range per hour @ 1.9kW. DC fast charging stations add 90 miles per 20 minutes @ 90kW.
 
Before taxpayer funds are thrown at green projects, a complete analysis of the life-cycle costs should be a requirement. This will ensure that emissions are truly lower and that taxpayers are receiving economic value for their tax dollars.
 
What should the government do?
 
Government subsidies that prop up an industry or product are inevitably harmful to consumers. These subsidies hide costs that the free market would ultimately choose not to absorb.
 
Instead, government should encourage vehicle manufacturers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, regardless of the fuel system used to power the vehicle.
 
This could be done through the existing Scientific Research & Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program. The specific objective of the project should be to offset the costs of wages paid to research and development staff who are engaged in this direct work.
 
Beyond the direct goal of improving vehicle emissions, this program would create more opportunities for high-paying jobs within the tech sector which would further help to diversify the Canadian economy.
Camping
Trees and Camping Travel Bursary
 
The tree planting program involves two billion trees, ten years, 3,500 seasonal jobs and an overall $3 billion effort to deploy natural climate solutions.
 
If there is a job that meets pandemic guidelines, planting trees in the great outdoors qualifies.
 
The camping bursary was to provide a $2,000 grant to help families go camping in Canada’s national parks. No grants have been provided to date.
 
Additionally, the Learn to Camp program was to be expanded so that every Canadian child could learn how to camp by the time they reached grade eight.
 
What should the government do?
 
The WE scandal resulted in a missed opportunity to create job opportunities for post-secondary students. This can be remedied by expanding the Canada Summer Jobs program in advance of the 2021 tree planting season.
 
If there is little or no interest in the tree planting program for 2021, it should be abandoned entirely. Instead, government should support private sector companies who are consistently engaging in tree planting projects and other environmental reclamation projects.
 
Boutique tax credits and other one-off government programs typically result in creating winners and losers. As such, the camping bursary program should be cancelled.
 
Instead, and in conjunction with a full tax code review, the government could find efficiencies within the tax system that would translate into real results for Canadians.
Plastic
Single-Use Plastics Ban
 
A recent announcement to ban single-use plastics, regulations to be finalized in late 2021, seeks to fulfill a long running Liberal election promise.
 
The ban will remove plastic grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six pack rings, cutlery and takeout containers.
 
At a time where the hospitality industry is reeling from the impacts of the pandemic, this will be another difficult adjustment for this industry.
 
Smaller Alberta plastic manufactures have expressed concern with the new policy. Although single-use plastics account for a small portion of the plastics market, the costs associated with re-tooling a manufacturing facility can be quite high.
 
What should the government do?
 
Instead of virtue-signalling, the government should focus on addressing the issue of plastic recycling. The slogan of reduce, reuse and recycle can be traced back to the 1970s. Why hasn’t it caught on as hoped? Simply put, there is no money in plastic recycling.
 
Government should focus resources instead to projects that find viable solutions for plastic recycling. One such project is the development of plastic-bitumen composite roads.
 
Adding carbon capture technology to the plastic processing and bitumen mixing process would allow for road materials to be produced in an environmentally conscious manner.
 
Plastic-bitumen composite roads could result in better quality roadways as they are less water absorbent. Due to the temperature swings in Canada, this could save significant amounts of money otherwise spent on maintenance.
Final Thoughts
Final Thoughts
 
Canadians across the country have a strong desire to protect and preserve our environment for our children and future generations.
 
Environmental policies need to be more than exercises in virtue-signalling.
 
Government needs to understand the climate that we live in, the size of our country and the economic implications of the decisions being made.
 
Government subsidies are unacceptable. Subsidies result in expensive infrastructure projects and bloated consumer costs. If we need a reminder of this we only have to look at the recent failing of the Ontario green energy initiative.
 
Government should focus on reducing red tape, encouraging competition and providing targeted tax credits. Policy that focus on tax credits require free market enterprises to undergo the leg work to get new technology to a state where it can be capitalized on. This allows the free market to determine what is viable and how to achieve capitalization in the most efficient manner.
 
Lastly, we need capitalize on revenues from our oil and gas sector in order to further technological advances. Passing legislation to end emissions, create a zero-plastic waste economy or any other lofty agenda neglects the real world implications of these decisions. These policies do not take into consideration the resources required to accomplish these goals. Additionally, many families are being left behind as a result of these policy decisions.
 
We can protect our environment through innovation. In making policy decisions, government must not take better care of the environment than the residents who call it home.
https://www.jaredpilon.com/

I have recently made the decision to seek nomination as a candidate in the federal electoral district of Red Deer - Mountain View. As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), I directly see the negative impacts of government policy on business owners and most notably, their families. This has never been more evident than in 2020. Through a common sense focus and a passion for bringing people together on common ground, I will work to help bring prosperity to the riding of Red Deer – Mountain View and Canada. I am hoping to be able to share my election campaign with your viewers/readers. Feel free to touch base with me at the email listed below or at jaredpilon.com. Thanks.

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Alberta

Premier Kenney says Alberta is “Open Forever!”

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Premier Jason Kenney joined Danielle Smith of the Alberta Enterprise Group for a live interview Thursday at noon.  Right off the top of the interview the pair established the fact that Thursday, June 10 is the first day every single business in Alberta has been allowed to open in some capacity since the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020.   Then Jason Kenney made a bold announcement.  Alberta’s Premier says Alberta is not only opening up, but due to the success they’re seeing with the vaccines, Alberta will stay open.

Enjoy Danielle Smith’s interview with Premier Jason Kenney.

From the Alberta Enterprise Group

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Economy

Net Zero Part 4 – IPCC Experts Say Doing Nothing Would Be Less Harmful

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Do you ever feel good when someone won’t tell you how much something costs – something you have to pay for?

No? Me neither.

But, when it comes to the Canadian government’s climate change agenda, and in particular the “Net Zero by 2050” strategy, that is where we are.

It is being forced on Canadians, who will end up paying the bill, but we are not being told what the price is today, or what the price will be tomorrow.

I will continue to dig to find out more. But in the meantime, let me share what an expert on the climate file says about what “doing nothing” would cost.

Yes, doing nothing.

But don’t take my word for it.

President Obama was (and remains) quite outspoken as an alarmist on the issue of climate change, talking often about the impending crisis.

But the former Democratic President’s senior Department of Energy official, Stephen Koonin, has just come out with a most sensible and distinctly non-alarmist perspective. His recently published book, Unsettled, suggests the alarmist climate change narrative is unfounded.

Stephen Koonin served as Undersecretary of Energy in former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. A PhD Physicist, he is a smart guy.

Referencing materials from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – an organization that is widely viewed by governments and media as the single most important source for information on climate change – Koonin demonstrates that the science of climate change is anything but settled, and that we are not in, nor should we anticipate, a crisis.

In fact, despite decades of apocalyptic warnings there is in fact remarkably little knowledge of what might happen. Over the last 5 decades of apocalyptic warning, life on earth has dramatically improved as our management of countless environmental challenges has improved.

What the evidence really shows is that as the global economy improves, our ability to deal with whatever mother nature throws at us improves. On that point, Koonin draws attention to what the IPCC experts say about the possible economic impacts of possible climate change-induced temperature changes.

Koonin notes that, according to the IPCC, a temperature increase of 3 degrees centigrade by 2100 – which some scientists say might happen – might create some negative environmental effects, which in turn would cause an estimated 3% hit to the economy in 2100.

But even as it makes these claims, the IPCC further predicts that the economy, in 2100, will be several times the size of the economy today (unless, of course, we interfere with it as the Net Zero by 2050 crowd wants us to do).  In other words, a strategy of doing nothing may or may not mean a temperature increase, the effects of which if bad, are expected to represent a small economic hit to the economy, but that economy will be much, much larger.

In Koonin’s words, this “translates to a decrease in the annual growth rate by an average of 3 percent divided by 80, or about 0.04 percent per year. The IPCC scenarios…assume an average global annual growth rate of about 2 percent through 2100; the climate impact would then be a 0.04 percent decrease in that 2 percent growth rate, for a resulting growth rate of 1.96 percent. In other words, the U.N. report says that the economic impact of human-induced climate change is negligible, at most a bump in the road.”

So this doesn’t sound like a crisis to me. It sounds like a very modest reduction in extraordinary economic growth. So from extraordinary economic growth to slightly less extraordinary economic growth.

Why do I draw attention to this?

Because Canada is pursuing a Net Zero by 2050 target with a whole bunch of policies that will kill economic growth.

The IPCC predicts significant global economic growth without all the things Trudeau and other Net Zero by 2050 advocates are pursuing – massive carbon taxes, additional carbon taxes called clean fuel standards (CFS), building code changes that will make a new home unaffordable, huge subsidies for pet projects, etc. In other words, the IPCC predicts growth without crazy and wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars that will hurt citizens.

So why are we allowing Trudeau and co to pursue these things?

We don’t know the full costs of Net Zero by 2050, but every signal we have is that it is absurdly expensive. AND (thank you Stephen Koonin for making this explicitly clear) the International Panel on Climate Change says ignoring the Net Zero by 2050 target and doing nothing will mean a much bigger economy.

Prime Minister Trudeau and the activists won’t tell you that.

Nor will they acknowledge what the IPCC actually says.

Let’s all applaud Stephen Koonin for trying to do so.

Green activists are driving a radical agenda screaming at us that the science is settled. As courageous scientists like Stephen Koonin note, science is never settled and to say it is settled is irresponsible. The activists say we have to radically change our economy, but don’t tell us how much that will cost – but the IPCC tells us doing absolutely nothing would result in only slightly less economic growth than we would otherwise have.

Governments are spending massive sums of your money on Net Zero by 2050.

Corporate interests commit to this radical agenda and hide behind rhetoric of doing the right thing, while they also seek out government subsidies (which taxpayers will pay for) to meet their absurd Net Zero by 2050 commitments.

All of us, as consumers, will foot the bill.

And none of it needs to happen.

 

Click here for more articles from Dan McTeague of Canadians for Affordable energy

Dan McTeague | President, Canadians for Affordable Energy

 

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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