Out for a walk: Capping Canada's oil and natural gas emissions

"A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk"

The Federal Government has committed to implementing an emissions cap for one sector of our country’s economy: oil and natural gas production. According to the government, Canada is ‘taking a leadership role by being the first oil and gas producer that is putting a cap on oil and gas emissions’.

But are you really leading if no one follows?

The Liberals originally made the pledge in the 2021 campaign. In government, they released a discussion paper in July 2022. Yet, in the two years since they first announced the cap and the year since the discussion paper was released, not a single top ten oil producer has announced a similar emissions cap for their oil and natural gas industry. In fact, most have announced plans to increase their production to meet growing global demand.

The United States has become a ‘global energy powerhouse’ under President Biden. Even Norway wants oil companies to ‘leave no stone unturned’ in their search for more energy offshore.

Why is that?

Because they all know the world will need oil and natural gas for decades to come. The International Energy Agency predicts global oil demand to reach 102.1 million barrels per day in 2023 – a new record. China will account for 70 per cent of global gains. Which is why they just signed a 27 year deal with Qatar for liquefied natural gas that will expire after 2050. And Japan has proposed a global natural gas reserve to avoid future energy security shocks.

But in Canada we seem determined to leave our natural resources in the ground.

According to independent modelling, the Federal Government’s proposed cap could shut-in 1.5 million barrels per day of Canadian production and lead to a loss of nearly 10,000 jobs.

These losses would be devastating to multiple provincial economies and send shockwaves reverberating throughout the rest of Canada. The revenues foregone by governments would be staggering, making it even more difficult to fund the services Canadians rely on.

So, my question is, why?

Why are we risking massive economic pain for such little environmental gain?

Why are we determined to walk our oil and natural gas industry off the edge of a cliff?

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