Canadian government thinktank warns that renewables will gut market for Canada's dirty oil

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And this is a bad thing?


If you’re a Canadian regressive whose attitudes can be summed up as “Drill, Baby, Drill!”, and “Money, money, money, who cares about trees and air!” yes, it’s terrible news. For those of us who want a liveable planet, it’s great news!


Whether its good or bad depends entirely on how quickly our governing elites wake up and smell the bacon.

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It’s Canada. It always smells like bacon.


Oh, Canada. :rolling_eyes:


That’s just an externality. Let the market decide.


I would think renewables will hurt the the market for Canada’s cleanest oils too.

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Which is what’s happening, as the article pointed out–and the Market, in Its Great, Holy, And Inerrant Wisdom [/sarcasm], is deciding against fossil fuels.


The unofficial slogan of the Liberal Party of Canada:

Campaign from the left, govern from the right.

This helps ensure that no one is ever happy for too long.


Canada needs a good shaming.

The anti-science, pro-business Harpers of the past decade are the most obnoxious of the offenders, but the prior Liberal government had acute head-arse-itis with no small part in setting the stage. The battle-cry: “You won’t recognize Canada when we’re through” (a direct Harper quote) is entirely driven by the Canadian Conservative Elite, supported by a misguided conservative voting block.

It’s not just a federal thing, you have half-arsed pro-business provincial governments like Saskatchewan that threw $1.5 billion at an industry-inspired bespoke operation to capture CO2 at the Shand coal plant––operated by the public crown corporation SaskPower no less. This carbon-capture project was soft-sold to the public as a good eco-friendly carbon capture buzzword green etc. thing to do. The same commitment to a vast expansion of wind, solar, a LEED-driven residential re-fit, would have built a renewables-based commercial infrastructure and leveraged tax-dollars with high long term returns. Instead, it was a meal for the gaping maw of industry in need of a regular feeding. The CC plant is only partially operational. Oil companies buying pressurized liquid CO2 (a heralded cost-recovery product of the operation) to scrape out oil reserve dregs from otherwise dead wells––oh, the irony––can actually sue the government for lack of supply.

The misguided Premier of this bush-league Canadian province actually went to Paris to promote his CC disaster and made an embarrassing fuss about it in Canadian media. He was recently seen criticizing cherry-picked items the Leap Manifesto in the provincial legislature. This Premier isn’t the problem with Canada, he’s a surface symptom of deep philosophical maladaptation.

Projects like Sakatchewan’s Carbon Capture, TransCanada/Northern Gateway/EnergyEast pipelines and the granddaddy, Alberta Tar Sands, are all symptoms. They are monolithic and exclusionary and every indicator would have them fall into the too big to fail category. These projects serve the top end and starve grassroots and mid-range businesses outside the energy sector of the attention they need––which I would add is where innovation and economic agility thrives. They are the product of a monoculture doctrine, a top-heavy way of looking at the world, a mindset, a mode of thought that ignores smaller units of the economy and at a certain horizon of granularity is completely blind. It’s a worldview that undermines a resilient, multi-phasic, innovative economy. It fuels the rich-poor gap and constricts ideas that would close it.

The shame of Canada is the dominant mindset stuck on monolithic projects instead of a wide range of smaller, integrated public works that supports wide-ranging innovative lower and middle levels of it’s economy.

Up next: Australia needs a good shaming.


I’m looking forward to reading about the total capital cost estimates of all the changes recommended and inferred by the Leap Manifesto, because while I’m all for making all of these changes and the lifestyle changes that come with it, we really need to start talking about how we’re going to pay for it all in real terms. The electrical grid needs to be upgraded, but so do all of the undersized electrical services and breaker panels in all of the old homes that will need new electric furnaces and water heaters, and we’ll all need to budget ourselves to save up enough money to make the required changes. And if I switch to an electric furnace now, will I need to cover all of the higher cost of electrical heat, or will the carbon tax on natural gas pay out a rebate to help mitigate this cost? I need answers!

Canadian energy production is yuge.

Environmentally, you also want to look at a reprehensible clearcutting history (check out a satellite view over Northern Alberta), livestock farming and the like. I played an early role in persuading phone companies to stop printing phone books out of Canadian virgin pulp. There was also a chopsticks company that insisted on unstained wood, which they obtained by cutting down a forest where there was >80% natural staining. The only way to know if it was stained was to look at the trunk.

Then there’s the damage wrought by hydroelectric dams. One of the great (relatively) untold stories is that of Milton Born With A Tooth, a Blackfoot warrior who in 1990 borrowed an excavator and succeeded in rerouting a river that was to be dammed downstream and would have flooded Peigan burial grounds.


I bet it would still come out cheaper than paying for shoring up all our coastal cities, massive relocations, endless superfund sites, and the medical cost associated with a polluted environment… Just a guess on my part though.


Depending on how cheap they get, it’s certainly possible; but the dirty ones are likely to get the chop first.

Tar sands are relatively expensive and unattractive because they both involve egregiously destructive extraction(gigantic apocalyptic petro-sand quarries rather than some derricks or a drill rig); and because they require a fair amount of energy-intensive processing to separate the hydrocarbons from the rock and crack the tar into the shorter chain products that people actually want.

‘Ideal’ oil deposits still present a global warming problem; but are less obtrusive to extract and don’t require as much processing to convert to marketable chemicals.

Hydrocarbons are absurdly useful as fuels and chemical feedstock, so it’ll take some serious disrupting to discourage exploitation of high quality deposits; but it is much easier to price the relatively expensive low-grade stuff out of the market, since it was only economic to bother trying to extract if oil prices are relatively high.


Let the market decide.*

* For any case where it decides the way we want.

I thought that that was how it was supposed to work. Otherwise, it’s an unholy result of Government Regulations/Social Justice/Cultural Marxism/etc interfering with the Holy Free Market’s decisions and must therefore be resisted with all available methods [/sarcasm]


In the olden days, the University of Toronto did important research on photovoltaics.

Canada has probably wasted any opportunity to become a supplier in the renewable energy technology.

Under Harper numerous factories were shuttered, but not one converted to wind turbine parts


For those of us who want a sustainable economy it’s the facepalm we don’t deserve because we knew that Harper’s administration was screwing us.

Now we know that they knew it too :unamused:


Actually a quick Google Search shows a number of wind turbine factories opened during Harper’s administration. Including the Magna auto-parts factory in Tillsonburg, Ontario, converted to produce wind turbine blades. And yes, photovoltaics manufacturing started too.

I’m no fan of Harper, but I see no reason to simply make up anti-Canada and anti-Harper factoids.