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COMMENT: Vancouver's attack on oil and gas companies thrives with hypocrisy and absurdity – National



It seems odd that those who claim to be most concerned about the consumption of fossil fuels seem to pay little attention to demand.

It may be easier to zero on the offer side; Pipelines and corporations are big, light targets. Or perhaps there is a naive belief that bid somehow causes demand when it is, of course, vice versa. So, on a very important issue, too many people miss the point and ultimately make the cause of bad service.

The case is the City Council in Vancouver, which adopted a proposal requiring fossil fuel companies (in particular, 20 with the "highest percentage of greenhouse gas emissions") "paying their share of the costs" related to climate change and efforts to mitigate climate change . For example, motion is cited by B.C. A report that estimates that Vancouver could face billions of dollars this year's mitigation costs.

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Keep in mind that climate change is a global problem. It is not because Canadian emissions cause Canadian warming, and American emissions cause American warming and so on. Therefore, one obvious challenge is to conclude exactly what this "share" is that can be attributed to Canadian emissions, and that part of it can be attributed to these oil and gas companies, and then how it should be widened.

Moreover, what would these mitigation costs be if those Canadian companies simply did not exist? Good luck to understand all this.

And why separate oil and gas companies, apart from the fact that they were not founded in BC? Why, for example, there is no similar concern about the huge amounts of coal (over 36 million tonnes in 2017) exported from Vancouver? Coal burning releases much more carbon than fuel, and countries that import this coal do not use it for decoration alone.

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"Fossil Fuel Companies" exist because there is a demand for their products. Vancouver's approach is the same kind of discredited "drug war" mentality that tells people to think that if we fill the jail, people will stop using drugs.

But unlike drugs, we are talking about products that – last time checked – vital for both. economy and at B.C. society as a whole. Alberta could shut down its industry tomorrow and it would still be true – of course, Canada would be much poorer.

Perhaps the Vancouver City Council should require all those who drive a car or drive by ferry or get home to pay their share of these costs. Probably you should also deal with tourism, because many people fly to and from BC. every year. Of course, that's the whole purpose of determining carbon prices – incorporating emission costs and affecting demand.

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Indeed, B.C. it has a price on carbon as well as the federal government. If the City Council in Vancouver thinks that this approach is not sufficiently aggressive or has not happened quickly enough, then its beef with other ranks of government.

Furthermore, this approach completely neglects industry support for these initiatives. Shell is, for example, one of the companies listed by numerous B.C. municipalities to support this initiative. But Shell was one of the companies that publicly supported the leadership plan of the previous Alberta government – which included carbon tax. More recently, Shell has invited others in the industry to get involved in the idea of ​​setting carbon prices.

Of course, when you are looking for a hunting bird, it is easy to overlook such facts.

It seems to me that it is much more productive to have the industry and public interest in climate policy than to bring municipal politicians into absurd and hypocritical stoppages that do nothing to advance any meaningful policy. I realize that politics is not doing anything new, but that's all counterproductive.

Rob Breakenridge hosts "Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge" at Global News Radio 770 Calgary and commentator for Global News.

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