By Letter to the Editor on April 3, 2020.
Our province is quickly moving toward a fossil fuel-spawned financial catastrophe.
Our provincial government has no vision. It’s doing what it’s always done, look backwards. There is a global tectonic shift away from fossil fuels. No amount of provincial government interference or taxpayer money is going to change that fact.
Fossil fuels play in a global pricing market beyond our control. Downward financial trends by investors, institutions and foreign governments show the smart money is going elsewhere. And, where the money goes, so goes the industry. Humanity is susceptible to what is known as “normalcy-bias.” We become used to something being the same day after day. Because there has always been an oil boom after previous oil busts, we expect that there will once again be another boom. That’s not about to happen this time around!
The European Union has recently committed one trillion euros to a totally renewable energy electricity future. Many countries, states and cities around the world are moving to ban/restrict the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and do so within the next 15 years. Every major auto manufacturer has electric vehicles coming in their lineups and are axing ICE models. Electric vehicle sales are increasing exponentially, and the purchases of ICE vehicles are declining. As a result, oil and gas consumption are on the decline. Predictions suggest the consumption of vehicular fuels will be reduced by 30-40 per cent by 2030 and the price of oil will be $25/barrel by 2021. Whether one likes it or not, this is what’s happening and neither the Alberta government nor the oilpatch can change it.
We cannot spend our way out of our present financial mess by putting more money into the fossil-fuel industry. If the provincial government is successful in pulling Albertans’ pension funds from the Canada Pension Plan to a new Alberta Pension Fund, what do you think it will do with it? It will be spent supporting a dying industry and Albertans will be guaranteed a bankrupt province and no pensions.
A new perspective is imperative. The one-trick pony that Alberta has been riding for decades is tired and has run its best race. We need diversification – now! As much as we would like to take comfort from familiarity, we cannot afford it. It’s time to do our own research and educate ourselves.
Where there is no vision, the people perish.