October 26th, 2020

Facts show fossil-fuel industry will be around for a long time


By Letter to the Editor on May 8, 2020.

Dale Johnson’s letter to the editor of April 3 was an interesting opinion on the fossil-fuel industry in Alberta and the world. However, many of his “facts” are only a further expression of opinion. He says that sales of electric vehicles are increasing “exponentially.” An example of exponential growth can be seen in the present COVID-19 pandemic. In some communities the virus has gone from a handful of cases to 500 or more in a few days.

Electric vehicles in North America have been available for nearly 10 years and yet, at the present time, their sales are less than two per cent of all vehicle sales. This is certainly not exponential growth. As a matter of fact, the sale of EVs are heavily dependent upon government subsidy (also known as taxpayer funded). Most of these subsidies have a limitation of either time or number of vehicles sold by the manufacturer. In 2015 in Norway, Tesla sold 2,738 EVs. In 2016 Norway phased out their subsidy and Tesla sales dropped to 176 the next year. Within the past year California phased out Tesla’s auto subsidy after which their sales dropped in that state by 46 per cent. I am only quoting Tesla because they are the recognized leader in EV sales.

It is true that North American sales of sedans has dropped dramatically. They have been replaced by SUVs and pickup trucks rather than EVs. It should be safe to say that since ICE vehicles are still being sold at a rate of nearly 20 million units per year, the fossil-fuel industry will be around for a long time.

Eric Weigelt

Lethbridge

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Southern Albertan

In the meantime, Alberta/Canada remains at the mercy of volatile global oil and shipping economics, particularly the Saudis, the contollers of global oil prices. Even ‘Big Oil’ is investing heavily in renewable energies….they know how to follow a money trail because money always, talks.
Canada has massive renewable resources. The question could be: Will Canada retain control of our renewable resources, or, will it be sold out to foreign interests?

Fescue

Now that’s a good question!

Fescue

There is a difference in saying ‘oil will be around for a while’ and saying ‘bitumen will be around for a while’.

One wonders how long Dear Leader will maintain his socialistic stance on a planned economy, where the government builds on their industry of choice, and mixing ethics with economy, in which we parse ‘ethical’ oil and ‘dictator’ oil instead of ‘market price’ oil. As predicted by Nostradamus, radical conservatives have voted in their version of soviet-style communism in Alberta.

Dennis Bremner

So on one hand Fescue you want oil gone, but if we as a nation attempt to create a market within North America where we shut out “unethical oil” then we somehow become communists in pursuit of price fixing our own oil, even though the purpose would be to create jobs and service our own needs? You pretty well have both sides covered so that we either are price fixers or planet killers. Must be nice to live in your ferry tale world.
So you obviously prefer the status quo where our oil is killed, and we become increasingly dependent on OPEC oil?
Lets say you did kill the Oilsands, where would you then suggest Quebec (obviously an ally in your thinking) would get its 45% that it presently gets from the Oilsands? Open market? So you would prefer to call Alberta wanting to exploit its resource for North Americans a Price Fixing scheme to superced OPEC induced Market Prices” and not a “Jobs for North American Scheme?
I am not surprised, your lack of understanding beyond the Lethbridge bridge is stated everytime you type something

Fescue

Thanks for you interest in learning something, Dennis. In the parlance of neoliberal economists, when the ‘government chooses the winners and losers’ in the economy, it is called ‘socialist’. So, when the Alberta government begins to direct pension funds and provincial banks to prop up share prices of oil and gas corporations, or when you have a government direct public resources and money to build infrastructure (like pipelines) to support and industry (despite the probability that these costs will never be recovered) you are ‘choosing the winner’ which is called you-know-what.

Similarly, when neoliberal economists talk about the market, they are adamant that the only thing that matters is the price. Governments that try to apply nasty things like ‘ethics’, ‘stewardship’, ‘public good’ are distorting the market – a process that is called ‘socialist’. So, when you have a government that tries to sell expensive-to-exploit oil by adding an ethical motivation, that government is distorting the market, which is called you-know-what.

Now, I’m not surprised that there are a number of people who support socialism when they benefit (like handouts from the government during a permanent? downturn in oil demand) and these same people abjure socialism when others benefit. This hypocrisy is my sole point: The Kenney government is soviet-style communist.

As for my values – fear not, they are consistent. I recognize that I live within, and depend upon, an environment that is impacted by our activities. I recognize that many of these activities do not add to The Good Life – they are empty and wasteful pursuits. And I recognize the rights of future humans and non-humans to a life that allows them to meet their evolutionary potential.

We burn 90 million barrels of oil a day, and an equivalent amount of energy from natural gas, and even more from coal. We are going to learn about the dire impact of carbon emissions and either respond appropriately or wait too long. ‘Decarbonization or barbarism’, as Rosa Luxemburg famously almost said.

Dennis Bremner

Fescue said: So, when you have a government that tries to sell expensive-to-exploit oil by adding an ethical motivation, that government is distorting the market, which is called you-know-what.

Once again Fescue, try to think outside of Lethbridge or even Alberta. OPEC is the master of distortion yet you seem not to see it. Supply and Demand are only in balance for OPEC when a specific price is achieved by the unethical. It is very much like DeBeers. DeBeers keeps the price high or at an acceptable level to them by choking off the market and storing the diamonds when demand is higher. So there are many examples of price fixing that can easily be sited. So who or whom would you prefer to “fix” the price of the commodity you consume? That is the question, not Jason Kenney not Kline not Notley, nor Harper not even Trudeau. This is about a product, which will be sold and exploited by OPEC, including USA and Canada for probably 25 more years if not 30.

I would like you to watch Planet of the Humans by Michael Moore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

Then ask yourself if we as Albertans can afford to continue to produce GHGs that account for no more than .7 of 1% (once in full support of Canadian Consumption) by offsetting the 55% foreign oil that Quebec and other provinces presently use thereby garnering the footprint of shipping and their loss of production “savings” from Europe?
The answer if you gave it any thought at all, is YES but most huggers who believe Alberta and Alberta alone is the cause of Planet Destruction cannot defocus long enough to see their own foolishness.

I compare it to the hugger who blindly believes picketing pipelines that leads to rail fires is somehow a victory?

Truly amazes me from day to day how X/Millenial never learned a thing other than to “panic”

Fescue

I did as you asked, Dennis, and watched the documentary. Not sure how it relates to trying to sell bitumen in a market where none come to buy?

I did think the documentary was poorly done. I gather the message was that renewable energy cannot replace oil & gas? I would think that was obvious. If that was the intended message, they didn’t do much to provide an alternative solution – like reduction, like curbing our consumer desires and expectations, like electing governments that will redirect the economy away from high-carbon activities. And why the obvious distortions of facts? Wouldn’t there be enough evidence to support their argument without deception? And what was with the dying orangutan? Maybe some sort of metaphor, some emergent meaning hitherto lying fallow beneath a couple of hours of lazy credulity?

phlushie

each to their own interpretation, mine is look at all the money being diverted to a fraudulent enterprise. stealing money from the public for a project that has no chance of success.

zulu1

A recent report from the US has shown that from 2013 to 2019 fossil fuels have never dropped below 80% of total energy consumption with 2019 at 81.5% Another new development shows the recent impact of a process to completely remove co2 from natural gas. So the future for fossil fuels is a great deal brighter than environmentalists would have you believe.

Fescue

You may very well be right, zulu1. But the future of human civilization will much less bright in the eventuality that the wealthiest 10% continue to pursue their short term comforts and luxuries.

biff

great entries fed up, so.ab, and fes.
zulu and eric, i mean i love oil, and like you each and ilk, i too pray it never goes away. a pox on any substitute i say! oil is a wonder, and is great for the planet. like that intelligent email that circulated widely a while back, the oil industry in alberta is actually a clean up effort…getting rid of all that gooey tar…not mentioning getting rid of all that landscape and boreal forest, and that awfully clean freshwater that needed to be made dirty and toxic, and creating beautiful and massive lakes of brilliant and shimmering and colourful tailings…oh joy! please, everyone never wish it away. perhaps we can set up a home to look after the unwanted orphan wells, the dear kids.
no, let us keep oil around, if only so i can be able to deep fry now and again.

Dennis Bremner

No Fedup Conservative, the Herald just finally realized you have nothing to say about the topic at hand your rants are about the dead who have no defence .