June 22nd, 2024

Federal climate plan won’t work in Alberta’s best interests


By Lethbridge Herald on April 9, 2022.

Nathan Neudorf – UCP MLA for Lethbridge East

Since the federal government released their 2030 Emissions Reductions Plan, we’ve seen mixed reviews from across the country. While I am strongly in favour of responsible stewardship and environmental protections, we need a well-rounded and sustainable approach that takes into consideration all the components that currently face us.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s Federal Climate Plan may be well-intended on the surface but at its core, is ill-conceived and poorly timed. While it earnestly attempts to solve a problem – climate change – it’s legislation that needlessly inflicts economic harm on energy-producing provinces like Alberta, effectively frustrating the end goals it sets out to achieve.

There are two reasons for this: the timing is poor, and the logic is shaky. 

With respect to timing, Canada is experiencing the highest level of inflation since 1990. Many economists agree that a contributing factor to the current inflationary pressures we are experiencing stem from policy measures designed to combat climate change, such as carbon taxes and the incentivization of alternative energy sources. 

No doubt there are other complicating factors, such as military conflicts in Eastern Europe, as well as the impact of major stimulus spending intended to facilitate recovery from the pandemic. Many of these variables are outside of Canadians’ control; however, the Federal Climate Plan is not. 

The new climate plan is calling for the oil and gas industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2030 – at 60 per cent of previous emissions targets set in 2005. Again, while it’s applaudable in theory, it’s technologically and intellectually impossible. If enacted, this plan will create a cascading effect of job losses, increased consumer costs and crippled industries. To sum it up, Canada is the only government in the entire world attempting such a plan in the middle of a global energy crisis. 

For Alberta specifically, these targets are largely unrealistic and further, would prove devastating to an economy that’s just beginning to reemerge. 

We supply 50 per cent of oil and gas for the U.S. – and would be disproportionately affected by a plan that fails to recognize the demand for ethically produced energy.

If this initiative were enacted, we’d not only face job losses in our primary energy industry – but secondary losses in supportive industries.

 When production costs increase, it always inevitably works its way back to the consumer, to the everyday Albertan already facing high living costs. What happens when fuel and transportation costs rise even more, heating costs skyrocket and carbon taxes increase?

 Groceries will cost more for less; utility bills will get harder to stomach – and filling up the gas tank will require a lot more than a strong cup of Tims. 

Adding “fuel” to the fire is not helping Canadians at the pump. Because Canadian motorists were paying an alarming 32.3 per cent more at the pump in February 2022 than in February 2021, our government stopped the collection of the provincial fuel tax to offer Albertans a glimpse of relief from the impact of these compounding prices. According to February 2022’s Consumer Price Index, Canadian consumer prices increased 5.7 per cent from the year previous – the largest average year over year price gain since 1991. Anybody who has recently walked into a grocery store can vouch for these alarming numbers. The average price for eggs and dairy products, for example, increased by upwards of 6.9 per cent year over year, whereas the cost of beef and chicken rose by 16.8 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively. Suffice to say, wages are not keeping up with these steep price escalations. 

If we’re going to create a climate initiative that prepares us for the future, we need to choose targets that can be reasonably met and sustained. Regrettably, Canada has issued at least 11 plans and set nine different emissions targets since 1988, without meeting a single one of them.

Provinces have clear constitutional jurisdiction over natural resources, and this is something that needs to be respected in the formation of a federal climate plan. 

A climate initiative of this calibre affects all of Canada and therefore, deserves the input of all our provinces and territories with their jurisdictional awareness and expertise. 

Alberta’s strategy is to be the most credible, responsible supplier of energy products in a decarbonizing world. Our common-sense climate policies are creating real and timely emissions reductions, with a strong focus on innovative technology that benefits Alberta and other jurisdictions. These policies have been carefully crafted to achieve real emissions reductions while also ensuring jobs, industry and the economy are protected.

Our hard work is paying off – methane emissions have decreased by 34 per cent, and Alberta is set to cut these emissions by 45 per cent from 2014 levels by 2025. We continue to support industry as they innovate, while leveraging our existing strengths in natural gas, carbon capture and storage and renewable electricity by pursuing clean hydrogen. 

There are major flaws to the logic underpinning the Federal Climate Plan. It disproportionately hurts Alberta and in turn Canada – an energy producing country subject to the strictest environmental production standards and ethical guidelines on the planet. 

By making it more difficult and expensive to produce fossil fuels in Canada, we inadvertently incentivize production in other countries who do not impose the same standards on themselves. By reducing our market share, we are increasing theirs. 

Alberta’s answer to the federal plan is simply “no”. 

This plan doesn’t allow for the realities currently facing us, nor does it prepare us for the future we’ve all been working for. The Federal Government needs to go back to the table.

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Southern Albertan

With regard to all politics in Canada, including all of their weak platforms on fossil fuels, talk can be high, and low, about fossil fuel emissions and production, but the money trail is headed toward renewable energy and the millions of jobs it has, and will create, globally. Even ‘Big Oil’ knows it.
This:
“Renewable energy market size worldwide in 2020, with a forecast for 2027 (in billion U.S. dollars). The global renewable energy market is expected to continue its upward growth over the next years, reaching $1.1 trillion US dollars by 2027. Environmental concerns regarding fossil fuels, rapid urbanization, and economic growth in emerging regions are all major factors contributing to the projected market growth.”
http://www.statista.com/statistics/1094309/renewable-energy-market-size-global/

Last edited 2 years ago by Southern Albertan
Fescue

Climate Denial 201 (the more advanced version of Nixon’s apologetics last week).

Funny how it is never the ‘right time’ when corporate mega-profits are involved. When, exactly, will it be the right time to act to secure a livable environment for the future?

Nathan, there is no ‘ethical’ or ‘clean’ fossil fuels in an era where the emissions from burning them will (are) lock in catastrophe for human civilization as we know it.

buckwheat

Oh the usual BS. What is ethical about mining for rare earth metals. What is ethical about all the subsidies solar and wind get. Further an ethical question: where the hec has that carbon tax money gone and how effective has it been in reducing Canada’s 2%. There are no quantifiable results and you know it. You’re the denier of reality. If you think we are making a difference you are without hope.

Fescue

You should focus your considerable intellect to doing your own reasearch, rather than expressing to us your constant stupification about the world. The reality is that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels. From that solid fact, how we maintain civil society is open for experimentation. Rather than being a darkness of dreary nay-saying, let the light in.

buckwheat

Typical from you and the cult. No contrary argument so attack the messenger. Worthless contribution. Here is a little you tube to enlighten you from the darkness.

https://youtu.be/iCRDseUEEsg

biff

your concerns about mining, and about corruption are real. we may disagree with regard to what appears to be your lack of concern around the fallout from fossil fuel mining and use.
it is obvious we need a dependable form of energy to keep us warm during a very many cold days and nights in our part of the world. beyond that reality, our issues with regard to sustainability are due primarily to two factors: 1) overpopulation (are we really so simple and stupid), and worse, what has become exponential population growth; 2) an approach to living that is stupid consumerism. that is to say, we are far too wants based, and not nearly enough more strictly needs based.
meanwhile, we are giving away tons of public money to private entities under the guise of green and carbon trade and capture and taxes – it is laughable – that are hardly a real solution. and, also meanwhile, we continue to accept massive waste coming from packaging, toxins from mining and manufacturing of oh so very many unlimited items related to wants, and plastics and chemicals and their poisons piling up all over our land, water, and in every living thing. a lot of good miles and piles of windmills will do to solve those pressing realities.
indeed, we could uncover the purest, cleanest, entirely sustainable energy form, but still our most significant issues would remain. they stem from too many people with too many wants to fulfill. good luck.

johnny57

TRUTH 101 Nathan! Crippling our own industry in regulations while other countries WILL take-up the slack with NO concern at all for the environment! And taxing the living crap out of its own citizens at the same time! The Trudeau (Authoritarian) government should be tried for treason along with as many loonie-toon inviro-terrists as possible. They all ignore commonsense in their fanatic religious-like-zealous beliefs. One can only hope that the Canadian people will wake-up before the next election but I won’t hold my breath.

IMO

Mr. Neudorf says, “Our hard work is paying off – methane emissions have decreased by 34 per cent”.
NOAA scientists say:
“For the second year in a row, NOAA scientists observed a record annual increase in atmospheric levels of methane, a powerful, heat-trapping greenhouse gas that’s the second biggest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon dioxide.”
“Reducing methane emissions is an important tool we can use right now to lessen the impacts of climate change in the near term, and rapidly reduce the rate of warming,”…“Let’s not forget that methane also contributes to ground-level ozone formation, which causes roughly 500,000 premature deaths each year around the world.” 
Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA Administrator

https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/increase-in-atmospheric-methane-set-another-record-during-2021#:~:text=The%20increase%20during%202020%20was,than%20the%201984%2D2006%20period.

GHG

Alberta isn’t responsible for the worlds emissions, hardly any of them in fact.

Fescue

No, just three million barrels a day worth; just the methane emissions (accounted and unaccounted for); just the highest emissions per capita in Canada, and among the highest in the world.

GHG

Those 3 million barrels are getting burnt anyway, regardless of the source. And yes we have high per capita emissions we live in one of the largest countries in the world and we heat our houses 10 months of the year. Canada is largely uninhabitable without fossil fuels.

IMO

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS ON APRIL 14, 2022.
OTTAWA – 692 million tonnes: Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions reported in 2020.
738 million tonnes: Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions reported in 2019.
408 to 445 million tonnes: Canada’s targeted greenhouse gas emissions for 2030.
200,000: Approximate number of gasoline-powered cars needed to produce one million tonnes of emissions over the course of a year.
26.6 per cent: Share of emissions coming from oil and gas sector as a whole in 2020.
20 per cent: Share of emissions coming from oil and gas sector as a whole in 2005.
81 million tonnes: Emissions from the oilsands in 2020.
35 million tonnes: Emissions from the oilsands in 2005.
23.6 per cent: Share of emissions coming from all forms of transportation in 2020.
21.5 per cent: Share of emissions coming from all forms of transportation in 2005.
73 million tonnes: Emissions from passenger vehicles in 2020.
82 million tonnes: Emissions from passenger vehicles in 2005.
10.7 per cent: Share of emissions coming from heavy industry, including mining, steel, cement, pulp and paper, chemicals and fertilizer.
62 million tonnes: emissions in 2020 from electricity and heat production.
125 million tonnes: emissions in 2005 from electricity and heat production.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2022.

GHG

So what. Now do…oh I don’t…China? India? USA? practically anywhere else in the world. Everyone is emitting more. There is no affordable, energy intensive, replacement for fossil fuel except nuclear.

Fescue

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/per-capita-ghg-emissions

Regarding energy, we will have to find a way of living with less intensive and renewable sources, won’t we?

GHG

Everyone in the world demands energy, it is the lifeblood of our economy and well being. Those that have it want to keep it and and those that don’t have enough want more. If you want to lower emissions “renewables” will not do the trick. Nuclear and natural gas is the only answer. For those advocating abrupt changes in lifestyle i.e. living less energy intensive lives – let them go first, let us know how they like it, how well it works for them.

Fescue

Don’t look up, my friend.

biff

therein lies much of the issue: too few are willing to reduce or give up wants…so long as they can pay or borrow for it. kind of infantile, no? slaves to their selfishness and to a false, hollow, and unsustainable economy.

Herbert

We’re done with Kenney’s lies and climate change denial. Get lost Neudorf, maybe Trump has something useful for you to do but you and your clown act are not welcome here.