Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nothing To See Here

The Harper government did nothing about the over 1 billion in subsidies paid to the oil and gas sector. The main criticism of these subsidies, in the last couple of years, surrounds the tension between enabling an industry that contradicts our environmental polices. Last year's Pembina Institute study spoke of the conflict:
It turns out that the industry’s real fear may well be that Canadian taxpayer will object to the huge corporate welfare that is being provided to the country’s richest and biggest polluters. .While proclaiming its desire to combat global climate change by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol andpromising to reduce greenhouse emissions, the Government of Canada provided the oil andgas industry with $1,446 million in subsidies in 2002. The increase in subsidies between 1996 and 2000 was 33%. Total expenditure between 1996 and 2002, inclusive, was equal to $8,324million (2000$). Federal government expenditure on oil sands alone is estimated to beapproximately $1,193 million (2000$) from 1996 to 2002, inclusive...

The trends in government expenditure on the oil and gas industry described above are particularly worrisome in light of Canada's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. In 2002, 20% of Canada’s GHG emissions came from the oil and gas industry, up from 16% in 1990. Upstream oil and gas production and natural gas transmission, which now account for 16% of Canada’s GHG emissions, saw their emissions increase by 56% between 1990 and 2002. Petroleum refining and natural gas distribution, which now account for 4% of Canada’s GHG emissions, saw their emissions increase by a more modest 17% over the same period. Total GHG emissions from Canada’s oil and gas industry rose by 47% between 1990 and 2002

On the one hand we want to curb emissions, on the other we help the worst polluters. Finally, this contradiction has resolved itself and subsequently this line of criticism should cease. The Harper government has made it abundantly clear that Kyoto is dead, which gives the subsidy approach the consistency it lacked previously. Oil and gas rules the roost, which eliminates dual purposes and gives a clear direction. Thank-you Stephen Harper for addressing the hypocrisy, Canadians are no longer confused.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How come the Americans aren't upset about our subsidies for the oil and gas sector?