“Alberta has made their decision. I think the timing for another new national tax,
carbon tax or levy of some sort, is just wrong,” he said, comparing the situation
to a hypothetical new tax on vehicles being introduced when the auto industry
was in turmoil during the economic crisis of 2008-09….Wall said he isn’t
suggesting governments shouldn’t try to curb greenhouse gas emissions but he
downplayed Canada’s 1.6 per cent contribution to global carbon output.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall came to the heart of the oilpatch Wednesday to warn that the energy industry is under “existential threat” from environmental activists.
In a speech to the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada at the Petroleum Club, Wall slammed the idea of a national carbon tax and took aim at both the United States government for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and other Canadian provinces for throwing up obstacles to energy transportation projects.
Wall, whose Saskatchewan Party was recently re-elected for a third term, said the energy industry needs defenders against “an ever-growing matrix of activists,” citing proponents of the Leap Manifesto within the NDP and the divestment movement that calls for companies and public bodies to shed their energy holdings. “Today, there continues an existential threat to this industry, this industry that is so important in my province,” he told an appreciative luncheon crowd.
“We’re in the middle of a battle and, frankly, we haven’t been winning too many battles. By we, I mean this sector and the resource importance of Western Canada.” Wall said both the oilpatch and governments have to keep making the case about the economic importance of the energy industry in Canada and its commitment to operating in an environmentally sustainable manner.
He said polls show there is support for energy development and pipelines in Canada, meaning that “social licence” for projects already exists.
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