At a private meeting at the Calgary Petroleum Club last Friday, 150 or so oil and gas CEOs and other business leaders met to discuss the future of Canadian energy. Most of the companies represented were small players. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the large industry association that is seen as being dominated by the largest companies, was not invited.
The general discussion was about frustration that Canadians are being played for fools by their own governments about the real potential and cost of renewable energy, leading to rushed decisions to transition away from hydrocarbons and meet greenhouse gas reduction targets, without a fulsome and honest assessment of the consequences.
“Why are we only looking at the impacts of oil and gas, compared to the benefits of renewables?” asked Michael Binnion, the president and CEO of Calgary-based Questerre Energy Corp., who convened the meeting.
“We can talk about the benefits of renewables, but let’s also talk about the impacts,” he said in an interview. “Then we can have an adult conversation about our energy diet and how we can have more of the right energy in the right place.
“But get out of this polarized debate (that) renewables only have benefits and are good and clean energy, and (that) hydrocarbons only have impacts and are bad and are evil energy.” Binnion said the approach worked in Quebec, which this week introduced a new hydrocarbon law that “is cautiously pro oil and gas development” despite years of opposition from the green lobby.
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