Elizabeth May has provoked outrage by claiming “oil is dead.” It is not entirely clear why. It’s like the Pope proclaiming the Bible as the fount of spirituality.
May is the country’s environmental conscience — the demise of fossil fuels is an article of faith for her. But she is guilty of wishful thinking. The Canadian oil industry is not dead yet — in fact, it may be getting better.
In an article in Policy Magazine, May claimed Canadian oil is a “product lacking investors.” Yet, at the annual general meeting of Barclays PLC in London on Thursday, shareholders of the giant European bank voted down a proposal by Share Action, an activist group that promotes “responsible” investing, to quit the Canadian oilpatch.
“The tarsands have no place in a Paris-compliant world,” Share Action said. Three-quarters of the bank’s shareholders disagreed.
Financial institutions around the globe have been buckling before the might of such activist groups but Barclays said that the industry here is supported by the Canadian government and is highly regulated.