Greens call for end of oil imports
Green Party leader Elizabeth May says that in order to save the world from climate change, Canada will have to get rid of its dependence on oil by mid-century.
In the meantime, she wants the country to abandon foreign oil imports as soon as possible.
The promise of making Canada energy-independent is – surprisingly, perhaps – consistent with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s economic and climate strategy.
Scheer wants Canada to stop importing foreign oil by 2030, thanks, among other things, to an energy corridor that could simplify the construction of pipelines that can move Alberta oil to any coast. He sees a way to find new domestic markets for Canada’s oil sands, with the goal of increasing production.
May’s plan to “turn off the tap of oil imports” is only an interim measure until Canada is completely free of oil.
She hopes that in 2050, bitumen will only be used in Canada by the petrochemical industry for products such as plastics, rubber and paint.
“As long as we use fossil fuels, both use our own fossil fuels,” she said.
The growing popularity of the Greens
Ms. May’s new climate plan will likely be examined in greater depth than those presented in previous elections.
Liberals and New Democrats have already demonstrated that they pay particular attention to the growing popular support enjoyed by the Greens.
The political parties both proposed similar motions earlier this month for the House of Commons to declare a climate emergency. The motions were tabled less than a week after the election of a second deputy by the Greens in a by-election on Vancouver Island and shortly after a provincial branch of the Greens formed the official opposition in Prince Edward Island.
Elizabeth May is quite comfortable with the idea that the popularity of the Greens is pushing other parties to increase the fight against climate change. The Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party maintain that their motions were being prepared even before the by-election in Vancouver, but there is no doubt in Ms. May’s mind that Paul Manly’s victory motivated these maneuvers.
The NDP motion failed because it called on Canada to abandon the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion projects, which Ms. May also opposed. As for the Liberal motion, it has not yet been put to a vote.
The Greens propose that Canada double its greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030 and reach the zero emission threshold by 2050. To do this, they plan to stop the sale of vehicles with engines in 2030 and remove all these vehicles from the roads by 2040.
Canada imports about one million barrels of oil a day and produces four times as much oil. In 2017, Canada produced a total of 4.2 million barrels of oil and exported 3.3 million barrels of oil. Canadian refineries processed 1.8 million barrels.
Canadian oil producers are already pumping enough to meet domestic demand, but two problems remain: there is no pipeline from the oil-rich west to the eastern refineries, and even though There was one, these refineries are not equipped to process the heavier bitumen that characterizes Alberta production.
For eastern refineries, bitumen must first be converted to crude synthetic crude oil. Ms. May is planning to invest in pre-refineries.
It recognizes that Canada’s weaning from foreign oil will not happen overnight, considering the existing contracts of Canadian refineries and the refining and transportation challenges of the oil sands.
Behind the scenes, critics of the Liberal government say it is impossible for the east coast of the country to consume Canadian oil in the absence of a new pipeline to transport it. Ms. May does not support the construction of another pipeline, but says crude bitumen could be transported by rail if Canada invests more in its rail service.
The Energy East pipeline proposed to transport the diluted bitumen to the east aborted in 2017, due to an outcry in Quebec. This opposition of the province continues under the new government of François Legault.
Andrew Scheer, for his part, is proposing an energy corridor that would allow a pipeline similar to Energy East to go beyond interprovincial power grids.
According to Elizabeth May, her training is the “only party to have a plan that allows human civilization to survive.”
“It’s not a Canadian lifestyle choice,” she said. All humanity is in danger. “