Afford and not afford?
By Ray Marilyn Hamm

Can we afford continuing and increasing production of fossil fuels?   Can the human family, and the earth itself, afford present levels of oil and gas production and usage?

Weather patterns, wildfires, and oceans are telling us we cannot.

Can Alberta (and Canada) afford to cut back on fossil fuel production?

For 2023-24 the Alberta government budget projected revenue was $76 billion.  Bitumen revenue was projected at $14 billion, almost 20 % of the total budget.     Any change in oil prices, or production, can have a significant impact on provincial gov’t revenue.   Oil sands is  two percent of Canadian GDP.

It is no wonder that the Alberta government created the Canadian Energy Centre (in Calgary), the ‘Energy War Room,’ in 2019  to promote Canadian oil and to rebut campaigns against Canadian oil and gas.   Those tasks  are now being integrated into government departments.

Oil sands companies began organizing in 2012 and the current Pathways Alliance took shape in in 2022.   A goal is’ net zero by 2050;’ that is net zero carbon emission from production, not overall net zero, while continuing production at at full speed. (Not nearly good enough.)

We need transition plans to reduce production of and reliance on fossil fuel.  We need co-operation between federal and provincial governments and industry, almost like never before, except maybe during World War II. We need better understanding of community  and responsibility.   We need long term sustainability, not only ‘freedom’ and profit.