Liberal candidate Jonathan Wilkinson said the Trans Mountain pipeline could remain operational for another “30 to 40 years”.
Wilkinson, who is also the current environment minister, made the remarks during an interview with Granthshala News on September 13 about the future of fossil fuels and pipelines in Canada.
“What you’re going to start seeing is a drop in oil demand over the next 30 years — 40 years maybe in terms of some developing countries,” Wilkinson said.
“And so, in that context, I would say that the Trans Mountain Pipeline usage is probably on the order of 30 to 40 years.”
Wilkinson said building and operating the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which will increase the current capacity of the existing pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels, will ensure that Canadian energy producers get “full price” for the oil they extract. will receive. United States.
Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada and an environmental studies instructor at the University of Toronto, said expanding any pipeline at a time of declining demand for fossil fuels is illogical.
“When you’re moving towards a zero-carbon economy, it doesn’t make sense,” Stewart said.
“There’s this notion that we can basically run out of fossil fuels, and still somehow continue to export them.”
Wilkinson also said that shipping oil by pipeline is safer and more cost-effective than using rail.
“I think sometimes people get a little confused between a pipeline, which is just a transportation system, and an extension of production,” he said.
“What we have said in the context of this campaign is that we will limit oil and gas emissions in this country and we will need five years of reductions on the way to net zero by 2050.
“Which essentially says that you are not seeing a significant expansion in the oil and gas sector in Canada.”
The world must run out of ‘fossil fuels’
Scientists and environmentalists agree that to avoid the worst and most devastating effects of climate change – such as extreme heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods – humanity needs to run out of fossil fuels rapidly.
a report good Published recently in the journal Nature, 84 percent of Canada’s 49 billion barrels of proven oil sands reserves, and nearly two-thirds of Granthshala oil supplies, could rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Must remain “unextracted” to avoid. This goal was set at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit.
Currently, Canada’s oil sands produce about three million barrels of oil a day, according to Natural Resources Canada. At that rate, Canada could exceed its total oil volume by early 2029 without exceeding its Paris Agreement goals, according to the Nature study.
“Canadian resources are really expensive to extract other than extremely high carbon intensity,” said Carolyn Brouillette, domestic policy manager at Climate Action Network Canada. “In a Granthshala market where demand is to be spurred, the resources that are the most expensive and most polluting must be the first to land.”
The International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises national governments on energy policy, issued a report In May that outlined the path to “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The report did not include any new oil, gas or coal projects anywhere on Earth and emphasized its “far-reaching implications” for fossil fuel-producing countries. , such as Canada.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report World leaders need to dramatically accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set more ambitious targets if the deadliest consequences of climate change are to be avoided.
The heated debate on Trans Mountain
The Trans Mountain pipeline, which was bought by the Liberal government during its first term in 2018 for $4.5 billion, was fiercely opposed during debates by both French and English leaders on 8 and 9 September.
If completed, the project could move millions of barrels a month of Alberta bitumen from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said he would keep the expansion of the yet-to-be-expired pipeline open until “we don’t need it” unless he would close it if re-elected. He said there are indigenous groups who want to buy the pipeline from the government and who are interested in operating it.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said he had “always opposed” the project during the French debate. But when pressed on what he would do if the NDP formed the government, he declined to say whether he would end the pipeline.
Instead, Singh said that an NDP government would look at the project and make a determination about what to do at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said during an English debate that people in western Canada deserve an economic reform that includes fossil fuels.
During the English debate, O’Toole stated that every barrel of oil produced in Canada is a barrel of oil that Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Russia would make.
“We have to recognize that Canadian Energy is an environmental and social leader compared to other energy producers,” Conservative Party spokesman Matthew Clancy said in a written statement.
“We also need to continue to support and develop the model of indigenous partnership and indigenous equity ownership in our resource development.
“Over time, as we see a low-carbon future, we must ensure that democracies use the resources of Canada and not the resources of Saudi Arabia or Venezuela or Russia.”