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Canadian, U.S. Energy Leaders Warn Strict Environmental Policies Contributing to Inflation
Canadian oil and gas leaders and a former U.S. ambassador warned Monday that inflationary pressure and volatile energy markets impacting North America and Europe are directly related to restrictive environmental policies.
“The influence of energy is so large it’s difficult to comprehend,” Alberta industry elder statesman Mac Van Wielingen said Monday during the Pacific NorthWest Annual Summit in Calgary.
Neglect of oil and gas supply reliability, security and affordability creates a ripple effect, raising the cost of commuting, heating homes and manufacturing, Van Wielingen said.
He estimated that two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from developing countries that lack income needed to act on worldwide reduction targets that wealthy nations demand in the name of limiting climate change.
“It’s not helpful to pick random targets out of the air,” Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said. By her count, Canada has set nine ambitious national reduction goals – with none achieved – since GHG emissions emerged as the priority energy policy target.
In the global energy scene the “moral imperative” to cripple Russia’s Ukraine invasion by weeding out its fossil fuels backfired because environmental restrictions on supply and pipeline projects render free-world replacements unavailable, added Savage.
The campaign against Russian oil has only reduced production by 480,000 b/d, or less than 10% of pre-war volumes recorded at about 10 million b/d, Savage said. Additionally, Russian oil revenues grew faster than sales dipped because of conflict-fueled price hikes.
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The lack of supply projects by investor-owned North American industry stands out as a result of national governments’ environmental restrictions, said former U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, who was in Canada from 2005-2009.
“Nobody is going to increase production if they know you’re going to try to put them out of business,” said Wilkins.
Van Wielingen and Savage said national government officials are starting to listen to appeals for balanced energy policy that considers supply reliability, security and cost, but a single-minded focus on environmental issues still prevails at top political levels.
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