Several of Canada's leading environment groups say election demands from Canada's oil industry earlier this week are a direct attack on the future health and prosperity of Canadians.

The different visions for Canada's economic and environmental policies are a preview of the federal election campaign to come, in which the fossil-fuel sector and environment groups are expected to play central and conflicting roles.

Environment groups want the federal government to bar new pipelines and slowly wind down production in the oil sector while ramping up investments in and exports of cleaner, renewable energy technologies.

"If our goal is to limit global warming we need to be retiring fossil fuels," said Dale Marshall, national program manager at Environmental Defence.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers on Monday issued its "election platform," calling for all parties to come up with a long-term vision for oil and gas that includes displacing foreign imports with Canadian fuels and ramping up production and building pipelines so Canada can export more.

The association's president Tim McMillan argued Canadian oil is produced with higher environmental standards so it is better for the environment if foreign countries buy and use it rather than the fuels produced in countries with lower standards.

McMillan said emerging markets in India, China and Southeast Asia are increasing demand for fossil fuels and Canada should be ready to fill that need.

More than half a dozen environment groups pushed back Wednesday, urging political parties to reject the petroleum industry's vision.

Marshall said investing in clean and renewable energy that can be exported will result in the same economic benefits without the accompanying climate harms.

He also said the idea that Canada's oil is cleaner than others' is a fallacy and that producing more oil for export is not the responsible way to go.

"I would say straight-up that the agenda put forward in this document by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is a recipe for climate chaos," said Marshall.

Each side denies favouring any one party. However Marshall acknowledged that climate and environment plans put forward by the Green Party and the NDP "could have been written by the environment community."

The Liberals and Conservatives haven't yet released environment platforms for the election, though the Liberals' carbon price is a central part of their brand.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promises a major speech on the environment later this month. However much of the vision in the CAPP plan — in particular to expand Canadian exports and replace foreign oil with Canadian production — is directly in line with the vision Scheer put forward in a recent speech on the economy.

Scheer was criticized earlier this year for having a closed-door strategy session with oil executives in Calgary to develop plans to oust the Liberals. McMillan attended that meeting but his presence was downplayed by the organization as part of CAPP's open strategy to promote Canadian oil and gas.

Marshall said "it's worrisome" that the Conservatives are so closely tied to the interests of one industry.

Twas ever thus. Those who refuse to acknowledge that the ounce of prevention is worth more than the trillions of pounds of "cure", will also be the ones to walk (run?) away from the consequences of their malign malfeasance. Because, most of us know, deep down, that we will be left holding the worhtless bag, naturally we are panicking - and irrationally hoping "say it ain't so!", while the thieves, con artists and pied pipers stroll away from humanity's gullibility.

People can’t get over the fact that we’re a rounding error on global emissions. There’s no cure to this disease internally when you are 1/200th of the worlds population. We could disappear overnight and climate change will still happen.

So, you don't believe that social responsibility should apply to you? Whoever starts bailing the sinking ship first, it ain't going to be you? And you will be complacently passing on that attitude to your children?

When times start getting tougher, don't be surprised if society reciprocates your sentiments. Or perhaps you have already found that out.
f u Dan.

@ Dan.... Western Canadian oil production is 4 million bpd, world oil production is 80 million bpd. Do the math, if you're interested..... western Canada (doesn't include Hibernia field) produces 1/20th of world oil production, that is very significant production. Slight of hand is a shitty way to make arguments, argue from a basis of truth, not from an intent to manipulate perception.

A pretty crappy article. No link to that oil industry "platform." Only one of allegedly "several" environmental organizations is named. Where is the editor to demand a better job from this journalist?