The lobby group representing Canada’s oil and gas industry has unveiled its list of asks for the 2021 federal election.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says the platform, released Aug. 24, demonstrates the industry’s desire to transition to a lower-carbon economy, asking for a variety of federal supports to implement cleaner technologies. Environmentalists, however, say it promotes a business-as-usual approach to the climate crisis.

“These asks just make (our climate) goals completely unreachable if governments cave into them,” said Julia Levin of Environmental Defence, the senior manager of the charity’s climate and energy program.

CAPP is an extraordinarily well-resourced lobby group, representing energy companies that produce about 80 per cent of the country’s oil and gas. It released a similar platform ahead of the 2019 federal election, accompanied by a data-collection effort that was the subject of a Canada’s National Observer investigation. As a groundswell of movement towards climate policy has taken hold in the past few years, CAPP has upped its election efforts on the provincial level as well, running a significant ground campaign in the 2018 Ontario election.

The group’s 2021 federal election platform doesn’t take a position on parties or candidates. Instead, it outlines what oil and gas companies would like to see from whichever party forms government — and what it would like voters to ask of their elected officials.

CAPP didn’t respond to a request for comment from Canada’s National Observer. But in a statement accompanying the platform, the group’s president and CEO Tim McMillan said the oil and gas industry wants to see the federal government invest in helping the industry develop and implement clean technology.

“It is crucially important for the incoming federal government to make policy decisions that position Canada for success in an ultra-competitive international investment market,” McMillan said in the statement.

In the platform, CAPP argues that forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show demand for oil and gas will continue for decades and that the industry could help drive Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19. (Earlier this year, the IEA also recommended governments not invest in any new fossil fuel infrastructure if they want to meet climate targets.)

Industry can continue to extract fossil fuels — it points to Atlantic Canada as a target for more oil exploration. The industry could offset greenhouse gas emissions using technology like carbon capture and storage, the platform reads. It also argues that Canadian liquefied natural gas could be used to displace more emissions-intensive fuels like coal in the developing world, a theory that has been disputed by some experts.

Richard Masson, a former oilsands policy adviser to the Alberta government and an executive fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, said the industry is trying to show that it’s viable, particularly if it can identify resources on the East Coast that could spur much-wanted investment.

“The projects that have been trying to move forward have been really starved for capital,” Masson said. “Some of the existing ones have been challenged… If we don't move forward on that sometime soon, we're going to start to lose the talent, the resources that we need to develop it, and it may be very difficult to get back.”

[email protected] says its platform, released Aug. 24, demonstrates the industry’s desire to transition to a lower-carbon economy. Environmentalists, however, say it promotes a business-as-usual approach to the climate crisis. #elxn44 #cdnpoli #CAPP

Masson also said the industry is asking for support to decarbonize because it understands the importance of transitioning. It’s just a question of pace, he added.

“The world gave us a task — decarbonize oil,” Masson said. “We're a bunch of very focused people, engineers in particular, and that's what we're working on. And so we see the task. We accept the challenge, and we're going for it.”

Levin said it’s the pace that matters and that arguments for extracting and using fossil fuels are a distraction from real climate solutions.

“They only care about prolonging society's dependence on fossil fuels,” she said of the oil and gas industry.

Carbon capture is just like it's a licence to pollute. That won't actually lead to anything but meaningless emissions reductions that are so incremental while locking us into decades of fossil fuel infrastructure.”

With the spotlight focused on reconciliation after the discovery of over 1,000 unmarked graves at former residential school sites this spring and summer, CAPP’s platform also pitches oil and gas as a way to build relationships with Indigenous communities.

“Many Indigenous communities see resource development as a pathway to economic reconciliation, opportunity and a means to end poverty in their communities,” the platform reads.

The document notes that Indigenous people have a diversity of opinions about resource extraction, but does not mention the communities that have advocated against pipelines in their territories and the expansion of the oilsands.

Last year, CAPP also lobbied the federal government to delay implementation of the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a landmark international document that protects the Indigenous right to self-government and numerous human rights, including a measure that requires Indigenous consent for resource development projects. CAPP didn’t respond to a question about how its push for reconciliation meshes with its lobbying around UNDRIP.

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business as usual equals death. they can only suggest keeping pumping AND BURNING THE OIL if they dont believe the planet life systems are going to collapse.
OBSTRUCT THE MOVE OFF FOSSIL in all ways possible is the game now.

A look at 2018 federal transfers is illuminating. Alberta edged out Ontario as a contributor to federal coffers, but all three western provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined blew away Ontario by receiving greater federal transfers per person. Looks like 'the west wants in' gravy train mantra supported by the oil and gas companies won't disappear any time soon.

Great news for the oilsands industry! With higher oil prices and lower costs, Alberta's tarsands-goo producers are raking in billions of dollars in profits. No govt support required for climate action or cleanup. Great news for taxpayers, too.

What's on my wishlist? May the oil industry embrace the shift into renewables (unlikely since they can't monopolize the sector) — or fold its tent and go away.
Not going to happen, unfortunately. The oil & gas industry will force taxpayers to pay for hugely expensive and inefficient upstream emissions cuts (leaving much larger downstream emissions untouched). Drag us over the climate cliff, anyway. Eventually crash, stranding its assets. And finally leave taxpayers with cleanup costs.
AB's oil & gas industry has barely started to fund its clean-up liabilities: north of $260 billion.
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Background:
"Canadian Natural expects to generate between $2 billion and $2.5 billion of profit in 2021, based on benchmark oil prices of $45 US per barrel. This week, prices are around $60 US."
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"$100 million in federal funding for cleanup of Alberta oil and gas wells went to sites licensed to CNRL" (The Narwhal, May 7, 2021)
"Canadian Natural Resources Limited — which has reported an average annual profit of $1.9 billion over the last decade — benefited most from taxpayer-funded cleanup of derelict wells"
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"Canadian Natural expects to generate up to C$5.4 billion in free cash flow in 2021, from C$692 million last year. Suncor projects additional cash flow of C$400 million this year and C$1 billion by 2023. Cenovus could generate C$3.5 billion this year, analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley estimate, from a loss last year." (Reuters, Apr 01, 2021)
"Canada's cash-rich oil sands firms face pressure to spend on transition" (Reuters, Apr 01, 2021)

Article: "[Richard Masson, executive fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy] also said the industry is asking for support to decarbonize because it understands the importance of transitioning. It’s just a question of pace.
"'The world gave us a task — decarbonize oil. We're a bunch of very focused people, engineers in particular, and that's what we're working on. And so we see the task. We accept the challenge, and we're going for it.'"
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Hopelessly disingenuous.
Oil & gas companies, lobbyists, and oil-soaked politicians are the chief obstructionists of climate action.
The fossil fuel industry has seen the writing on the wall for decades. Decades to prepare for the transition. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry has done everything in its power to obstruct the transition — and perpetuate demand: attack climate solutions, fund climate denial using Big Tobacco's playbook, oppose alternatives, campaign against carbon pricing, lobby to weaken and delay regulations, attack ENGOs, co-opt Big Green groups, and support politicians and parties who oppose change. All the while milking govts for endless subsidies.

Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on the fossil fuel industry's "predatory delay":
"Earth, Wind and Liars"
"In the long run, these tactics probably won't stop the transition to renewable energy, and even the villains of this story probably realize that. Their goal is, instead, to slow things down, so they can extract as much profit as possible from their existing investments.
"… Every year that we delay the clean-energy transition will sicken or kill thousands while increasing the risk of climate catastrophe.
"The point is that Trump and company aren't just trying to move us backward on social issues; they’re also trying to block technological progress. And the price of their obstructionism will be high."
www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/opinion/trump-energy-environment.html

Article: "CAPP argues that forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show demand for oil and gas will continue for decades and that the industry could help drive Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19. (Earlier this year, the IEA also recommended governments not invest in any new fossil fuel infrastructure if they want to meet climate targets.)"

CAPP is a liar.
Industry lobby groups, Big Oil CEOs, and oil-soaked politicians constantly misrepresent IEA projections as "predictions" and "forecasts".
The IEA does not make predictions or forecasts. The IEA makes projections based on various possible scenarios. Projections based on scenarios are not predictions. No scenario is inevitable. Which path we choose is up to us. Climate policies and our future emissions trajectory are up to us. We decide our energy destiny.
The most recent IEA report (Oct 2020) sets out four possible scenarios based on different policy directions and emissions trajectories. Typically, fossil fuel boosters refer only to the first (or base) Stated Policies scenario and fail to mention the others. The Stated Policies leads to climate disaster. Another fact the oil lobby fails to mention.

IEA: "There is no single story about the future of global energy and no long-term IEA forecast for the energy sector. The WEO uses a scenario-based approach to highlight the key choices, consequences and contingencies that lie ahead, and to illustrate how the course of the energy system might be affected by changing some of the key variables, chief among them the energy policies adopted by governments around the world."
"…Governments have the capacity and the responsibility to take decisive actions to accelerate clean energy transitions and put the world on a path to reaching our climate goals, including net-zero emissions."

The IEA's "Net Zero by 2050" Roadmap prescribes "no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects" after this year. "By 2035, there are no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars... "No new oil and natural gas fields are needed in the net zero pathway, and supplies become increasingly concentrated in a small number of low-cost producers."

Current policies enabling fossil fuel growth take us over the climate cliff.

Article: "With the spotlight focused on reconciliation after the discovery of over 1,000 unmarked graves at former residential school sites this spring and summer, CAPP’s platform also pitches oil and gas as a way to build relationships with Indigenous communities."
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Canada's oil & gas industry is supremely culpable for environmental racism.
Without free, prior, and informed consent, reconciliation and UNDRIP are meaningless.
Did the oilsands industry and govt ever ask Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan for permission to poison people in their own homes? turn the landscape inside out? devastate the wildlife they depended on for sustenance? Did FN ever have the power to say NO?
Consent means nothing when you are given no choice.
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Here's the deal between the oilsands industry and First Nations: We're going to 'develop' the oilsands with or without you. So you may as well take the jobs and co-operate in the destruction of your homeland and way of life. Co-operate and get something — or don't co-operate and get nothing. Makes no difference to us.
Let us build an ethical tailings pond, mining pit, and leaky pipeline in your backyard. It's going in whether you like it or not. But we'll give you a job to help poison your family. We'll even kick in a hospital and cancer treatment centre.
If that isn't ethical, what is?
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Pamela D. Palmater, Mi'kmaw lawyer: "While politicians make flowery speeches about reconciliation and respecting our rights, when it comes to wanting our lands for development or extraction, they will send in heavily armed RCMP officers or the military to take what they want."
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When the oilsands industry collapses, what will FN be left with? No jobs, a contaminated landscape bereft of wildlife, and chronic illness. Cultural destruction. Family members crippled by illness or six feet under. A greater and more lasting poverty than they could have ever envisioned in their worst nightmares.
Who signs up for destruction of their landscape and rare cancers?
What kind of deal is that?

Lots of research out there, reported via the internet to support these comments. What escape me is the logic on the part of corporate societies, is what they will have to manage once they have reduced all mankind that survives, to abject poverty and a Biosphere incapable of supporting life as we have know it and is already in decline due to our destructive drive that is still in high gear. Answer anyone?