Suncor CEO Rich Kruger is feeling the heat. Not from the catastrophic wildfires, the thousands forced from their homes or even the toxic fumes of a climate catastrophe spreading across North America.

Nope, Kruger is feeling the heat of public attention. Earlier this summer, as Canadians worried about the urgent need to address a burning planet, Kruger bragged to investors about his "urgent" plan to pump up Suncor's profits by walking back commitments on the clean energy transition. This, after the company boasted $70-billion in profit in the last three years.

Given the nightmare of fire and smoke confronting Canadians, his comments seemed so out of touch. So indifferent.

Not surprising there was backlash.

This is why I requested Kruger come to Parliament. People have a right to know whether Suncor is willing to be a good corporate citizen in dealing with the energy transition and the climate disaster. After all, if ever there was an "all-hands-on-deck moment" — this is it.

Kruger's response to the backlash has been to pen an editorial in the Calgary Herald. There wasn't a single word about the climate crisis. Sure, he talked about "sustainability," but it wasn't about the planet's sustainability, it was the financial sustainability (profitability) of his oil operations. He opined that the public backlash may have stemmed from personal "bias" or being too "quick to judge."

I admit I was gobsmacked when I read that. This summer, I dealt with families in Fort Albany and Kashechewan in James Bay threatened by unprecedented wildfires on the sub-Arctic peatlands.

As we scrambled to arrange military Hercules planes to get them to safety, residents were forced to put loved ones into canoes to stay ahead of the fire.

Were their attitudes about the climate crisis fuelled by "bias"?

.@CharlieAngusNDP wants @suncor CEO Rich Kruger come to Parliament to explain if he's willing to be a good corporate citizen in dealing with the energy transition and the climate disaster. #ClimateEmergency #cdnpoli

Were they being too quick to judge the catastrophic nature of the burning?

Is it the same for the families across this country who were forced to flee from fires, floods and hurricanes with their possessions and pets?

Kruger quipped: "Don't be judgmental, be curious," a reference to his fave TV show Ted Lasso.

Mr. Kruger, Canadians are very curious. For starters, curious about your detachment from the obvious connection between increased fossil fuel profits and a destabilized climate. And curious as to whether Suncor would be willing to divert some of those massive profits to help mitigate the damages your industry has caused. Ordinary Canadians have been forced to assume the risks of an industry unwilling to pull back from the 1.5-degree danger line. Shouldn't those assuming the risk be eligible for some of the profit?

I am curious about your comments that you are targeting "work." The Alberta oilpatch has lost nearly 50,000 jobs in the last 10 years. In fact, your company fired 1,500 this year. No doubt, switching to automation will be great for the bottom line of offshore investors, but what's in it for workers and their families?

But most of all, I am curious about Suncor's corporate culture shift. Just last year, I had an excellent conversation about diversification with Suncor executive Martha Hall Findlay and her sustainability team.

She assured me Suncor was committed to being a good corporate partner in moving Canada toward the energy transition. Those folks are all gone. And gone with them is the $730 million in wind and solar assets divested from the company. You said you weren't interested in "throwing money" at such projects.

And yet, the latest report by the International Energy Agency is warning companies like Suncor that the end of Big Oil is imminent: "New large-scale fossil fuel projects not only carry major climate risks, but also financial risks for the companies and their investors."

Compare this to a recent report by Calgary Economic Development that identified $61 billion in opportunities and the potential for 170,000 new jobs in Alberta from the clean-tech revolution. I am curious why Suncor, an energy leader with enormous resources and expertise, would prefer to double down in the face of the climate disaster unfolding.

I note that Kruger is a former vice-president of ExxonMobil, the company that produced the best scientific data on the clear connection between fossil fuel burning and the climate crisis.

An internal memo from 1982 warned that if steps weren't taken to limit emissions, the damage to the planet "may not be reversible, and little could be done to correct the situation." But that memo was suppressed, and Exxon executives undertook a massive campaign of climate disinformation.

We are now living the reality of that memo.

Yes, Mr. Kruger, I am very curious about your views on these issues. Very curious indeed.

Charlie Angus has been the member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay since 2004. He is the NDP's critic for natural resources and Indigenous youth. He has published eight books on northern and resource issues, including his most recent book, Cobalt: Cradle of the Demon Metals/Birthplace of a Mining Superpower. He is the lead singer of the band Grievous Angels. He has won multiple awards for his work in politics and social activism. He is also a contributing author to the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

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You tell 'em, Charlie!

Chalie Angus for PM!!!

"Kruger quipped: "Don't be judgmental, be curious," a reference to his fave TV show Ted Lasso."

Dude should take some of his own advice.

As to Charlie Angus's question, they're not interested in anything other than higher profits and government handouts. It's been that way for decades and decades.

They will do for people other than their own executives and investors no more than the letter of the law requires of them. And successive governments have been unwilling to attach performance to the largesse they deliver from public coffers.

O&G companies have no plans to morph into renewable energy companies.
O&G companies will not voluntarily shrink their business or shut their doors.
O&G companies uniformly reject the energy shift. They will do everything in their power to obstruct and slow it down. Predatory delay.
Not on our side.
Naïve to suppose otherwise.

The industry has spared no effort to capture politicians, parties, governments, and regulators. And much of the press. Not to mention the web of extractionist think tanks and a gaggle of astroturf groups funded by industry. Did I mention the huge army of lobbyists? Endless barrels of greenwash, denial, and deceit.
Ethical Oil™.

Charlie Angus, one of the few MPs on the Hill with a mountain of integrity.

As for oil & gas companies, well, both Bloomberg Energy and the IEA peg fossil fuel demand dropping like a stone by 2030 as renewables work their magical disruption. The University of Exeter calculated that worldwide car sales may drop in number by 2030, and 60% of them will electric. The past evidence indicates all three sources of research will have underestimated the advancement of renewables.

The fear in Alberta's fossil fuel circles is manifesting itself in childish moratoria on renewables that will do nothing to affect the rapidly growing demand for clean power in Alberta's export markets (including BC), accompanied by a perfectly predictable proportional decrease in oil and gas demand. All that with no alternative strategy waiting in the wings should the renewable energy sector abandon Alberta for greener pastures.

In round numbers, Tony Seba and his politically neutral organization ReThink X predicted the oncoming wave of disruptive technology in 2011, with a particular emphasis on quality and affordability. He was laughed at then. Today, Mr. Seba regularly fills lecture halls with intelligent, curious folks and investors.

By 2030 Kruger et al will probably be retired in somewhere luxurious and warm with tens of millions in departure payouts, and will probably be silent on what he knew and when he knew it. But he could choose to publish the occasional op-ed in sympathetic media trying to post justify his actions years after the carbon mule left the barn, after Suncor starts losing money and experiences billions in newly stranded assets, and after the critics publish pages of stinging criticism.

A madman's ravings are absurd in relation to the situation in which he finds himself, but not in relation to his madness. | Jean-Paul Sartre The madness is greed. Greedy people look at the world as a zero-sum game. Instead of thinking that everyone would benefit as the pie gets larger, they view the pie as a constant and want to have the biggest part. They truly believe that they deserve more, even if it comes at someone else's expense. Greedy people are experts in manipulation.

So what's with these rich oil CEO types who are actually called "Rich"? We got Rich Kruger, we had Rich Kinder the boss of the pipeline he sold to Trudeau . . .