OTTAWA – Thunder Bay-Superior North MP and Green Party Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer delivered a speech in the House of Commons on the need for a National Energy Strategy.
The text of the speech is as follows:
In 1973 an oil pricing crisis broke out. OPEC forced the price of oil to skyrocket. The price of oil quadrupled. That was over 40 years ago Mr. Speaker,… yet we don’t seem to learn.
Eastern Canada imports 80% of its oil from the same countries that caused the 1973 oil crisis, places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, which are no more stable today than they were forty years ago. While this week oil prices are low, tomorrow a crisis in one of these states will raise prices.
The USA learned from the oil crisis of the 70s. In 1975, the States set up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to prevent future disruptions in the supply of oil.
Every country in the G20 has created some kind of national strategy to deal with fluctuations in the supply of oil. Every country but Canada.
We already produce enough oil every year to fulfill all of our domestic needs first and then continue to be a major exporter.
Instead, we’re currently importing Brent Crude to Eastern Canada which is risk prone and also the most expensive in the world.
Under this government we are selling off our oil as raw crude in the West at a 30 per cent discount, while paying much more for expensive imports in the East!
My father was an investment banker. He taught me that “Buy high, Sell low” is an incredibly dumb economic strategy. That is costing the Canadian economy at least $18 billion a year!
The Minister of Natural Resources retorts that the solution will come in the form of pipelines. So let’s talk about pipelines.
Specifically, let’s talk about Northern Gateway and Keystone XL, which are being built to export even more, low value-added crude oil out of the country, without any plan to relieve Eastern Canada from our dependence on foreign oil. The Conservatives seem very focused on the short term. Northern Gateway is expected to create a few hundred permanent jobs in Canada, at best.
The Conservative plan is to export Canadian crude and Canadian jobs to Communist China and the United States, instead of using the resources we already have to create jobs here at home for Canadians.
Pipelines can have serious negative social and environmental effects. Not only do the pipelines bulldoze through the treaty rights of many First Nations, inevitable spills represent serious environmental risks.
For example Northern Gateway goes through the Great Bear Rainforest, where a spill will not only threaten a priceless ecosystem, but also kill a large portion of the BC economy that depends on fishing and tourism. Then it will be ferried away through the dangerous waters of BC’s north coast, where repeated studies have shown a high risk of a super tanker spill. Diluted bitumen is heavier than water and virtually impossible to clean up.
The debate on oil sands shipments is often polarized, between those who say “All pipelines are bad” and those say “All pipelines are good”.
Canada needs a balanced approach to energy and the environment.
We need to end our dependency on foreign oil and implement a solution that will finally make us energy independent… including Thunder Bay - Superior North and the rest of Eastern Canada.
And what we really need is to implement the brilliant, revenue neutral, carbon pricing strategy of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby – Carbon Fee & Dividend
Mr. Speaker, the lack of a national energy strategy should be a top priority for conservatives. Who are costing the Canadian economy billions every year and making us dependent on unstable and expensive foreign oil, as well as postponing and preventing the development of more sustainable resources.
The Conservative approach has clearly failed. It’s time to look at an alternative that will benefit all Canadians… not just Alberta.
The Conservatives claim to have a good economic track record, but their economic and energy policies simply makes no sense. We must end Canada’s dependence on foreign oil and create a national energy strategy for Canada ASAP.
And of course, the real long term solution is to reduce our dependency on foreign oil through the Green Party’s plan to implement a revenue neutral Carbon Dividend, which would reduce both poverty and C02 … and create many jobs