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Premiers Must Take Stand on Fracking, Expanding Oil Sands


Premiers Must Take Stand on Fracking, Expanding Oil Sands

Angela Giles, Andrea Harden-Donahue

The havoc currently being wreaked by rampaging wildfires out west, fueled in part by climate change, reminds us that reducing climate pollution is more urgent than ever.

This should be at the forefront this week as provincial energy ministers meet in Halifax, and premiers and territorial leaders gather in St. John’s.

In 2014, these meetings produced a draft Canadian energy strategy that promised to move towards a lower carbon economy. Such documents have little meaning, however, if our premiers don’t take the task of backing away from extreme energy seriously.


Unfortunately, as obscene as the income of our too big to fail fossil fuel firms is, we will have to make sure those firms continue to receive such obscene levels of income both during the transition to renewable energy (partly by hiring them to do something more constructive than what they do now, partly by paying them to keep their fossil fuel reserves in the ground) and for as long after the transition as US manages to remain a sovereign nation with faith and credit. Oil and gas firms can drill for geothermal instead of oil and gas. I hope coal firms can remember how to make tunnels well enough to make tunnels to hold HV-DC transmission lines and all sorts of other transportation infrastructure. US Military Industrial Complex firms can be hired to make equipment to harness renewable energy including upgrades to the grid to integrate wind and solar with money diverted from military pork. The equipment can be placed with electric utilities to maintain and operate for a small share of the return on investment but with most of the return on investment given to fossil fuel firms to make up for loss of sales. When savings on health care due to reductions in air and water pollution from replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy kick in, they can help pay for much of this and for replacement parts as old parts wear out for a long time.