Danielle Smith continues dreaming about the future of oil

Alberta’s UCP government may like to pretend it sees the world differently than Saudi Arabia, but when it comes to its largest industry, they speak the same language. Both have said that the International Energy Agency’s predictions of the imminent arrival of peak oil demand are wildly exaggerated and that consumption will remain strong for decades to come. That’s why the kingdom’s recent announcement to abandon plans to increase its maximum sustained production capacity should have caught Danielle Smith’s attention. Meanwhile, the explanation Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman offered at a recent industry conference should have stopped her in her tracks.

“I think we postponed the investment simply because… we are in transition,” bin Salman. saying. “And the transition means that even our oil company, which used to be an oil company, became a hydrocarbon company. “Now it is becoming an energy company.” Maybe not ring a bell at the top of a market, as the saying goes, but his statement is as close as it can get in the case of fossil fuels.

Until now, Smith has refused to take this reality into account. In a world where global oil demand is in the process of starting to decline, he actually seems to think Alberta can double its production by 2050. he told tucker carlson (during his brief stop in Alberta on the way to his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow), “I think we should double down and decide that we are going to double our oil and gas production because, really, where else does the United States want to go?” ? Where does your oil come from?

She tried to play this card again during her recent visit to the United States, where he met with some of the most notoriously regressive Republican senators in an apparent attempt to generate business for Alberta. “A serious question for the United States,” he posed on Twitter. “Would you rather get your energy from Iran and Venezuela or from your friends in Canada?” Here’s a serious answer: The United States currently imports almost no oil from Venezuela and has only recorded imports from Iran in six months over the past 32 years. In other words, Canada has almost nothing to replace here.

This wasn’t the only aspect of the American energy system that she doesn’t seem to understand. in a video posted on social networks, Smith suggests that the United States is actually behind Canada when it comes to climate policy, and that we should avoid getting too far ahead of ourselves. “I know there are often proposals about what decarbonization could look like on various fronts,” he said, “but I don’t see the United States moving as quickly as Canada. “That’s something I hope we can synchronize.”

That might have been true in 2020 or so, but in the years since Donald Trump reluctantly left office, Americans have outperformed Canada and most of the rest of the world. In 2021, the Biden administration announced a net zero electricity target by 2035, the same one that Smith has said time and time again is simply impossible for his province to achieve. And although Canada has committed to a 40 percent reduction Compared to 2005 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the United States is aiming for between 50 and 52 percent.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed in 2022, is already doing the heavy lifting there. in a recent report, Macquarie Investments described the IRA as “the most ambitious climate legislation in American history” and noted that it has already fundamentally rewritten the economics of renewable energy and triggered a massive surge in new investments in it. “In the 12 months after the IRA was passed, its provisions – including investment and production tax credits – resulted in more than $110 billion in new investments in clean technology manufacturing alone,” he noted.

Perhaps Smith’s biggest misunderstanding is his continued belief that net-zero emissions targets are somehow compatible with increasing Alberta’s oil production and exports. If the United States were to meet its net-zero climate goals by 2050, that would eliminate more than 10 million barrels per day of oil demand and require many fewer barrels of Canadian supply. Even under global energy analyst Wood Mackenzie’s less ambitious measures “base case,” US demand will continue to fall by seven million barrels per day by 2050.

All of this is not just writing on the wall. It’s a message painted in bright red graffiti that says the world is going in a different direction. After all, if Saudi Arabia (a petro-dictatorship with immediate access to the tides and some of the cheapest and most easily accessible oil on Earth) isn’t trying to increase its production, what makes Smith think Alberta has any business than try it?

Danielle Smith believes Alberta can double its oil production by 2050 just as Saudi Arabia is backing away from its efforts to increase its own production. Why Alberta’s premier keeps missing the obvious signs here and how much it could cost Alberta in the end.

Furthermore, this is the same person who claims that hydrogen will be the passenger vehicle. fuel of the future just when Shell is closing all its pumping stations in California. When it comes to climate and energy, she seems determined to serve as a reverse indicator, moving her province away from where things are really headed. In time, that will be obvious to all but the most narrow-minded partisans. However, by then the race to reach net zero will be lost. Maybe that was his goal all along.

Leave a Comment