Oil

In response to Dave Chase’s “Oil isn’t going anywhere” June 9, questioning the impact of allowing foreign companies to extort profit from our province and our country’s resources is very important. People need to analyze these types of situations in order to make informed political decisions. We need to encourage this type of thoughtfulness, not the opposite.

Diverting from the actual concerns of those opposing Kinder Morgan’s expansion while attempting to make a farce of renewable energy does not culminate in rational support for the pipeline expansion. It’s simply trying to make a joke out of any opposition to current states of fossil fuel production; a truck with a windmill on it, are you serious?

Fifty per cent of tax revenue in B.C. does not come from Peace Valley energy industry.

A 2012 British Columbia Economic Accounts, B.C. Stats” study shows us that “Oil, gas and support services make up just three per cent of our GDP, compared to 15 per cent for manufacturing and construction and over 23 per cent for financial and real estate services. When secondary energy services are added into the equation, the total contribution to GDP is still only 11 per cent.”

In terms of taxation rates, sales, income and property tax provide approximately four times more tax revenue than that of any other taxes.

Your claim, that the people of B.C. should not support the NDP minority government, because they have not done research regarding the impact of letting Kinder Morgan expand the amount of oil crossing B.C., is mute because it’s clearly your research on political processes that’s lacking.

There are third-party, non-politicized, research institutes responsible for providing information to public government agencies, who are then responsible for interpreting and defining legislation regarding the information. A desire to prevent our government from bringing in a Texas-based company to profit from our resources is one of the reasons the people of B.C. have taken the information made available by research institutes and voted in strong left legislators.

The voting results of democracies all over the world demonstrate that renewable energies are supported by social and political movements far more populous than those supporting oil. The 2014 Globe and Mail article “Green energy sector jobs surpass total oil sands employment” or the 2016 Huffington Post article “Renewables now employ more people than oil” show that in a few short decades renewable and alternate energy sector employment has surpassed oil production employment. Also, most petroleum based products can be created, just as easily, without fossil fuel production.

Academics understand the necessity of small-scale oil production. What goes unappreciated, though, is the complacent assumption that the best way to serve our province is to encourage unrestrained industrial expansion. A vote for legislation and taxation that enforces political accountability, rather than a corporations right to profit, is the best way we can serve our province. Don’t worry, although we have all been born into oil-dependency, new generations are innovating countless ways of combating lingering irrational drives to expand fossil fuel production. You are correct though, that “Oil is not going anywhere in our lifetime.” You are right, oil really is going no where within our lifetime. Political movements will prevent expansion while petroleum’s importance will maintain some production value. Inevitably it is an archaic and dirty form of non-renewable energy production that, although has approximately 100 years of production resources left, is quickly being traded in for renewables within technological societies.

Ryan Plouffe

Vernon