The oil sands have a new defender: freshly minted Environment Minister Peter Kent, who calls Canada’s tarry resource an “ethical” source of energy that should take priority in the U.S over foreign producers with poor democratic track records.Hopefully, his next steps include pointing out the fact that the "scientific consensus" about global warming turns out to have a lot more to do with manipulating the numbers. Then hopefully we can look forward for the Rona Ambrose's good old Clean Air Act to be reintroduced, so that, instead of wasting time and money on imaginary threats, the Parliament finally starts addressing the real issues, such as air and water pollution.
But the minister’s characterization of the oil sands as “ethical” embraces a notion advanced by Calgary author Ezra Levant. Mr. Levant, a onetime aide to Stockwell Day, has helped popularize the argument that oil-sands petroleum is ethically superior to petroleum produced by countries such as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran – all nations that also sell crude to the U.S. market or Asian markets. It’s an attempt to beat back efforts by U.S. politicians and activists who want a boycott of Canada’s oil sands owing to its greenhouse-gas-heavy extraction methods and ensuing environmental damage.
Mr. Kent’s staunch support for the oil sands represents an even more unapologetic stand by the Harper government as it works to comply with the international fight against climate change and ensure U.S. legislators don’t end up stymieing Canadian exports or investment in the sector.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
First and foremost, he adopted the Ethical Oil framework, speaking up in defense of the oil sands: