Ezra Levant – Friend of China, but Foe to Canadians by Richard Komorowski – December 31, 2011
Putting the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers above Canada
Exporting Western Jobs to Communist China
Why is it that Levant, his Conservative government, and his beneficiaries at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers want to support the unethical communist Chinese regime, who only recently imprisoned two writers who dared criticise the regime? Giving China access to the tar sands oil puts Canadians, our land, and our seashores at risk. In the long term, we won’t even profit from the oil, except for the minimum in royalties and taxes Sinopec might eventually pay. The Chinese will get the oil for their cost of production, not for the world price most others have to pay, and they will also get all the profits from their operation. Not only that, it strengthens them economically against us, and the oil we ship over there will not be available to run our emergency services and military when OPEC (or perhaps simply Peak Oil) decide it’s time to bring us down.The major reason China controls the world economy is through its low labour costs, along with low shipping costs. However, as energy costs increase, making it more expensive not only to manufacture, but also to ship their goods, this advantage disappears. Eventually rising energy costs will balance China’s virtual slave labour costs, and the West, in spite of having to pay decent wages, will compete equally because we can use energy much more efficiently.Although Levant and the echo chamber of self-appointed science deniers do not want us to know about CO2 and climate change, burning tar sands oil in China will be even worse for the world’s future climate than burning that same fuel here. The reason is that here in the liberal-democratic West we are learning to use energy more efficiently. We are following Europe’s lead, by driving more fuel-efficient cars, insulating our homes so less energy is wasted, and looking seriously at the cost of energy and transportation in the bottom line business equation.
It is important to note, however, that, contrary to Levant’s wishes, Canada is no superpower, either economically, militarily, or in the energy world. Although it is true that Canada is the world’s sixth largest oil producer, we are nowhere even close to the three giants, Russia, the Saudis, and the US. With our 3.9% contribution to the world’s oil supply and consumption of 87.5m barrels per day, all that makes us is the third biggest midget, with almost no influence to control or decide anything once supplies start tightening up and demand becomes critical. What Levant also forgets is the forecast demand in energy. According to his friend and official CAPP spokeswoman Janet Annesley, world energy demand is expected to double by 2050, i.e. to about 175m barrels per day. Tar Sands production is forecast to reach 3.5m bbl/day by 2025. If somehow this figure could be doubled by 2050, to 7m bbl/day, this would leave Canada with still only about 4% control over the world’s energy pie.Of course, none of the oil companies believe that oil production could ever reach 175m bbl/day – there just isn’t enough economically recoverable oil left in the world (i.e. Peak Oil). As it is, world producers are struggling to keep pace with current demands of 87.5m barrels, and as reserves (and therefore the amount of oil that can be extracted) are inexorably declining, the task is hopeless, even with the Tar Sands. However, if Big Oil were ever to admit this fact, their share prices would tumble to nothing – Shell paid a considerable fine for overstating its reserves in order to keep its share prices high.Canada’s contribution will become almost as futile as trying to save the Titanic with a portable Wajax fire pump. On the other hand, using Annesley’s guess, Canada’s current 2.2m bbl/day oil consumption would double to about 4.4m barrels by 2050. If we build the right infrastructure, (i.e. a pipeline to the east), we could have enough to be self-sufficient for the eventual transition to sustainable energy sources, without having to turn to even dirtier coal, and perhaps also have some left over for our friends in Europe and the US.
Remember too that the Titanic set sail with too few lifeboats. Levant’s wish to sell our natural resources (at less than cost) to China would be akin to putting this country’s small number of lifeboats in a yard sale.