Canadian Oil Sands: Our ticket to Sustainability

This is an update to my previous post on the CIBC’s predictions of oil production past 2005.

The National Post/ has a similar report that actually contains quotes from Mr. Rubin.

This was his major point:

The six largest multinationals face declining production in the next two years

So, since the Canadian oil patch is one of the last bastions of privately held oil reserves in the world, we will be seeing many many mergers and aquisitions as companies “scramble” to get their hands on one of the few areas will oil production is growing. This means largest American companies… and large Chinese sudo-private/public conglomerates, coming to Canada to boost their oil portfolio and lock in their stake for the last drops of oil in the world.

Of course, this is good for Canada, and Alberta in particular (especially with a forecast of $70/barrel for oil next year)… who doesn’t like to be the center of attention? However, I really hope that politicians and citizens alike start to wake up and realize that Canada has an incredible opportunity here to leverage this massive windfall and to use these funds to drive Canada’s economy and society into an oil-independant future. Just because we have the most oil in the world, doesn’t mean that we have to use it all ourselves. As Oil prices continue to climb, our situation will be more and more lucrative. Billions and billions of dollars will be generated simply from the rise in prices alone. Forget raising taxes to afford our new advanced in alternative energy… why aren’t we using these billions of dollars?

Yes, this may lead to another “National Energy Program”… which is poison in the ears of most Albertans… but as long as the initiative is genuine I believe the benefits will be clear. All Canadians, including Albertans, have an opportunity here to move Canadas’ economy into the next century.

Imagine the effect on our economy, to be even 20% less dependant on fossil fuels in 2025? Not only would we blow away our Kyoto commitments, we would be a leading force in the world on building a sustainable society.

Many pundits are predicting that the “new core” of economic powers, Brazil, China, and India are on course to “leapfrog” the old core (us) in terms of building economic development on top of sustainable living practices. Brazil is relying heavily on Sugar Cane produced ethanol and having done so… is now a net exporter of oil. A huge accomplishment for a rapidly developing country.

China has made similar moves as well.. but one might be more sceptical about it’s real willingness to look that far ahead.

Either way, Canada’s position is clear. We are an advanced, modern and flexible economy. We are blessed with gigantic natural resources that will be in higher and higher demand over the next 10-20 years.

We must devise a plan… NOW… that will take those riches and convert them into a sustainable future for our citizens and our economy. The more oil we *don’t* use ourselves can be sold to other countries for incredible gains.

Do any of our current political parties have enough vision to see something like this through? I don’t think so, at least not right now. But I think the discussion must start now, the longer we wait, the harder, and more expensive, it will be.