Heads Up from Verna Milligan
Suddenly, Premier Jason Kenney is talking publicly about the “energy transition.”
This is new. And it’s significant.
“Over the next decades as we go through the energy transition, we all know that there will be a continued demand for crude,” he told a panel at Washington’s Wilson Center last Friday.
Kenney added: “It is preferable that the last barrel in that transition period comes from a stable, reliable liberal democracy with among the highest environmental, human-rights and labour standards on earth.”
Energy transition. Last barrel. Transition period. Six not-so-little words we’ve never heard clearly from Kenney before.
“I have a firm grasp of the obvious,” Kenney said in a later interview. “There is no reasonable person that can deny that in the decades to come we will see a gradual shift from hydrocarbon-based energy to other forms of energy.”
This will seem obvious to millions of Canadians; but Kenney’s words are an important and crucial change of tone for the UCP government.
“But in that world, according to the International Energy Agency, even their most bearish projection for hydrocarbon energy, in the year 2040, they see 68 million barrels of crude oil per day being consumed and they see a near doubling of natural gas production.”
The IEA has also said
The IEA says that it does not make forecasts in its outlook. Instead, it presents the consequences of societal energy “choices” in terms of CO2 emissions and other outcomes. The report explains:
“The World Energy Outlook does not aim to provide a view on where the energy world will be in 2030 or 2040. This will depend on hugely important choices that lie ahead. What the WEO-2019 does aim to do is to inform decision-makers as they design new policies or consider new investments or shape our energy future in other ways. It does so by exploring various possible futures, the ways that they come about, the consequences of different choices and some of the key uncertainties.”
…observers said Kenney’s views on a changing climate — and the need to transition away from oil, in particular — are increasingly relevant as the debate over how to cut Canadian emissions focuses on Alberta and the oilsands.
Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said he hasn’t seen many instances of Kenney talking about a transition away from oil. If anything, he says Trudeau has made similar arguments — and been criticized by Kenney.
The Kenny Contradictions:
The Calgary flood — climate change and weather events not linked “We had some rain for three days and a heavy runoff that led to this situation, and, you know, I, the stuff that I’ve read in commentary from scientists suggests that there’s not been, there’s not a connection between weather events of this nature and broader climate issues.” (2013)
On the Alberta campaign trail (2019): Kenney said that he personally believed in man-made climate change, but wouldn’t remove party members who denied it, saying that there are a “spectrum of views” on the issue.
The UCP take office and cut environmental programs (2019)
Kenney decried Greta Thunberg’s visit as part of a “foreign-funded campaign” targeting the province (2019)