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OPINION: A realistic view of clean energy

The latest from MP Damien Kurek
MP Damien Kurek. (Facebook photo)

This week, I thought it would be important to discuss the prominence of our oil and gas industry and the investments they make in energy diversification and security.

Canadian oil and gas companies have displayed immense leadership in addressing environmental issues and have consistently grown the economy. This is something to be proud of, not something to hide. For example, if the rest of the world followed Canada’s standards for flaring, total GHG emissions from every barrel produced would drop by 23 per cent. Between 2000 and 2018, the emission intensity of Canada’s oil sands operations decreased by 36 percent due to technological and efficiency improvements, fewer venting emissions, and changes in the percentage of bitumen being upgraded to synthetic crude oil.

Oil and gas operations are more efficient and have been progressing for years because it is in the best interest of Canada, the environment, and their business to do so. In fact, 75 per cent of investment in clean technology comes from the oil and natural gas industry.

When talking about clean tech, solar and wind projects have been at the forefront of the conversation. On July 11, the Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, visited Battle River—Crowfoot to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 25 MW Michichi solar project in Starland County. Minister Wilkinson announced over $160 million in federal investments for nine Alberta-based solar power projects. While I always support this region getting its fair share, Alberta doesn’t want a handout, we want Ottawa to get out of the way of development. It’s also disappointing that local concerns regarding these projects were not addressed. Once again, it’s just another photo-op with no recognition of how damaging Liberal policies are.

To ensure that our economy is sustainable and prosperous, we must remain energy agnostic, meaning that we take a pragmatic approach that isn’t influenced by extreme ideologues or special interest groups. It’s laughable that the political left complains about energy prices when many of the factors that have driven up the cost of energy are directly related to the decisions of left-leaning governments.

Given the large investments made by Canadian oil and gas in clean tech and the economic benefits incredible from the oil and gas industry, the Liberal Government must get out of the way of a province’s resource development and remove the hurdles in developing energy of all kinds.

How we move forward as a nation hinges on leadership and the government’s ability to take meaningful action on the issues that impact Canadians. This is why I advocate each day for government transparency and the need for common-sense Conservative solutions.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column, you are encouraged to write Damien at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, text 403-575-5625, or e-mail You can also stay up to date with Damien by following him on social media @dckurek. If you need of assistance regarding a Federal Government program or need assistance and don’t know where to turn, feel free to reach out to MP Kurek’s office.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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