A web of pipelines binds the Canada, U.S. economies together

453,000 km worth of tubes provide a plethora of jobs

A web of pipelines binds the Canada, U.S. economies togetherBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre “Designing hypothetical roadmaps outlining complete elimination of fossil carbon from the global energy supply by 2050 is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking that ignores fundamental physical realities,” wrote Vaclav Smil a year ago. Smil, a University of Manitoba professor of the environment (emeritus), wants less…

Canadian oil still the safest bet for Americans

Canada was the only free-country supplier of foreign crude oil to the U.S. between 1993 and 2020

Canadian oil still the safest bet for AmericansBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Imagine you’re in Germany and wonder if it’s a good idea to rely so heavily on natural gas imports from Russia, where the governing regime is accused by German politicians of killing journalists and the attempted murder of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. German Chancellor Angela…

Which sector spends the most on the environment? Oil and gas

Between 2006 and 2018 the oil and gas sector spent $28.1 billion on environmental protection; ALL other industries combined spent $39.6 billion

Which sector spends the most on the environment? Oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre As two people not born in Alberta but who live here now – one of us came from British Columbia and the other from India – we’re constantly amazed at the misinformation about the province and one of Canada’s biggest economic contributors: the oil and gas…

Oil and gas sector’s high productivity primes our standard of living

Has led to significantly higher wages, higher investment by industry, more taxes and royalty revenues for governments

Oil and gas sector’s high productivity primes our standard of livingBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre We take a lot for granted. Consider the evolution in farming over the centuries. Imagine being a farmer a century or more ago. You likely used animals or your muscle to move a plow to furrow the soil in preparation for planting the seeds. Perhaps you…

Why America shouldn’t cut off Canada’s energy supplies

Canadian oil helps keep the United States economy humming and natural gas helps keep American homes warm

Why America shouldn’t cut off Canada’s energy suppliesBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre In a world where Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely assumed to be behind the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, liberal democracies should stick together. This should be especially relevant on matters related to energy. Russia has been using energy exports as a weapon for…

Insurers walking from oil sands projects defies logic

By every measure, Canada is a beacon of civil, political and economic rights

Insurers walking from oil sands projects defies logicBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Over the past two years, three insurance companies from Europe – Axa, Zurich and Swiss Re – announced plans to stop insuring Canadian oil sands projects, and reduce or entirely eliminate investments in the oil and gas sector. The reason offered is the standard refrain: assumed…

Pipeline cancellations cost Canadians billions of dollars a year

A vocal minority opposed to resource development damaging our prosperity

Pipeline cancellations cost Canadians billions of dollars a yearBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Oil and natural gas pipelines are like light switches on the wall. You take them for granted, along with the expectation that once flipped, your lights will come on. In normal company and normal times, few people would discuss over dinner something as arcane as tubes…

Canada missing a critical opportunity in the LNG market

The world sped ahead getting LNG online but Canada stalled, meaning lost revenue and missed environmental opportunity

Canada missing a critical opportunity in the LNG marketBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Over the past several years, a plethora of naysayers have reflexively opposed the extraction and export of natural gas from Canada. Some critics have even argued that the prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) shouldn’t warrant investment by Canadian companies. Much of this anti-LNG sentiment has…

Australia’s energy jobs rise while Canada’s stall

The sheer scale of investment in the natural gas industry in Australia has yielded substantial economic benefits

Australia’s energy jobs rise while Canada’s stallBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When U.S. President Joe Biden recently revoked the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, it was a reminder of how anti-oil-and-gas activism and politics over the years can kill Canadian (and American) jobs. It was also a reminder of how dependent Canada is on one…

Oil and gas exports critical to Canada’s economic future

It is a mistake to think Canada can thrive without the export wealth generated by the energy sector

Oil and gas exports critical to Canada’s economic futureBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre You may have heard the persistent worldwide narrative that oil and natural gas are dead, or soon will be, and can easily be replaced with other forms of energy. The latter claim is simply false. Read the work of energy transition expert Vaclav Smil, professor of…

Canada must seize LNG opportunities in Asian market

Canada must seize LNG opportunities in Asian marketBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre There’s a dearth of sensible analysis when it comes to reasonable ways to decrease carbon emissions. Some point fingers at Canada’s oil sands, or oil and gas more generally. They imagine if that industry disappeared, somehow carbon emissions would magically evaporate as well. The reality is…

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwined

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwinedBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Atlantic Canada struggled to create good-paying jobs long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The multiple reasons include poor policy and high taxes on businesses and individuals. Poor policy reinforces other lousy policy, leading to a self-reinforcing downward economic spiral. For instance, previous governments formed policy forbidding fracking…

Alberta oil and gas critical to B.C.’s economy

The impact of oil and natural gas is significant, whether it is for salaries, Indigenous jobs, or GDP

Alberta oil and gas critical to B.C.’s economyBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre How much do the oil and natural gas industries contribute to British Columbia’s economy? One way to see the impact is to look at those of Indigenous ancestry. Their employment proportions across sectors and incomes reveals a lot about where the good-paying jobs are, and also…

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weapon

International power politics employed by the likes of Russia have resulted in many countries looking for new energy sources

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weaponBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Russia cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine in mid-winter 2009, ostensibly over a pricing dispute. It was a reminder that energy can be used as an economic and political weapon by autocratic regimes – in this instance, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. We have more recent…

Why oil and gas are fundamental to Canada

The $493 billion in oil and gas revenues paid to governments since 2000 is more than family allowance and children’s benefits since 1970

Why oil and gas are fundamental to CanadaBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Humans are wired to respond to stories that paint a relatable picture of an issue at hand. And those stories are easier to remember. If we repeat a Rex Murphy story about how out-of-work cod fishery workers from Newfoundland saved their homes and marriages by moving…

U.S. natural gas producers benefit from Canada’s retreat

Less supportive policies and regulatory constraints has led to natural gas stagnation in Canada

U.S. natural gas producers benefit from Canada’s retreatBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre The United States has undergone an energy renaissance of sorts in recent years. After decades of importing significant volumes of natural gas, there has been a transformation in both the economy and policy on that source of energy in particular. Americans began to produce and export…

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gas

Alberta’s consumers, businesses and governments were responsible for $31.4 billion of Ontario’s total interprovincial trade in 2016 alone

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre “All politics is local,” as 1980s-era U.S. House of Representatives leader Tip O’Neill put it. O’Neill’s point was straightforward: Voters care about what affects them. That, naturally, is where politicians then aim their promises and rhetoric. What’s true in politics is also true of the economy:…

How oil and gas fuels the nation’s economy

The importance of oil and gas extraction to Canada’s GDP, jobs, incomes or tax revenues can’t be understated

How oil and gas fuels the nation’s economyBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre No matter how you slice it, Canada’s oil and natural gas sector has been one of the nation’s most significant contributors to jobs, gross domestic product (GDP) and tax revenues over the decades. Even in down years, such as 2016, the oil and gas extraction sector…

Canada’s foreign oil imports: $477 billion since 1988

Canada’s foreign oil imports: $477 billion since 1988By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When forecasting future oil consumption around the world, many people have opinions and agendas. Forecasts rooted in facts and technological capabilities are more rare. An example of an informed opinion comes from Vaclav Smil, professor emeritus of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Environment. Smil is…

Weak oil and gas investment still plagues Canada

While oil and gas investment has grown substantially in other parts of the world, Canada has failed to keep pace

Weak oil and gas investment still plagues CanadaBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Over the past decade, one oft-heard claim is that oil and gas is a ‘sunset’ industry, where investment in Canada can be expected to decline given a worldwide flight from oil and investment. However, international data (available from 2009 to 2017) show no such worldwide flight…

Paris emissions targets carry extra costs for Canada’s economy

The gap between expectations and existing policy is wide. Closing that gap will cost thousands of jobs and devastate whole economic sectors

Paris emissions targets carry extra costs for Canada’s economyBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Aspirations are important in life but it’s always helpful to be clear on the means to the desired end, especially if others are involved. A case in point: General commitments by governments in Canada to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2030, i.e., the Paris commitment. In…

Busting the myth of anti-oil-and-gas First Nations

Most B.C. and Alberta First Nations favour oil and natural gas development. So why do we let activists claim otherwise?

Busting the myth of anti-oil-and-gas First NationsBy Gregory John and Mark Milke Canadian Energy Centre A common tactic of anti-oil-and-gas activists and some international organizations over the past decade is to group all Indigenous people under the false narrative of broad opposition to energy development. Those with anti-development agendas ostensibly enlist Indigenous allies as the easiest way to delay or stop…

Want richer First Nations? Say ‘Yes’ to pipelines

There’s no easy way to spur economic opportunity for every remote reserve. But resource-related development will help many

Want richer First Nations? Say ‘Yes’ to pipelines“In less than a decade, the Haisla Nation has leveraged the strategic location of its traditional territory to go from a Nation on the verge of remedial management to an eagerly sought-after partner and key stakeholder in several multi-billion-dollar LNG projects.” – The Haisla First Nation on its website Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian…

Canada missing out on natural gas boom – again

The opposition to fossil fuels such as natural gas is driven by magical thinking and is against all empirical evidence

Canada missing out on natural gas boom – againBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre As the lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic ends, provincial and federal governments will still face the reality that arrived in its wake: a recession, and one made worse by a domestic energy sector that never really recovered from multiple injuries already in play. Those injuries included:…

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamonds

Oil and gas revenues can be used by tyrannies, autocracies and dictatorships to oppress their populations

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamondsWhy would consumers treat tyranny oil differently than blood diamonds or clothing made by child labour? One of the more bizarre reactions to bare facts came recently after a colleague and I analyzed oil-and-gas-producing countries and their degree of freedom – the Tyranny Index, as we labelled it. Some argued such tracking is irrelevant because…

Exploding myths about energy subsidies in Canada

Despite claims by some that ‘oil is dead’ and that the sector is heavily subsidized, the evidence suggests otherwise

Exploding myths about energy subsidies in CanadaBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre In the ongoing debate over whether Canada’s oil and natural gas industry will or should survive, one argument often advanced is the notion that oil and gas activity in Canada survives only due to massive subsidies from taxpayers. The debate has been fuelled recently by comments from…

Death of Canada’s oil and gas sector greatly exaggerated

Neither the lockdown not government diktat will end our dependence on fossil fuels for quite some time

Death of Canada’s oil and gas sector greatly exaggeratedBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre In 1897 while in London in the midst of a worldwide speaking tour, American author Mark Twain became the subject of rumours back home that he was dead. To discover the truth, a reporter from the New York Journal wrote to Twain to ask if he…

Oil and gas sector critical to Canada’s economy

The COVID-19 crisis can’t be used as an excuse to kill one of Canada’s largest, best-paying industries, which benefits us all

Oil and gas sector critical to Canada’s economyMark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre While the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic downturn, anti-energy activists have spotted an opportunity: to kill off Canada’s oil and gas industry – the one that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenues to governments.…

Energy industry a pipeline to Indigenous prosperity

The link between oil sands development and First Nations prosperity is clear and profound. Project delays can be devastating

Energy industry a pipeline to Indigenous prosperityBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When Teck Resources cancelled its proposed Frontier oil sands project last month, Canada lost more than the government revenues and blue-collar jobs the mine would have created. The loss of this project was also a blow to northern First Nations communities. On average, people who live…

We can prosper and still protect the environment

Increasing prosperity allows people once too poor to avoid environmental dead-ends to instead care for the environment

We can prosper and still protect the environmentYou may know this frightening if self-evident bit of advice: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught and the last stream poisoned will we realize we cannot eat money.” The quote is ostensibly from Canada's First Nations peoples (the Cree are often cited) but popularized by Greenpeace. The point…