Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Petroleum Production and Building a Future

I had intended my next post, this one, to be more information on the Cariboo Road and how its construction sped up further development of British Columbia and I will do that soon. However, another subject has raised its head and demands a statement from everyone who believes in development of both homo sapiens and where they live.
For several years now I’ve been listening to reports that paint the petroleum production industry as being evil or at the least a “bad boy.” Since there is no evidence to support this attitude, only words from those looking to increase their own importance I have tended to be only saddened or sometimes disgusted by such rhetoric. However, listening to a CBC interview with an NDP person (perhaps he was in Bella Bella?) I found myself getting extremely angry.
There seems to be a belief in some circles that global warming has been accepted by all.
It hasn’t been!
I believe that perhaps 40% of Canadians have accepted the apocalyptic idea that is being presented. Another 30% do not believe there is ANY global warming but do believe it is all a scam to increase the importance of undeserving people and a method of extracting more money from over taxed citizens. The remaining 30%, including myself, believe that there may be some truth to a problem with our atmosphere created by those on the planet but it has been blown way out of proportion.
Do we need to make changes in our methods of creating power and production? I believe so and we have been doing a great job of that with the improvements in alternative power for automobiles and in the efficiency of solar panels. I believe we should have tens of thousands more wind farms and tide power generation and we will.
However, to transport goods across this extensive land mass we call North America we WILL be using petroleum products for the next 30 years and in a somewhat reduced capacity for the next 30 years after that. It can not be avoided.
We have nothing that is both more economical and cleaner burning than natural gas. Why have we not already started piping it to customers and loading facilities? It is the best if not at this point the ONLY solution for world improvement.
Yes, the prices of crude oil have been too high. However that is the product of world demand and stock markets and even 100 million electric cars will have little effect on that price.
If you have billions of dollars to work the various stock market prices of crude oil perhaps you can bring the price of a barrel of crude down to under $40. However, that won’t have more than a few cents effect on the price of a liter of gasoline. It will also put some production companies out of business.
Besides, those with billions usually want more billions and thus reducing the price of crude is counter-productive for them.
Is it better to support that high price by buying crude from the middle east (which we do) or would it be better to supply Canada (and North America) with our own oil, which we can do for decades to come?
Crude is dirty? Compared to what? True, the refinement of crude creates more air quality questions than the development of natural gas but it is far cleaner, both for production and use than is coal. The production of an automobile creates more environmental problems than does the extraction, refinement and use of the gas that car will burn during the next 5 years.
We don’t want oil tankers on the west coast? Who doesn’t? I sure do and I believe there are 10 million Canadians who, if they had TRUE information would also want them. Besides, those tankers are out there right now; they are just delivering to us instead of buying from us.
It is time to start BUILDING this country instead of doing our best to destroy it.
Dave McGowan

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