NOTE: This story was first published on May 27, 2019.
Green party Leader Elizabeth May says saving the world from climate change requires Canada to get off oil before the center of the century.
Within the meantime, she wants Canada off foreign oil as soon as possible.
The promise to make Canada energy independent is – perhaps unexpectedly – in keeping with the economic and climate strategy of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
Scheer’s plan calls for Canada to import no foreign oil by 2030, partly by planning an energy corridor across Canada that would simplify the development of pipelines in a position to move Alberta oil to any coast. He sees it as a solution to find additional domestic markets for Canada’s oilsands, in a bid to extend their production.
May’s plan, to “turn off the taps to grease imports” is barely a stop-gap measure to maintain foreign oil out until Canada can break its oil habit altogether.
WATCH: Scheer unveils plan for energy corridor
By 2050, May wants bitumen to be utilized in Canada only by the petrochemical industry for plastics, rubber, paint, and other such products.
“So long as we’re using fossil fuels we must always be using our fossil fuels,” said May.
May’s climate plan is more likely to get more scrutiny than its predecessors in past elections.
The Liberals and NDP already proved they’re paying close attention to the rising threat of Green support, with each pushing similar motions to declare climate change an emergency within the House of Commons earlier this month.
Each motions were tabled lower than per week after the Greens elected a second MP in a Vancouver Island byelection, and never long after a provincial wing of the party formed the official opposition in Prince Edward Island.
May said she’s perfectly superb with Green popularity pushing other parties to boost their games on climate. While each the Liberals and NDP claimed their motions had been within the works before the byelection result, May said there isn’t any doubt in her mind that Paul Manly’s winning and the NDP and Liberals ending distantly third and fourth, “had almost every thing to do with” the motions.
The NDP motion failed since it called for Canada to drop plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, a pipeline Can also opposes. The Liberal motion hasn’t yet gone to a vote.
The Green climate plan also calls for Canada to double its cuts to greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 and get emissions to zero by 2050. That plan includes now not selling combustion-engine cars after 2030 and replacing all existing combustion-engine vehicles by 2040.
Canada imports about one million barrels of oil a day and produces 4 times that much. In 2017, Canada produced 4.2 million barrels of oil, and exported 3.3 million of those. Domestic refineries handled 1.8 million barrels.
Canada’s oil producers already pump enough product to satisfy domestic demand but there are two problems: there isn’t any pipeline from the oil-rich west to refineries within the east, and even when there have been, those refineries aren’t equipped to handle the heavier bitumen that’s the Alberta oilsands’ trademark.
WATCH: Analyzing federal Green Party’s climate plan
For Canadian refineries within the east, bitumen from the oilsands should be upgraded to synthetic crude. May’s plan is to speculate in upgraders to do it.
She acknowledges weaning Canada off foreign oil won’t occur overnight, given existing contracts Canadian refineries have and determining tips on how to construct the upgraders after which ship the product.
Privately, Liberal government critics suggest there isn’t any solution to have Canada’s east coast use Canadian oil without constructing a recent pipeline to get the products there. May doesn’t support a recent pipeline anywhere, and argues the raw bitumen might be transferred by rail so long as Canada invests more in its rail services.
The proposed Energy East pipeline to hold diluted bitumen to the east coast fell apart in 2017 amid significant opposition in Quebec, opposition that continues under the brand new Coalition Avenir Quebec government.
Scheer’s plan is to ascertain an energy corridor that will allow an Energy East-like pipeline to proceed alongside interprovincial electricity grids, with just one right-of-way required.
May said the Greens are the “only party which have a plan that enables human civilization to survive.”
“It’s not a Canadian lifestyle selection,” she said. “All of humanity is in danger.”