The rules aren’t fair

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Albertans who have grown increasingly concerned about the barriers facing Canada’s energy industry have even more reason to despair.
It’s well known that Canada’s regulatory environment is among the most robust in the world, ensuring the highest regard for the environment, including limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, Alberta has imposed a carbon tax and capped oilsands emissions in the naive hope of securing so-called social license for pipeline development. Everyone knows how that has turned out.
An ocean away, the United Nations body that regulates the international shipping industry is meeting in London this week to see if it can agree on a strategy to reduce emissions from the cargo ships, oil tankers and other vessels that traverse the planet’s oceans. This is serious work because such emissions were excluded from the Paris Climate Accord in 2015.
This means that when Eastern Canada buys its fuel from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Angola, the oil isn’t just produced using less rigorous environmental standards than those in Canada. It also means the oil tankers that transport foreign oil to out shores aren’t subjected to controls on their greenhouse gas emissions.
The UN’s International Maritime Organization says such vessels risk becoming the single-largest source of planet-warming greenhouse gases.
And yet Eastern Canadians welcome the tankers with open arms, while vehemently opposing Canadian pipelines.
If action isn’t taken, the organization says emissions from shipping could grow by up to 250 per cent by 2050. International shipping emissions are not assigned to any one country, according to the Canadian Press, but on their own, they are higher than the total emissions from all but the six biggest national emitters ­– China, The United States, India, Russia, Japan and Germany.
It’s an indignity that Albertans and their economy have been placed in a straitjacket for no apparent purpose by Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The federal government even changed the rules recently to require future pipeline projects to calculate the upstream and downstream environmental emissions–which is pollution produced during the extraction and when the fuel is burned in vehicles. No such burden is placed on Eastern Canadian carmakers or plane manufacturers, of course. Or on ships that deliver foreign oil to Eastern ports.
Alberta is being unfairly treated.–CALGARY HERALD