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Two-faced Liberals: environment gets talk, oil gets money

John Bell

October 30, 2022
Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault gave the oil and gas industry a big finger-wag following the release of their latest sky high profit numbers.
Imperial Oil has raked in $6.2 billion after expenses so far in 2022. For the same period in 2021 Imperial’s profit was $1.7 billion. If you’re still wondering why you are paying so much at the pump, Imperial needs the money so they can give a 30% raise to their execs and shareholders.
Imperial is part of a consortium of 6 oil companies active in the tar sands region. Together the 6 banked $22 billion between January and the end of June. A year ago that figure was less than $6 billion.
This consortium says it will spend $24 billion on carbon reduction plans over the next 8 years, but to do it they want a bigger handout from the feds.
That prompted Guilbeault’s public pout: “We're already putting our money where our mouth is. I'm not sure they are.”
He has a point. According to NGO Environmental Defence the federal government has given tarsands oil companies $15 billionalready in 2022. Oil industry analysts dispute that figure, so given their track record for honesty it is probably pretty accurate. 
Ottawa has currently committed to paying half the cost of all new capital investments in the tarsands. The industry is demanding 75%, par with the capital subsidy given by the US government to its oil industry.
In a way the arguments over amounts are irrelevant. When the industry and the Liberals talk about carbon reduction, they mostly mean building carbon capture and storage technology so they can go on expanding the tarsands. Carbon capture is the most expensive and least effectiveway to reduce carbon. It amounts to an expensive greenwashing project. 
The Liberal record is perfect – a perfect failure. They have never even come close to a carbon reduction target, and Guilbeault’s posturing isn’t going to change that. 
And big oil’s plan is exposed in the business press: expand production, demand more and more public money with little or no public oversight, and stuff their pockets with record profiteering.
As for the future of the planet – screw that, there’s money to be made here and now.
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