Monday, February 26, 2024
Proud Canadians at roadside. Photo: RWN
Democracy & GovernmentOpinion/Column

Canada is on a Net Zero collision course

by Dan McTeague

Dan McTeague, President, Canadians for Affordable Energy Photo: CAE

Welcome to 2024 where the threat of looming power outages in a resource-rich, developed country is a reality. And we have Justin Trudeau and his ideologically-driven caucus to thank for it.

In the past month alone, Alberta has issued four emergency alerts warning consumers to reduce demand or the grid could face the risk of rotating power outages. Residents were urged in one alert to immediately limit their electrical use to essential needs only.

According to the Alberta Energy System Operator (AESO,) which manages the grid, the alert was due to sustained cold temperatures. Alberta’s grid is more vulnerable in the winter due to the decreased opportunity to generate solar power with the shorter days and of course because during extreme cold, there is usually less opportunity for wind power generation.

Thank goodness for hydrocarbons since over those days more than 80% of Alberta’s power came from natural gas and to a lesser extent, coal.

This situation in Alberta should serve as a warning for the rest of the country.

That’s because the Trudeau government is aggressively moving forward with their Clean Electricity Regulations which mandate that by 2035 the Canadian grid be zero emissions. This means the entire country will increasingly be reliant on unreliable energy sources.

And last month, the Trudeau Liberals implemented their Electric Vehicle Availability Standard, which mandates all new light-duty cars and trucks must be zero emission by 2035 as well. In other words, after 2035 forget about purchasing a new gas-powered car or diesel-driven truck. Welcome to Trudeau’s Net Zero world!

Many Canadians are wondering how we are going to produce the energy to power our cars along with everything else in our lives, especially in the depths of the cold winter months.

And the answer is simply, “we can’t.”

We are on a collision course of the Liberal government’s making. In their ideological zeal to achieve Net Zero, they seem to have been completely unhinged from reality.

As I like to remind people, Canada contributes 1.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Even if we halted all use of fossil fuels in our country it would have no global effect on world CO2 levels.

We can see the consequences of this pursuit of Net Zero, in Europe. Germany has frantically put coal power back on the grid in order to meet electricity demand. The UK is slamming the breaks on EVs and stepping up North Sea oil exploration. Italy is spending billions trying to fill its energy gaps with natural gas from Libya.

We are staring down the barrel of an upcoming election and if we want to ensure our quality of life, we need a major course correction. This does not mean delaying the implementation of EV regulations, or emissions caps, or even simply pushing back Net Zero target dates.

No. We need a party that will stand up against Net Zero and its related policies. We need a government that will see that this is a suicide mission we need to abandon entirely, not simply punt down the road.

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait for the worst-case scenario before Canadians finally realize the standard of living and access to affordable energy cannot be taken for granted. We truly are on a collision course with reality, due to ideological government policies that will have a crippling effect on our economy and way of life.

This article originally appeared in the Western Standard

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Dan McTeague, President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions.

Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.