Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has accused the oil industry of financially backing the Tories and their “ultra-conservative leader” to protect its stake in Alberta’s lucrative oilsands.
Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord — an international agreement to combat climate change.
“The election in Canada was partly about the tar sands projects in Alberta,” Gore said Wednesday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
“And the financial interests behind the tar sands project poured a lot of money and support behind an ultra-conservative leader in order to win the election . . . and to protect their interests.”
I am not even remotely familiar with Candian politics to speak to Harper’s involvement with the oil industry, but from where I’m sitting I’d think that Canada’s election of someone who is in favor of developing that country’s natural energy resources would be a boon both for that country and ours.
As we stare down the barrel of a conflict in Iran (though that seems less likely now that we seem to be backing down) the idea of a plentiful supply of an energy resouce like oil in the hands of our friendly neighbors to the north is comforting. If Iran (or some other unstable oil-rich nation) were to take its oil off the global market the fact that Canada has a ready supply would be a good thing. Any reduction in global oil supply, whether it be from a country we buy from or not, is going to drive up oil prices. But more oil coming from Canada would serve to make a volatile market less so. And as far as I’m concerned I’d much rather deal with Canada for our oil than Venezuela or Saudi Arabia.
The development of Canada’s oil preserves is in the interest of both our countries. Whether environmental zealots like Al Gore want to believe it or not, neither Canada nor America is going to be ending its dependence on fossil fuels any time soon. While the search for alternative energy solutions should by all means continue, it is folly to discourage the development of oil resources in our own country and it is, by extension, also folly to discourage the development of oil resources within the borders of our friendly allies.
You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com