Thanks to the gentle editing of Tom Shepstone, I discuss a puzzling, uneconomic situation that is unfolding in Canada, although large parts of the world have much the same problem. While governments and heavily populated area dither about global warming, rural and indigenous people are suffering from energy poverty.

The overwhelming scourge of the poor and rural of the world is not global warming, instead it is the harshness of winter. Making matters worse for them, there are wide swaths of rural lands suffering while beneath their feet lays their salvation. For example, 48,000 Brits died in the cold weather; and, one-fourth of al Irish households spent many, many days without adequate heat last winter.

The most concise explanation is that a powerful group of people are practicing the “precautionary principle” with the world’s natural resources. Instead using modern technology and techniques to improve the lives of billions of fellow human beings, this group has adopted a “leave it in ground” approach to economic development, also known as no-growth economics. The largest example is Canada. While it has a generous supply of oil and natural gas, native North Americans and rural Canadians remain impoverished.

In truth, a misguided sense of humanity has become a cruel master.

Canada, like New York and Maryland, has chosen to pander to environmental NGOs on oil and gas while ignoring the needs of its rural and indigenous people.

By Steve Heins

Canada’s oil and natural gas industry and its Indigenous peoples can and should be working toward shared prosperity, says the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). The problem is that pipeline development to support such shared prosperity is being frustrated by environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to whom too much of government panders. Rural Canada and its indigenous peoples pay the price.

Consider these very important overlooked facts about Canada:

  • It is the second largest country in the world;
  • It has a population of 36.3 million (or 1/10 of the US);
  • It is the 4th largest crude oil producer;
  • The price of Canadian oil is discounted by 2/3 against US oil;
  • Storage facilities continue to overflow because oil can’t get to market;
  • Canada has very few pipelines and yet cancelled over $100 billion of new pipelines (including Trans Mountain), with an estimated loss of $86 billion annually; and
  • Its global credit rating is quite vulnerable crude oil downturns.

To this day, US environmental NGO’s are spending significant amounts of money supporting Canada’s environmental groups. Still, native North Americans and vast rural areas of Canada remain impoverished. In fact, 30 members of the First Nations Tribes said this:

“We absolutely do not support big American environmental NGO’s (who make their money from opposing natural resource projects) dictating government policy and resource developments within our tradition territories.”

Inexplicably, Canadians have simply allowed the North American environmental community to prevail. An abundance of oil and natural gas of rural land lays in wait for responsible natural resource development as rural Canadians and members of First Nation Tribes wait for the shared prosperity that should be theirs, all for the sake of appeasing big-money NGOs.