Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: We have the solutions

We should ensure a just transition for oil and gas workers

In a letter to the editor published in the Western News (July 17, B.C.’s resource industry in chaos), Elvena Slump claimed that “oil is 20 per cent of the Canadian economy.”

In 2015, Stephen Harper is quoted in The Economist and The Globe and Mail as saying, “The oil industry isn’t remotely the entire Canadian economy.” In that 2015 Economist article, it’s stated that the production of crude oil represented just three per cent of Canada’s GDP. In a July 31, 2018 CBC article by Robson Fletcher, when you include the gas sector as well as oil, the percent of GDP has fluctuated between 5.8 per cent and seven per cent since 2016. About the same as finance/insurance (about 6.9 per cent as of January 2018) and construction (about 7.1 per cent). Canada’s clean energy sector is now growing faster than the economy as a whole, reported CTV news on May 23 of this year.

An article titled Clean energy provides more jobs than oilsands (Dec 02, 2014, cbc.ca), stated 24 billion had been invested in the five years prior—according to a report by Clean Energy Canada. Battery storage technology is getting cheaper. Down 18 per cent since 2017 (Bloomberg Dec. 20, 2018). Battery storage is starting to replace gas-fired power plants used to fill in the gaps of intermittent wind/solar. B.C. has hydro which would fill that need.

As we move away from fossil fuels, we should ensure a just transition for oil and gas workers. There is a great potential for geothermal in Canada, a form of renewable energy that is not intermittent. In 2010 in a geological survey of Canada, Stephen Grasby and Jacek Majorowicz concluded that given the widespread distribution of geothermal energy, and the high energy content, the potential geothermal resource in Canada is significant. Geothermal development requires drilling, much like the work that oil and gas workers have experience in.

For anyone interested in local climate advocacy, please look up firstthingsfirstokanagan.com.

Paul Russo

Penticton

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