Elizabeth May Is Right. ‘Big Oil is Dead!’ The ‘Tar Patch’ is a Dying Industry

To Hell With Jason Kenney. Let Him Yell And Scream All He Wants. Let’s Help The People of Alberta Transition To Industries That Hold A Promise For Good Jobs And Prosperity For The Province In The 21st Century

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Green Party MP Elizabeth May came right out and said it this May 6th.

Green Party of Canada MP Elizabeth May

“Oil is dead” and big oil is slowly but surely dying as an industry all over the world. It is time for Canada’s federal government to stop throwing good money after bad, and give the people of Alberta financial assistance to move on to other enterprises that will see them thrive in a rapidly changing 21st century.

For that, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, one of the closest politicians Canada has to a populist, right-wing zealot like Donald Trump, slammed the federal Green Party’s former leader and current parliamentary lead, calling her words “un-Canadian at a time like this. It is like blaming the victim.”

Think about how preposterous that is.

It’s as if to say that Canada and all that it is in the eyes of Canadians and the rest of the world is wrapped around northern Alberta’s tar mining industry, and that attacking it is akin to an attack on the very heart and soul of our confederation.

A few centuries ago, Canada used to be a lot about cod and timber and beaver pelts, but I don’t recall anyone firing off that kind of rhetoric when those enterprises receded from playing such a dominant role in the nation’s history.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, yelling out again. It is as if all he has for his province’s economy in tar and pipelines

And who is responsible for Alberta being a victim?

If anything, the people of Alberta, and particularly those who have worked in the tar sands industry, are victims of a premier who insists on blaming others – most particularly the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau – for their recent misfortunes, and for giving them the false hope that if only the federal government would keep throwing billions of dollars at the tar sands, they will have a long and prosperous future.

That is a bald ass lie.

What this industry is mostly a victim of is a 21st Century global economy that is rapidly moving away from oil as the fuel that runs the world’s machinery.

Even before COVID-19 shut down so much of the world’s economy and saw the price of oil plunge below zero cents a barrel this April, so that for the first time since the oil rushes of a century ago, the steel container was worth more than what was in it, the global price of oil has been stagnating at levels well below those the industry experts say makes Alberta’s tar sands operations able to survive profitably on their own.

And even before the pandemic, major financial institutions in Europe and other parts of the world came out publicly and said that they are no longer interested in investing in big oil operations. They are moving on to other forms of energy that have a future in the third decade of the 21st Century and beyond.

Yet still we have Kenney continually yelling at Ottawa to throw billions more of our hard-earned tax dollars at pipelines and other infrastructure for his filthy, climate-ravaging tar operations as if just spitting in the carburetor of the old heap of a car sitting at the back of the driveway might get the engine to turn over one more time.

That is why Elizabeth May’s Green Party, major environmental and other public interest groups in the country, and countless citizens like me are urging Prime Minister Trudeau and his Liberal government not to let Kenney and his allies, including the federal Conservatives, to pressure him into using the pandemic and the economic crisis it has wrought to throw even more money at the tar sands.

So far, Trudeau has been focusing most of his government’s attention on assisting the now mostly unemployed workers and their families, which is as it should be. But there is still concern that he might cave, just as he did when he agreed to invest billions of our tax dollars in a Trans Mountain pipeline no other self-respecting financial institution in the world want to touch with private money.

So let me finish my commentary hear with a plea of my own to our prime minister –

‘Psst. psst. Hey, Justin. Please lean over a little closer so you can hear every word.

Kenney spinning his blame wheel. A spot on cartoon from a spot on commentary in a publication called The Tyee. A link for the commentary is included below.

‘It doesn’t matter how much of our money you throw at that blowhard of a premier and his tar sand cronies. It’s Alberta man, and going back at least four decades when your dad, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, was locking horns with then Alberta premier Peter Lougheed over a national oil policy, they are NEVER in your lifetime as a politician going to vote for you and your Liberal Party.

‘I mean NEVER. So please stop wasting any more of your time and our money because Kenney is going to blame you for everything that goes wrong in his province anyway.

See Justin, you already have young voters in other regions of Canada upset with you over buying the Trans Mountain pipeline. And why? Alberta is never going to vote for you anyway.

‘All you would be doing is signing your party’s death warrant with the rest of the country if you invest any more money on an industry that is bad for the environment and has no future in the global economy.’

So good for Elizabeth May for coming right out and saying that in this third decade of the 21st century, throwing any more of our tax dollars at the tar sands makes as much sense as investing in a factory that makes eight-track tapes or buggy whips. Let Jason Kenney throw as many tantrums as he wants.

Here is a Statement that May just issued, with a call-out to all of us to contact the Prime Minister and his Liberal MPs if you have one in your riding, and make it clear that any financial assistance should go to the people of Alberta, and to help them make the transition to 21st century industries, and should NOT go to the tar sands –

Dear Friend,


At one of many protests in Canada against building more pipelines for the tar sands Federal Green Party MP Elizabeth May is seen holding the banner, second from left.

As crashing demand and a global price war push Big Oil out of the oil sands, it is time to face facts. Oil is on the way out and renewables are the future.

There is no future in this for Alberta, for Canada, and for the planet.

We must retool our industry, retrain our workers and ensure that all the COVID‑19 recovery stimulus goes to companies that will contribute to our economy in the long term. This is not only my opinion. It is the advice of some of the world’s leading economists and energy analysts.

I have written a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging him to grasp this opportunity to reorganize the energy mix and find other jobs for Canadians – especially Albertans – working in the fossil fuel sector.

I understand why many people live in the false hope that the oil sector is going to come back. We need to support the people of Alberta.

Canada needs to give oil workers the opportunity to put their vast skills and knowledge to use in the transition to renewable, responsible energy.

Please help me send a message to Justin Trudeau. (to contact the Prime Minister, click on the following link – )

Elizabeth May, O.C., Member of Parliament, Parliamentary Leader, Green Party of Canada

Here is a commentary on this issue that we at NAL urge you to read –

To read another related story on this, click on –

Here is a link for another interesting take on this matter  –

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post, along with your name (not a pseudonym), in the space immediately below the Bernie Sanders quote.

 “A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One response to “Elizabeth May Is Right. ‘Big Oil is Dead!’ The ‘Tar Patch’ is a Dying Industry

  1. As someone who has worked in the oil Industry for 10 years I find it laughable when people say the oil is dead.
    I’m from Ontario and have seen what green renewable energy has cost the people of Ontario with the price they pay for electricity and the jobs that we’re supposed to be created from it and never came. And I laugh at the ignorance of those people that badmouth the resource-based industries, that have given them all the luxuries of our modern day society.
    You would not have anything that you all use every day but are too ignorant to see where it came from. All of our modern conveniences have come from some sort of mining. You have no problem bad mouthing Alberta and calling our oil dirty.
    Yet it is the cleanest oil in the world. You have no problem with oil coming in from countries who behead people oppress women and commit atrocities to the environment and its own people on a daily basis. I would love to see you people go all week without anything that has been made from mining. But the fact of the matter is you couldn’t.
    None of you people could go without your car, house, computer, phone, makeup, buses, roads, anything metal or plastic, even the food you eat, fertilizer comes from mining you fools. So you people need to start waking up and shutting up unless you’re willing to go without all of that and much more.


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