Ezra Levant’s testimony to the Parliamentary Natural Resources committee is a nice summary of his thesis in his new book “Ethical Oil”. (H/T Andrew)
An excerpt from Ezra Levant’s testimony:
One day we might discover a fuel source with no environmental side-effects, that is affordable and practical. But until that day comes, we need oil.
Not just us, but the United States, to whom we sell 1.4 million barrels of oilsands oil every day. And last year, more cars were sold in China than in the U.S. And they all want to be two-car families too, and same for India and the rest of the developing world.
So the choice isn’t oilsands oil versus some fantasy fuel of the future. It’s oilsands oil versus oil from the other places where oil comes from – mainly OPEC countries. I don’t know what God was thinking when he was handing out oil, but he gave it to the world’s bastards – places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria. Out of the top ten countries ranked by oil reserves, Canada is the only western, liberal democracy on the list.
That doesn’t matter if all you care about is driving your car. It all burns the same. But what about the ethics of the oil?
In my book, Ethical Oil, I suggest four liberal values by which we should judge the morality of a barrel of oil: respect for the environment; peace; fair wages for workers; and human rights.
I compare oilsands oil to OPEC oil using these four measures.
I come to the conclusion that oilsands oil is the “fair trade coffee” of the world’s oil industry.
And a bit later, he explains why Canada needs to drill more, and sell more oil to other countries.
The leader of the opposition has said it’s important to increase trade with China and India. I agree. Right now, those countries are forced to buy terrorist oil, dictatorship oil, Darfur oil. Because we only let Americans buy our oil.
I love our American neighbours. But it’s dangerous to have just one customer for our product. We’re at the mercy of protectionism and taxes. And sometimes we’re taken for granted. That’s why the pipeline to the West Coast is so strategically important – it makes us an independent country, with options.
I find it very irritating that so many of the anti-oilsands and anti-pipeline activists in Canada take their funding from U.S. lobby groups like the Tides Foundation. Of course it’s in America’s interest that no other customers are allowed to buy Canadian ethical oil.
But it’s in Canada’s interests that we are able to sell to whomever we choose. And if you care about industrial ethics, it’s in the world’s interest, too.
A lot of people are watching how Canada handles the oilsands miracle. Not just Canadians. The American Ambassador is watching, too. He hopes the Gateway pipeline is strangled, so he can have our oil all for himself.
The Saudi Ambassador is watching too. He hopes the pipeline is killed also, so he doesn’t lose any market share in Asia.
The United States should buy things from other countries – but not if they cause more pollution than we would, and not if there are sponsors of terrorism. When we buy things from other countries, we should do it because they can do it better and cheaper than we can. We should not be restricting our own domestic energy production, which is what the Democrats want to do, so that we can enrich countries that pollute and sponsor terrorism against us and our democratic allies.