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Sympathy for the Industry

Oil is important. The demand for oil globally continuously increases, yet the
world’s supplies are diminishing. This is why Canada’s role is so important on the world
stage as our deposits are crucial in providing energy and employment security for the
majority of North America. Canada is so reliant on our oil sands that if production were
to be stopped, it could send us into an economic dive. We could satisfy the world’s
demand for petroleum for the next century, and still have resources left over once the
demand is met. However, there seems to be an issue with extracting our precious oil.
The industrial methods of withdrawing these oils aren’t the friendliest to the
environment.
Researchers have proven the refineries are releasing substances into the ground
and air, polluting groundwater and spreading carcinogens. Also, the destruction of land
is a concern, as petroleum companies have bought and cleared approximately
150,000km^2 of land. Industry accepts there is an issue and steps have been taken for
years.
Contrary to popular belief, resource extraction is not just the total slaughter of our
planet. In fact, today our methods are extremely technologically advanced and refined.
Canada is a world leader in responsible natural resource development and we have the
efficiency and ability that is envied on a global level. In 2012, Environment Canada
reported that C02 emissions have dropped by 26%/barrel since 1990 and the oil sands
only account for 0.14% of global emissions. Therefore, oil sands =/= the end of the
world.
Now, it’s not like industry aims to do business in the dirtiest and most harmful
methods; however, that does not mean there is not a balance between, financially
available, environmentally considerate and as efficient as possible. It reaches a certain
extent; everybody aims to keep the environment as a priority.
Although we face many challenges, such as the American demand for our oil is
dropping quickly and we must make profits in the Asian markets this will lead to bigger
industry. There are many solutions to the large pipelines and tankers that must be
implemented. This means extreme safety standards, including monitoring, and
regulations to be met on a regular basis (once a month inspection.) Methods are as
advanced as possible today, so until the next scientific revolution is made, we are
optimum. Natives affected by pollution can be awarded extra government-controlled
land (1km land destroyed = .25km land rewarded) and healthcare benefits alongside the
monetary compensation they already receive (funded by oil companies and the
government).
The bottom line is that it would be irrational to keep our oil in the ground when it
is such an essential commodity. The demand for oil needs to be met, whether it is
produced in Canada or the volatile Middle East. Alternative energy resources cannot
sustain entire nations, nevermind developing ones. It isn’t possible to have human
development without them. Although it would be nice to feed the homeless with wind-
energy cooked food, that possibility is still far into the future. So for now, we should
utilize the resources we have to not only expand on growth in our own country, but so
we can benefit other economies alongside us.