Editors pick

Digging for fossil fuel subsidies

Energy Citizens blog highlights the lengths to which some groups will go to suggest Canada’s oil and gas industry is subsidized.

Natural gas and oil are pillars of the Canadian economy. We’re talking 500,000 plus jobs for Canadians; $8 billion a year in revenues for various levels of government; billions in private investment every year that drive economic growth in every part of the country. Yet critics of the industry like to suggest the industry is heavily subsidized.

A recent report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) went so far as to suggest Canadian oil and natural gas producers have received $16 billion in subsidies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in a blog post titled “Digging for Fossil Fuel Subsidies,” the Canada’s Energy Citizens network digs into the IISD report numbers. They found that among the things IISD considers a ‘subsidy’ include $1.9 billion the Ontario government has designated for highway and bridge replacements as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19’.

The blog points out the absurdity of identifying public road improvements designed to put people back to work and that benefit all drivers as somehow a direct subsidy to oil and natural gas producers.