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Oil Sands CEO Slams Government For Lack Of Leadership In Climate Debate

Canada flag

The growing polarization in the climate change debate reveals an “extreme” lack of leadership among Canada’s politicians, MEG Energy’s chief executive Derek Evans said at an industry event, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“Some of us have banged on the prime minister's door and said, 'I would like to talk to you,' but I can't get in. Either I'm not big enough, I'm not loud enough, I don't represent enough people,” Evans said, adding, “We're not shying away from trying to get in there and create those conversations but I'll go out on a limb and say I have never seen such an extreme lack of leadership across all parties about something that is as central and as critical to the jobs and the economy of this country.”

Canada’s energy industry has been feeling the pressure from an increasingly active and loud environmentalist community, which, together with provincial governments and the federal government, too, has put more or less a stop to any major expansion plans.

Commonly described as one of the dirtiest ways of extracting fossil fuels from the ground, oil sands production has suffered a double blow in recent years: one from the 2014 oil price collapse and another one from the major opposition to new pipelines to carry Alberta’s growing production.

How extreme the divide has become was made evident only recently. On two separate occasions, security staff at Canada’s Senate warned people wearing pro-oil T-shirts to not wear them on the premises.

In the first case, a guard told the man wearing a T-shirt that said “I love Canadian oil,” ‘Sir, I’m gonna have to ask you to remove your shirt because some people may be offended by the message,’ after which he invited him to either turn the T-shirt inside out or leave the premises.

In the second case, the couple wearing the pro-oil T-shirts was told ‘Just so you know if you come back for a tour, you can’t have those shirts on because they are too political.’

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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