Time for a little separation of oil companies and government.

Guess what.  The Government of Canada (Read the CBC article here) is planning on using the Americans for cover to allow them to give the oil companies more subsidies.  Make no mistake, giving the oil companies smaller emission targets than other industries is a subsidy.  Even in these tough recessionary times oil compoany and their front men in the Canadian and Alberta governments are not above picking the pockets of Canadians.

Normally, I would not comment on business practices and government subsidies.  The Sierra Club is an organization devoted to environmental preservation which places us outside of traditional left-right, capitalist-socialist debates.  Only when profits and shareholder dividends lead to a major impact on the environment - especially the profound implications of global warming - do we raise the alarm. 

It is no longer business as usual. There is a climate crisis.  It calls for transformative government, business and individual action.

The present Canadian and Alberta governments have adopted the rhetoric of global warming, but it is a transparent facade.  The on the ground and backroom behaviour reveals a rejection of climate science and a rejection of the notion of the separation between oil and the state.  It took generations of conflict to achieve the separation of church and the state.  I would argue it has been replaced with a union of government and business. 

The head of General Motors once said, "What's good for General Motors is good for America."  He was illustrating the closeness of the business and the state.  When you talk to oil people they don't come right out say whats good for the oil industry is good for Canada but they come damn close.  They believe it and so do the federal and Alberta governments.  They just don't understand how or why anyone would question it.

The recent leaked cabinet documents illustrate my point.  Despite all the science and all the observed changes in the climate, Canada intends to lessen, not increase the regulated reduction in emissions for the tar sands.

I think it's time for a little separation of oil and government.  Maybe then Canada will be able to take responsible environmental action.


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