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A version of the following letter to the editor appeared in the National Post, October 5, 2006

Responsibility in the oilpatch

Re: Greenhorn's Green Alternative, Don Martin, Oct. 3.

Don Martin's interview with Rona Ambrose, the Environment Minister, missed a couple of very important points. First, he concludes that it is impossible for the oilpatch to lower its emissions. That is just not true. The technical difficulty is the industry's reluctance to pay the cost of cleaning up its own pollution. If just $5 per barrel of its windfall profits were devoted to reducing emissions, our Kyoto target could be exceeded.

Second, Mr. Martin discusses reducing emissions in a political context, ignoring the economic impact that climate change is already having in Canada. Even the oil industry has complained about the rising costs of working in the north because of shorter ice-road seasons.

We all have to take responsibility for our pollution, including the biggest polluters.

John Bennett, senior policy advisor, Sierra Club of Canada, Ottawa.


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