SpaceX’s Elon Musk provides an update on Starship, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, near Brownsville, Texas. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)

Facing the reality of a war where the aggressor, Russia, produces more than 10 million barrels of oil per day (10 per cent of global production) and 40 per cent of Europe’s natural gas, Elon Musk himself has said we need to ramp up petroleum production.

In a series of tweets on Mar. 4, the electric vehicle pioneer and CEO of Tesla said, “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures. Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”

In contrast, in recent days Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault told Bloomberg on March 4, “Let’s be reasonable, we can’t help Europe with oil.”

“Our export capacity is pretty much maxed out. We’re building a pipeline. It’s just going in the wrong direction and the idea that we somehow could start to build a bunch of new infrastructure in Canada and it would magically happen – either for gas or for oil – is not very serious.”

He also told the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for the National Observer:

“There is clearly a crisis in Ukraine, just like we’re slowly emerging from the COVID crisis, and there will be other crises in the coming months and years,” Steven Guilbeault told Canada’s National Observer. “But climate change will not go away, and if we’re thinking we can solve the crisis by exacerbating another one, those people who think that are clearly mistaken.”

“The solution to global energy problems is not to increase our dependency on fossil fuels,” said Guilbeault. The best way to improve the energy security of European countries is to simply reduce dependence on oil and gas “regardless of where it’s coming from,” he said.

Even if Canada could build more pipelines to increase oil and gas capacity, this would take “a number of years” and wouldn’t address the crisis people in Ukraine and Europe are now facing, he added.

The real solution, he says, is to “quickly deploy renewables and cleantech” to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas, the LJI story reported in the National Observer.

 

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