Edmonton Strathcona's Climate Change Leaders

Edmonton Strathcona's Climate Change Leaders

June 29, 2020

Climate change is real. The time for disputing that understanding is long in the past.

Right? Right.

Climate change brings with it a variety of risks to all of us today, tomorrow and into future generations. 

You can run from these risks, but you can’t hide.

Where the rubber hits the road on climate change is in the way we propose to address these risks.

If you live in Edmonton Strathcona, you’ve essentially got a choice of two paths to chose from on the federal scene when it comes to climate change approaches.

The first path is the one championed by the federal NDP, through our local MP, and the Liberal Party, through the Prime Minister. It essentially involves shutting down the energy industry and never building another pipeline or never exporting energy from Canada again.

What you hear from them, of course, is not as blunt. It’s couched in softer language, with caveats and conditions, noble words about consultations and large doses of confusion. But at the end of the day, “shut ‘er down” pretty much sums up the NDP/Liberal stance.

A Second Path

Here’s a second path, a much better one. One that’s actually being carved out now by young energy thought leaders who live and work in Edmonton Strathcona.

It’s the path that I will boldly champion when I will seek the Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton Strathcona and, if successful there, as Conservative candidate in our riding for the next federal election and as MP in Ottawa.

Here’s the reality that these young leaders see of what climate change will mean to Albertans:

  • Alberta does not live in a policy or economic vacuum. The Paris Climate Change agreement, carbon taxes and other significant behavioural, economic and technological changes are pushing all economies down the decarbonization pathway. Some of the customers and regions that are traditional buyers of our energy products have committed to significant energy reductions. Many of the oil sands producers now have publicly committed to net-zero policies of their own.

  • These policies and political movements will continue to directly attack traditional fossil energy, making it more expensive due to piling on of environmental regulations, taxes and outright bans.

  • What this means is that we have to be smart. We have to chose a way that we can go down this decarbonization path without falling into the NDP/Liberal “shut ‘er down” ditch. We need to help put Albertans back to work and protect Western Canada’s fossil fuel industry.

How is that possible?

Here’s how: Alberta can step boldly onto the world stage and become a leading producer of carbon-free hydrogen, and doing so at a lower cost than almost any place in the world.

Alberta’s vast fossil fuel and renewable resources can become a zero-emission energy fuel through the production of hydrogen, which is used for transportation, heating, power generation and chemical energy. Hydrogen can be used to both generate and store energy in ways that batteries can’t.

The Bottom Line is this: what these next generation energy thinkers from Edmonton Strathcona see is nothing short of a made-in-Alberta solution for a lower-carbon economy. Their vision is one of optimism, growth, jobs and prosperity in a low-carbon future.

There’s a role for both the federal government and the private sector – where I’ve lived and worked for 30 years – to make this happen.

Stay tuned for more.  I guarantee you’ll be as excited as I am when you see what we can do.


- Rick Peterson


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