Ten years ago Ezra Levant wrote a best-selling book called Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oilsands. It argued that most of the world's oil-producing countries violated liberal values, including:
- Environmental responsibility;
- Economic justice for workers; and
- Human rights
Most of the world's oil-producing countries fail some or all of those tests. Very few — Canada and the United States amongst them — live up to those liberal values. And although the U.S. is one of the world's largest producers of oil, Canada by far has more oil reserves, mainly in Alberta's oilsands, ironically targeted by foreign-funded environmentalist groups as immoral. No energy source is perfect; but when compared to oil from Russia and OPEC, Canada's oilsands oil is the fair trade coffee of the world's oil industry.
That's what Ezra argued a decade ago; and it helped shape the national debate on pipelines during the Stephen Harper era. But ultimately Justin Trudeau became prime minister, and he followed the advice of his right-hand man, Gerald Butts, who for years had led the drive to shut down the oilsands and the pipelines upon which they relied.
Fast-forward to 2022, when Russia, Europe's oil and gas powerhouse, invaded Ukraine. Despite all the press conferences and denunciations, Europe was powerless to truly sanction Russia, as it had allowed itself to become strategically dependent on Russian oil and especially Russian gas, produced and piped to Europe by the state-controlled energy giant of Gazprom. Russia's chief export to the west was precisely the one they could not do without — countries like Germany bought as much as 40% of their energy from Vladimir Putin. What could be done?
Canadian ethical oil, that's what.
But Trudeau and his cabinet refuse to bend; they would rather Vladimir Putin sell oil to Europe than Canadian oil and gas workers. Canada isn’t a large player in world affairs; we have a modest economy and a small army. The one thing in which we’re a superpower — oil and gas — is the one thing Europe needs to break free from Russian economic domination. But it’s the one thing Trudeau refuses to do. His ideological commitment to “transitioning off oil” is unshakeable — Ukraine be damned.
If only Canada had built those pipelines, we could actually help Ukraine, rather than just have dramatic press conferences.
We can’t get the lost ten years back, but we can reignite the debate between Canadian ethical oil and conflict oil from Russia and OPEC.
Here’s the plan:
1. Update the best-selling book, Ethical Oil, to show much worse the world’s dependence on conflict oil had become — and despite the promises of environmental lobbyists, the pipe dream of a post-oil world isn’t any closer.
2. Revive our Ethical Oil website, which was a major clearinghouse for the debate.
3. Hire a full-time Rebel News journalist to cover the ethical oil beat, and how the lack of a Canadian oil and gas alternative forces many countries into the hands of authoritarians and dictators.
4. Hire an investigative reporter to dig into the true background of anti-oil activists in Canada including Gerald Butts, who took foreign grants to undermine Canadian oil jobs. Follow the money!
5. Rebel News is now producing world-class documentary films. Let’s do an Ethical Oil documentary properly — by going to conflict oil countries and showing their environmental disasters, their penchant for war and terrorism, their mistreatment of workers and their lack of human rights. Let’s go to Europe and show how politicians have two terrible choices: OPEC dictatorships or Russia; and how Canada could help solve that problem.
6. Let’s launch some gloves-off campaign-style advocacy for Canadian ethical oil — not the timid, self-loathing corporate-speak of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Let’s actually fight for Canada and Canadian oil — and let’s show the deadly price of buying Russian or OPEC oil instead.
7. And let’s press gas stations everywhere to do what they have always refused to do: publish "country of origin" labelling on their products, like every other retailers does. Don’t you think you have the right to know if the gas you’re buying was made in Canada — or Saudi Arabia?
That’s the plan. We are still tinkering with it. But we know we need to do it. Not just for Ukraine or Germany or foreign countries forced to buy conflict oil. But for Canada and Canadians, to live up to our own potential. Every barrel of ethical oil bought from Canada is one less barrel of oil bought from a Qatari terrorist, a Venezuelan strongman or a Russian warlord.
If you’re interested in joining this campaign for ethical oil, please sign up for email updates. And if you want to help fund this project — especially hiring the two specialist journalists, and helping to finance our documentary — please donate on this page.
We’re going to need all the help we can get, to compete against foreign-funded environmental extremists, and their lackeys in the media.