Editor: The Canadian oil and gas industry is one of the most regulated and technologically advanced industries in the world.
Each year it safely produces, refines, transports and distributes products from jet fuel to fertilizer while providing well-paying jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues for all levels of government. Yet despite these facts, government policy and popular sentiment seem increasingly intent on marginalizing the sector and divesting from resource development.
Our industry is being hit hard: 100,000 oilfield sector workers are unemployed and thousands of businesses are in trouble. CAODC’s Oil Respect campaign will defend the industry within the context of its national and international image, economic benefits and global environmental impact. We will encourage Canada’s leaders to fight for the Canadian energy industry.
The goals of the campaign are simple:
- To address the mountains of misinformation and half-truths spread by opponents of oil and gas;
- To give regular people who support the industry a voice so they may join the national discussion;
- To remind the public, media, and government that the affordable energy from oil and gas development, pipelines, refining and processing is one of the most important reasons why developed countries like Canada enjoy such high standards of living.
The oil and gas industry is accustomed to the ups and downs of commodity prices. Ours is a cyclical industry, and we know that occasionally we will go through periods of low prices, job losses and consolidation. In this latest downturn, however, we’re facing more than normal industry swings.
Oil workers aren’t just losing their jobs, families are losing their homes and businesses are going bankrupt. But as bad as all of this is, it’s not new to our sector. What is relatively new however, is the very well-publicized and very misinformed criticisms coming from celebrity activists, media elites, some politicians, and environmental radicals. And what’s worse, all of this is coming at a time when the price of oil is at 13-year lows.
We know how the 500,000 people who owe their careers to this sector feel. In fact, we believe a silent majority of Canadians support the oil and gas industry and they understand its importance in their lives. So we are building a campaign to allow these people to speak up and to be heard.
Oil Respect will challenge Canadian governments to stand up for Canadian oil and gas workers and companies, already meeting much higher environmental standards than those imposed on other jurisdictions. Oil Respect will ask every industry supporter to sign petitions for pipeline access and speak up for government policy that attracts and retains investment rather than discouraging it.
Finally, Feb. 13, 2017 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Leduc #1 oil well, and with it the modern era of oil and gas production in Canada. Oil Respect is asking federal and provincial politicians to celebrate that day as Oil and Gas Awareness Day, a symbolic gesture of respect for the positive contribution this industry has made to the lives of so many Canadians.
Find out more at www.oilrespect.ca.
President, Canadian Association of
Oilwell Drilling Contractors