Apology to Suzuki and Pembina

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On behalf of the Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute, Mathew Bramley responded to my blog at this link on the report he authored.  Mr. Bramley said I misrepresented his report in two ways.

First I did not report the overall conclusion of the report which is that under possible new policies that increase the taxes or price of carbon natural gas would not be economic.  I want to clarify that I understand that Mr. Bramley’s report is negative to shale gas.  Mr. Bramley’s full report can be seen at this link.  I think the report is well written and makes a coherent argument based largely on facts.  I did not intend for my blog to leave another impression.

Secondly, Mr Bramley notes that I incorrectly said that Suzuki and Pembina confirmed that natural gas could economically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.  The report said greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced approximately 30% by converting to natural gas (assuming natural gas exports and natural gas fired transportation are not feasible).  It did not say it could be done economically rather it said under new carbon policies it would not be economic.  The assumption it could be done economically under today’s economic conditions was all mine and based on what is happening in the market right now.   Mr. Bramley is correct and my statement was wrong.

I understand Mr. Bramley’s frustration.  I am continuously taken out of context and not just in blogs.  I have had my video presentations doctored so comments about my project in Saskatchewan are made to look like comments on Quebec.  I have had my comments on the risks of fraccing misquoted as being my comments on the risks of drilling. I have had insinuations that my comments that we need to understand and respect that Quebec’s official language is French, were insulting to unilingual French speakers. It has been suggested that I gave protestors the idea to chain themselves to equipment.  It has also been suggested that my comments support the idea of a moratorium.  I have had almost no success having these statements corrected.

I work hard to be accurate but in this case let my own view, that natural gas is an economic alternative in today’s market, color what I said about Suzuki’s and Pembina’s conclusion on reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

To be clear, in conclusion I disagree with Mr. Bramley’s, Suzuki’s and Pembina’s opinions and conclusions which are not positive towards shale gas development.  However, I respect them for largely staying with the facts and not using myths or other wild exaggerations to support their case.  Mr. Bramley is correct that we need to have a rational discussion on the real costs and benefits of natural gas and I apologize if my blog left another impression.