Stop Carbon Leaks

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Leaks have become a big issue in the oil and gas industry.  Methane leaks at wells and transportation systems were it.  Then the EPA confirmed they aren’t as big as opponents claimed.  Now it’s about oil leaks from pipelines and tankers.

Industry is responding to these issues by trying to set the record straight on the true size and impact of the leaks.  Second it is redoubling efforts on technology and execution to further reduce impacts. 

I say ‘further reduce’ because industry has reduced its impacts every year for decades.  I have no doubt we will continue to innovate to do so every year in the future too.  This shouldn’t be a surprise because our industry is run by human beings (in spite of what some opponents might want you to believe) and we care about our impacts.  For those who grew up on Dallas and can’t believe we care, take comfort knowing that leaks are very expensive and eat in to profits too.

However, to err is to be human and we will never be perfect in spite of our best intentions and efforts.  Nonetheless, the overall result is that leaks are in fact comparatively small relative to the amount of production.

Here is the thing.  What doesn’t get talked about is the biggest leakage problem of all.  Carbon Leakage. 

What is a carbon leak you ask?  It is discussed at length on all the global warming web sites and is well understood by the opponents to the oil and gas industry.  Just google it or click here for a quick wiki explanation.

Carbon leaks are not small.  Carbon leaks are already big.  What’s worse is if we follow those who complain about well and pipeline leaks they will get bigger.

Carbon leaks are when a country with high environmental standards restricts or shuts down production to meet carbon targets but that production is replaced by a country with lesser environmental standards. 

For example if Ontario shut down manufacturing cars to meet its carbon targets and people ended up buying cars from China instead.  Result would be global emissions go up in spite of Ontario patting itself on the back for meeting its climate targets (well to be fair the Ontario auto workers probably wouldn’t pat Ontario on the back for this)

Its global warming, not Canada warming, and what the world needs is more Canada, not less.   This is especially true for resources because Canada is among the best in the world with the highest environmental standards. For those who truly care about our planet I hope to see protest signs with