Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Even if governments around the world enacted costly programs to promote “green” energy, oil would remain the world’s primary source of energy between now and 2035, according to the International Energy Agency’s projections. Quebec is not exempt from the upward global trend in oil consumption, which has increased by 4% in the province over the last 20 years.
Even presuming that only a tenth of Quebec’s discovered oil reserves are recoverable, this would still represent a resource worth the impressive sum of 400 billion dollars. The province therefore has an interest in positioning itself as an oil producer, says Germain Belzile in a Montreal Economic Institute publication released today.
An energy policy that allowed for the growth of an oil industry in Quebec would benefit workers living close to oil reserves with well-paid jobs and lower unemployment rates. “A heavily subsidized green shift is very expensive for taxpayers. In Spain for example, each so-called green job cost the government 500,000 euros! In contrast, a well-paid job in the oil industry puts money in government coffers,” explains the author.
“We have chosen to enjoy the benefits of an industrial economy and it is possible to do so while also mitigating the environmental consequences of that choice. The transition toward other energy sources will happen, but only in the long term. Until then, oil exploitation would allow the people of Quebec to be more prosperous,” says Mr. Belzile.
The Economic Note entitled The Benefits of Oil Production Development in Quebec, prepared by Germain Belzile, associate researcher at the MEI and full-time lecturer at HEC Montréal, can be consulted free of charge on our website.
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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its publications and conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms.
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