Ezra Levant is a broadcaster and columnist for Sun Media newspapers and television. He has written several books, including Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands and Groundswell: The Case for Fracking. He is also interested in issues of free speech, multiculturalism, immigration, and economic deregulation. He is the founder and former publisher of the Western Standard.
Someday, we might invent a fuel that is perfect in every way: affordable, practical, and with zero environmental footprint. That day has not yet come, however, says Ezra Levant in this provocative interview. In the meantime, if we weigh our options not just economically but also ethically—environmental responsibility, peace, the treatment of workers, human rights—then Western democracies should develop their own oil and gas resources through the use of fracking and horizontal drilling.
Thanks to the latest versions of these technologies, drilling for previously inaccessible gas from shale formations has expanded rapidly in recent years. This low-cost natural gas has increasingly displaced coal in US power generation, and as a result, America’s greenhouse gas emissions are down 11% over the past five years. “The reason emissions are down is not because of Al Gore,” argues Levant. “It’s because of the ingenuity and freedom of American businessmen. […] It was the desire of entrepreneurs to find value in worthless shale rock.”
Many are trying to demonize the development of shale gas and oil, however—including OPEC member states that stand to lose market share and political influence. According to Levant, “[T]hey’re trying to so de-normalize the industry that it’s not even open to debate anymore. If they manage to delay fracking by five or ten years, that’s literally worth billions, maybe trillions to them.” Nuclear power, he points out, was similarly demonized, which led to a period of about 30 years where no new reactors were built in America.
As Levant also argues, it is neither very realistic, nor very moral, to expect energy consumers in the developing world to make do with less than we in the industrialized world enjoy. They too want their automobiles and air conditioning. For at least the time being, the way they get them will have to involve the use of fossil fuels.
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