An Open Letter to Oil Company CEOs

November 13, 2015
An open letter to oil company executives in
Alberta,
In recent years, and in fact, in recent
days, oil has become a dirty word. Our federal government is gearing up for
presentations in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Our
provincial government will experience pressure to reconsider royalty rates and,
if Saskatchewan is any indicator, pressure to create a new price for expelling
carbon into the atmosphere. Those who capture carbon will be able to sell their
rights and carbon will have a defined price.
In light of all of this, for the sake of
our province, for the sake of our children and grand-children, for the sake of
jobs, for the sake of my friends who are already looking for jobs and those who
may be afraid they will soon be looking for jobs, can I please ask you to stop
thinking like CEOs of Oil companies and ask you to start thinking like CEOs of
Energy companies?
I have asked my friends in the oil and gas
industry if their company is diversifying. They have responded, “Oh yes, we are
diversifying. We used to be into nothing but conventional oil and now we have
holdings in both heavy oil and conventional oil. With the latest downturn in
oil prices we are diversifying back to conventional oil and even gas!” That’s
not diversifying, CEOs! Or at least, it is not diversifying enough. What about
diversifying into other forms of energy: building high capacity batteries,
installing fields of solar panels, building wind turbines, or investing in fuel
cell research? What about looking at other ways to provide energy and power?
For the sake of tomorrow, could I please
ask you to do something different than wait for the roller-coaster ride
of oil and gas to come back to the top? Please show us that you can truly
diversify, for the sake of our unhealthy addiction to oil, for the sake of our province.
Keith Shields
Calgarian