Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: March 30, 2020

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:

The World Still Needs Energy

As countries around the world are gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, people still need energy to power and heat their homes and business, including those producing life-saving medical devices and equipment. Fortunately, utilities and energy companies are prepared to continue to meet this demand:

“Energy companies develop disaster scenario plans in advance. They are not only for pandemics like the coronavirus, but also for severe flooding or terrorist attacks. Workers are regularly drilled on them.”

These disaster plans are important as much of the work for utilities still requires physical operation to ensure electricity continues running and to repair equipment so consumers do not loser power. Furthermore, energy workers in the Alberta oilsands have already been declared essential as the province weighs stricter rules around social distancing.

From Groceries to Pharmaceuticals, Fossil Fuels Are More Crucial During a Pandemic

Although energy use may be down, energy overall is still crucial to ensuring that people have access to the food and medicine they need. Writing for the Toronto Sun, Lorrie Goldstein explained how energy—particularly fossil fuels—is even more needed during a pandemic:

“Fossil fuel energy is the reason we still have food in our supermarkets—instead of riots—because it is fundamental to growing and producing the food we need, and transporting it where it needs to go. Reliable electricity—provided by fossil fuels and nuclear power, which the save people who oppose fossil fuels typically campaign against as well—is the reason we can create and preserve vaccines, manufacture and transport surgical masks, respirators, surgical gloves, syringes, MRIs, CT scans and computers to where they are needed, and mass produce pharmaceuticals.”

What’s more, petroleum products like plastic are directly present in medical equipment that is saving lives like masks and ventilators.

Activists Won’t Stop Uninformed Attacks, Even During a Worldwide Crisis

Despite the importance of fossil fuels at this time as well as their byproducts, like plastic, activists continue to attack the energy industry. The Narwhal published a piece critical of considering energy companies essential industries during this time, even questioning how companies were keeping workers safe—despite the fact that Alberta’s chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, is releasing suggestions for social distancing to help these companies operate safely.

Attacks on Canada’s energy industry may be commonplace, but at a time when the entire country—and the world—will require more energy to create and transport medical equipment, these criticisms and protests are tone-deaf to the reality that the energy industry is essential and will ultimately help save lives.

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and natural gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.


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