WEYBURN - The Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show is valuable and beneficial for the City of Weyburn and area, but it also serves another purpose.
The show also serves as a way to remind people that the energy sector is not only alive and well, but it’s still a major contributor to our economy, and it’s still relevant in the world today.
If one listens only to proponents of “green energy” or to the Liberal party, one will get the idea that the oil and gas industry is the biggest villain to the world today, and needs to be squelched and outright stopped.
Indeed, many of the policies coming out of Ottawa seem geared to killing the oil industry, and the attitude portrayed by the government is openly hostile to the sector. No assistance of any kind nor any encouragement is provided, and the prevailing comments are that this is a bad and evil industry that cannot be allowed to continue.
The fact is such an attitude is myopic to the extreme, as it ignores the fact that the world needs and wants oil and gas, and it will continue to need it for a very long time yet.
The push is on for electric cars and shutting down of coal-powered power plants, and for the development of solar and wind energy, not to mention geothermal energy, such as is being developed here in Saskatchewan in the Torquay area.
Looking realistically at these emerging technologies and forms of energy, they are years, even decades, away from being a viable replacement form of energy. The infrastructure for electric vehicles, for example, does not exist to the extent that it would be viable to turn off all gas-powered vehicles.
In addition, electric cars aren’t built to handle Canadian winters, especially not -35 temperatures with a high wind chill like we enjoy here on the Prairies, and there are no electric-powered Caterpillar bulldozers or front-end loaders to take up the big jobs on construction sites.
Just in everyday life, there is a huge extensive list of products people use all the time that are made from crude petroleum and its byproducts.
This list includes computer monitors and keyboards, eyeglasses, crayons, credit cards, life jackets, pajamas, permanent press clothes, golf balls-soccer balls-basketballs, skis, artificial limbs, contact lenses, toothpaste, dentures, cell phones, and crucial life-saving products like pacemakers, MRI machines, wheelchairs, and soaps, antiseptics, and lifesaving pharmaceuticals used by doctors.
This is only a partial list of what is used, other than internal-combustion engines in our cars, trucks, planes and trains. The oil and gas industry is continually working to be better and more environmentally