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LETTER: Bailey may be viewing the world through ‘ideologically coloured glasses’

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Re: Bob Bailey bullish about refineries’ future (Jan. 12)

MPP Bob Bailey may be viewing the world through ideologically coloured glasses when he predicts a glowing future for local refineries.

These may be early days, and we have yet to see any significant impact on oil and gas consumption, but it is difficult not to see that the world is transitioning to a new and better energy technology.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) approximately 46% of a barrel of oil is turned into gasoline and another 27% (not 2/3 (67%) as suggested by Mr. Bailey) is turned into diesel. Only a small fraction of crude oil is presently used for non-fuel purposes.

The transition to electric passenger vehicles is already underway and will accelerate after 2035. The switch from diesel is also underway. Battery electric vehicles (bEV’s) are already being trialed for local deliveries where their high daily mileage provides a quick payback on the higher initial price.

Companies like Volvo, Mercedes and others already offer bEV medium haul tractors and mid sized construction equipment with the prospect of further incursions into that market.

Billions of dollars are being spent on developing different battery technologies to overcome the concerns about energy density, range and charging time etc., but even if battery technology fails to make the anticipated improvements you can’t fail to see that far less crude oil will be refined in the future.

The writing is on the wall, we are going to lose some existing jobs, but if we are ready it also opens up some huge opportunities for new industries and jobs in Sarnia.

Marian Blonde, Allan McKeown, Doug Winch, Rose & Paul Stebbins, Peter Smith

for Climate Action Sarnia/Lambton

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