Imagine this: You invest a couple of hours towards watching “Juice: Power, Politics, and the Grid,” the excellent new documentary produced by Robert Bryce and Tyson Culver.
It’s a documentary that advocates for greater use of nuclear energy, but also has positive things to say about the need to continue using natural gas and coal to maintain stability in our energy grids. Or, you read the outstanding book by author Alex Epstein, “Fossil Future,” which advocates for the proposition that oil, natural gas, and coal will play significant roles in the global energy mix well into the future.
But then, you wake up the next morning only to find that these three men have been arrested and charged with the crime of, well, of saying nice things about fossil fuels. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Globalist Elites Are Getting Battered In Their War On Fossil Fuels)
Don’t laugh: If one Canadian member of parliament has his way, that will become law up in the Great White North. That MP, Charlie Angus of Timmins-James Bay, Ontario, introduced a bill Monday that would invoke criminal penalties for saying positive things about oil, natural gas, and coal, even when those things are manifestly true. The bill reads, in part, “It is prohibited for a person to promote a fossil fuel, a fossil fuel-related brand element or the production of a fossil fuel.”
The Toronto Sun reported this week that Angus made repeated promises to treat the oil, gas, and coal industries in the same way western governments went after the big tobacco companies in the 1990s. The liberal member of Justin Trudeau’s New Democrat Party claimed his bill was about stopping the spread of falsehoods about these fossil fuels, which the climate alarmist movement has done its best to turn into global boogeymen to which every environmental and weather ill is to be ascribed.
“The Big Tobacco moment has finally arrived for Big Oil. We need to put human health ahead of the lies of the oil sector,” Angus told the House on Monday.
So, Angus says the bill is about “stopping the spread of falsehoods by the oil industry,” but the bill actually says it is about making it a crime to “promote a fossil fuel, a fossil fuel-related brand element or the production of a fossil fuel.” The actual language in the law would make it a crime to advertise the price of gasoline on gas station billboards or for Chevron to run TV ads bragging about the additive it calls “Techron.”
The language in the bill would make it a crime for advocates like Bryce and Culver to produce their documentaries and for Epstein to publish his books. All these would be deemed illegal and indeed heretical to the doctrines of the climate alarm religion under Angus’s bill.
The actual language, in other words, has nothing to do with objective truth. It has to do with banning speech this Canadian MP doesn’t like.
For several years, the great standup comic Jeff Foxworthy hosted a TV show called, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th-Grader?” Obviously, MP Angus would flunk that show since every 5th-grader who ever appeared on it would immediately notice the logical conflict between the bill’s language and the promotion of it by its author.
The simple truth is that Bryce, Culver, Epstein and many other advocates who try to bring some level of sanity to our energy and climate debate are right about the future for fossil fuels and nuclear generation. Those energy sources currently supply roughly 85% of the primary energy mix, a level that has been intractably consistent for the past quarter century despite the spending of trillions of dollars on subsidies and tax breaks for wind, solar and electric vehicles.
Indeed, the nuclear renaissance advocated for by Bryce and Culver could even cause that percentage to rise in the coming decades.
Here’s a thought: Perhaps a better approach here would be for Canada’s Parliament and America’s congress to enact laws making it a crime for MPs or members of congress to spread falsehoods about the bills they’re trying to pass.
That would be a real public service, which of course means it can never happen.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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