Health and Beauty

Personal Care Directive Alberta

What happens when the demand for Alberta oil goes away?

Though it would be impossible to guess by the pre-campaign rhetoric, Alberta actually does have serious problems. Pipeline politics, carbon taxes and culture wars will no doubt inspire voters to clash on social media and turn up to the polls. But in the long term, this should be our real concern: the demand for oil is going to go away.

This is not a utopian (or dystopian) prognostication. The world isn’t going to stop using oil in the next five years—or in the next 10, or 15. We may yet see another oil boom, or two. There will probably be applications for oil and plastics over the next century, and Alberta should be doing everything within its power to supply that demand.

But it’s a pretty safe bet that global demand for oil is going to abate within my lifetime, as climate change policies, decarbonization efforts and new technologies come to the fore.

These shifts are already starting to happen. My child—a toddler today—will probably drive an electric car. He may never learn to drive at all. So what, exactly, is the plan?