Oil sands haters still cling to the lame claim that Canada’s oil is just as bad as any other source. Because, they maintain, our oil may have marginally higher carbon dioxide emissions than other sources (in fact, our oil is often tied, or occasionally better, than a lot of conflict oil in total wheel-to-well emissions), they insist it’s no better than conflict oil from brutal, terror-sponsoring autocracies that repress women and minorities.
The biggest test of that flawed and mushy moral equivalence is yet to come, though: Will they continue to claim that Canada’s ethical oil isn’t worth supporting over OPEC’s blood oil once Iran starts threatening the world with nuclear war? Because it’s looking like that day is approaching very quickly.
Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, a left-leaning publication generally skeptical of the more hawkish political strains in that country, is now reporting that the U.S. President has recently received a new National Intelligence Estimate report briefing him on the state of Iran’s nuclear program. And, alarmingly, it found the Iranian theocracy has made “surprising, significant progress toward military nuclear capability,” the paper reports.
Iran has always pretended to the world that it sought nuclear technology for civilian purposes, only. It was a pretty absurd claim, given that a country as oil rich as Iran had little reason for alternative power sources like nuclear, but it at least gave oilsands bashers at least a shred of cover as they defended conflict oil from OPEC — of which Iran is a founding member — as no more dangerous or morally flawed than Canadian oil.
Saudi Arabia treating its women as chattel, Nigeria waging war on its own people, and Venezuela giving military support to the tyrannical maniacs in Libya and Syria, were harder to ignore, but at least, as consequences of conflict oil regimes, they’re less visible to North American consumers. With Iran on the brink of threatening its neighbours, and perhaps all of us eventually, with nuclear attack — a regime that has promised a genocide that would wipe Middle Eastern Jews off the map, remember — the danger of excusing, even supporting conflict oil over ethical Canadian oil will be that much harder for any of us to ignore. Even oil sands haters.
Because, truly, this threat to the world is brought to you very directly by consumers who have for far too long patronized conflict oil. The mullahs who run Iran have been absolutely awful; this is nothing new. The country, after all, is the Number One supporter of terrorism worldwide. It commits horrific human rights abuses. It threatens to annihilate its Middle East neighbours. And yet, consumers in Europe and Asia have continued to prop up Tehran’s depraved regime for want of Iranian energy supplies. Only recently, as a result of international sanctions against the rogue mullahs over their heedless rush toward nuclear arms, has Europe finally suspended Iranian oil imports.
Their decision to stand on principle has clearly come too late. Iran will no longer just terrorize its own people, or Jews, as in the past; it is now on the brink of terrorizing the world, using its nuclear threat as a threat against us all. Tehran relies on oil exports for the majority of government revenues, with 90% of its export income dependent on oil and gas resources; none of this would have come to pass had the world refused to prop up this vicious regime with by purchasing their conflict oil.
In the past, you could almost excuse it: Iran belonged to a clique of countries that held unparalleled oil reserves. There were scarcely any other suppliers. But now that Canada has discovered, and begun to mine, oilsands reserves larger than even Iran’s oil deposits and nearly rivaling those of Saudi Arabia, there is no longer an excuse for anyone, anywhere to not support Canadian oil as a replacement for conflict oil wherever possible.
And yet, astonishingly the oil sands haters — many of them foreign-funded activists — are still trying to keep the oil market from falling into ethical hands. They are working night and day to keep Canadian oil from coming to market, foiling plans for pipelines and shipping, so that consumers worldwide will have to remain dependent on conflict oil regimes. Once Iran does have its nuclear bombs, the anti-Canadian activists would see to it that the world has no choice but to go back to buying Iranian oil again. With its nukes in hand, Iran just might be able to insist upon it.
This is the true cost of supporting conflict oil over ethical oil. Anti-oil sands types may prefer not to spare a thought for the oppressed women, workers, gays and democrats who are beaten, tortured and murdered in so many OPEC countries. They may prefer to ignore the terrorist bombings and killings engendered by conflict oil regimes. But Iranian nuclear terror bought and paid for with the proceeds of conflict oil? Unfortunately for all of us, that very dangerous consequence will be a much harder thing for them to dismiss.