The Harper government's plan to spend $345 million on a national E5 program (five percent ethanol in all gasoline) will do little to address the issue of climate change, nor will it improve Canada's energy security. Although Canada produces more crude oil than it consumes, the lack of infrastructure and NAFTA commitments means that Canada meets almost half of its crude oil demand from imports.
A national E5 program will not reduce the price of fuel at the pump as world crude oil prices rise. Canadians would be better served if the $345 million were put into upgrading and expanding urban and regional transportation systems as these will be needed when the price of automotive fuel becomes prohibitively expensive.
Submitted to Globe and Mail 21 December 2006, unpublished