In today’s Post, Diane Francis declares that the idea of a “market” for oil is a joke. She calls for a Continental Energy Policy, to ensure that North Americans are self-sufficient in oil. She wants massive US government investment in the Alberta oil sands, which would not only “create jobs”, but free us from the depredations of OPEC.
I’m really confused. First, I thought all right-thinking people had nothing but scorn for the idea that centralised government spending policies could “create jobs”.
Second, can someone please explain to me how the CEP would be any different from the National Energy Program? That is, if the NEP was simply a sneaky way of transfering wealth from oil producers to oil consumers by creating an artifically low domestic price, how is this any different? Or, is this sort of thing OK when Washington does it, but an injustice of world-historical proportions when Ottawa does it?