A four-time World Drivers’ Championship winner on the Formula One circuit — who drives cars that voraciously consume gas and oil as he jets from race to race — was slammed after he wore a T-shirt at the Canadian Grand Prix condemning Canadian oil sands mining.
34-year-old German racer S?bastien Vettel’s t-shirt read “Stop Mining Tar Sands” with a picture of a pipeline, and added “Canada’s Climate Crime.”
“Mr. Vettel is just a man who loves to ride around at astonishing speeds in multimillion-dollar machines, which chug those dear old fossil fuels by the whale-load, in front of thousands of people who drive to his venues just to watch him,” Rex Murphy wrote in The National Post. “And he has illustrious associations, being sponsored by Aston Martin, with financing from Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer.”
“But, and it is a very good ‘but,’ when he has reached his next Grand Prix destination and the time comes to go to the racetrack, he travels from the hotel by bicycle!” Murphy pointed out.
Vettel said during a press conference, “What happens in Alberta is a crime because you chop down a lot of trees and you basically destroy the place just to extract oil and the manner of doing it with the tar sands mining, oil sands mining is horrible for nature.”
The Canadian Energy Centre, an Alberta provincial corporation mandated to promote Alberta’s energy industry, fired back.
@F1 driver Sebastian Vettel showcased his ignorance about Alberta’s #oilsands industry ahead of this weekend’s Montreal Grand Prix, calling the development “criminal.” Let’s discuss the heaping hypocrisy and open Vettel’s eyes to Canada’s achievements here: Formula One racing, a sport that relies on fossil fuels for pure entertainment, has admitted to its carbon footprint and indicated steps to reach net zero, bravo. That doesn’t change that fact that its current carbon emissions amount to 256,000 tonnes CO2 per season.
“Canada’s largest oil sands producers are addressing climate change by working together on an ambitious, actionable plan to reduce GHG emissions from oil sands production with the ultimate goal of net zero emissions,” CDN continued, “Since 2000, CCS projects in Canada, some tied to the oil sands, have safely stored more than 44 million tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent of taking more than 9.4 million cars off the road.”
“In terms of decreasing its carbon footprint, oil sands #emissionsintensity decreased 27% since 2013, compared to 13% for other global producers. Total oil sands emissions – not just emissions/bbl – are expected to start going down in the next five years.”
“Canada’s oil sands sector is often characterized as having a massive physical footprint on the environment, but as of 2018, energy development encompassed less than 1% of Alberta. #oilsands mining companies alone doubled the land reclaimed since 2009, reaching over 8,000 hectares in 2019. Oil sands producers have also collectively planted more than 25 million trees.”
“Canada’s industry’s strong environmental track record is thanks to large investments in technology & environmental protection. Oil and gas producers are Canada’s largest spenders on energy cleantech, spending an average of $1B per year.”
“This is another instance of a celebrity with a net worth of $100M (who drives a sports car for a living) telling the 99% how foolish it is to rely on responsible sources of energy.”