Re: Pretending Oil Is Dead Makes For Bad Climate Policy (May 19): Columnist Campbell Clark argues my stance against oil sands bailouts is bad climate policy, assuming that increased prices will assist conservation, while low prices encourage pollution.

Clearly, post-pandemic, demand for oil globally will improve. But the degree of that recovery is debatable. Royal Dutch Shell’s chief financial officer recently said it was unclear if demand would ever return. We are in an energy transition; fossil fuels will be used, but with likely declining consumption, and bitumen will be priced out of the market as too expensive to produce and of inherently low value requiring upgrading before refining. Meanwhile, the cost of renewables continues to drop, and demand for it continues to grow.

We should not count on market forces to avert climatic catastrophic impacts. Post-pandemic, governments should pursue the sweet spot of rebooting our economy – investing in what delivers the biggest bang for buck, for both the economy and the climate.

Elizabeth May OC, MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands; Sidney, B.C.

Published in the Globe and Mail, May 25, 2020