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Even our least electrifying politicians can’t stop what is coming

There's no disputing EVs will threaten oil demand. Oil-producing provinces need to implement a 21st century transition plan.

“We will need fossil fuels for decades to come,” or so goes the conventional wisdom. People in developing countries are buying more vehicles, so we need to invest in growing our oil sector – especially the oil sands. But is this logic sound? Arguing that “we will need oil for decades to come” says nothing about oil prices. We’d need to know that high prices will remain high for the next 20 to 30 years to justify new projects.

No one disputes that there will be vestigial demand for fossil fuels for decades to come. No one disputes that low oil prices would severely damage the oil sands. No one disputes that it will be decades before the transition to electrified transport is complete. But does the transition to EVs need to be complete before it contributes to chronically low oil prices? Importantly, what will the oil supply-demand balance look like later in this decade, and in future decades? Will prices be high enough to sustain one of the more expensive sources of oil? No one will dispute that someday EVs will threaten oil demand and thus prices.

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