There is some uncertainty and volatility in natural gas pricing, but it is important to focus on the big picture items:
1. the world needs energy, and the economic and social well being of a country is directly tied to the amount and price of its overall energy supply.
2. democracies that are economically well-off because they have abundant energy supplies at affordable prices are more likely to also have good environmental standards; however
, this depends on what measure you use- if production of greenhouse gases is the criteria, the U.S., a bastion of democracy, fails miserably.
3. according to recent (2007; see http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environme..._emissions.htm
) figures from the United Nations, the following 10 countries produce the most greenhouse gases (move around the pie bar clockwise).
Notice that China is #1, the U.S.A. #2, India is #3, etc. Canada is 7th.
4. natural gas is a non-renewable resource, but has half the carbon emissions compared to coal. So if China, the U.S.A, and India could be persuaded to switch to natural gas, there would be a dramatic decrease in the production of greenhouse gases.
5. Canada has vast supplies of natural gas and it is private companies that are willing to take the investment risk to develop those resources and sell them on the world market. In this regard, there is no risk to taxpayers.
6. The benefit to Canada of resource development is a vast number of construction jobs are created while the projects are being built, and the country keeps getting continuing tax and royalty revenue into the future. This is no different than any non-renewable resource development, like the tar sands or a mine: Canadian workers get jobs, and the money they make then goes into other enterprises and expenditures; that money isn't lost, as some people seem to think.