Minister Steven Guilbeault! As you may have noticed sir, your key environmental policies are not playing well in the oil and gas regions of the country. Maybe therefore, what you have said is your primary goal — of shutting down the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels in our country — should be reconsidered?Feelings in Western Canada are more than a little bruised, after all. Of course we're happy to continue generating wealth for the country, and we're wishing to participate further in policy generation... But, we don’t buy into non-solutions like production cuts.So, maybe a different approach? Would you consider affirming a deal that significantly assists net zero carbon emissions and satisfies the prime minister’s need to be the world leader in fighting “the climate crisis”? Please note this is simply an idea. This writer has no official standing. The proposal is just intended to provide further context and awareness of the consequences of some things a lot of people would like to see you do.Let’s assume for the purpose of the exercise, that the West accepts a 10% reduction in oil production. This would be a significant concession as it would reduce revenues, damage valuation multiples, result in job losses and much else besides. However, it is only a starting point towards reducing carbon emissions along the energy chain from production to combustion.The beauty of this proposal however, is what follows. First however, an explanation of basic facts — primarily for central Canadians, many of whom blissfully support a reduction of oil production.A critical fact is that only 10% of emissions result from production. Another 10% is from refining, a process which breaks down crude oil into products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and a myriad of everyday products necessary for life in our modern society.But a sobering fact, one seldom mentioned by you or your government, is that 80% of all emissions of carbon dioxide come from consumption — the burning of fossil fuels. In other words, even eliminating all Canadian production would not achieve your stated objectives. Currently OPEC is withholding almost 5 million bpd of capacity and it would be replaced if Canadian production ceased. Not only would that fail to reduce missions, but the superior environmental attributes of Canadian production technology would be lost to the world.There is this, too.Current Canadian production is almost 5.4 million barrels per day (bpd), so the 10% reduction would be 540,000 bpd. Sheer coincidence of course, but that's about what gets shipped to Ontario from the West.So, this sets up a potential solution that should please you and your colleagues in the cabinet and the government. There is currently a controversy surrounding Line 5, the extension of the Enbridge Mainline in the US which moves oil east and ultimately to the refining complex at Sarnia. (Emphasis again, that this article is just an exercise to provide context, not intended to upset producers or the fine people at Enbridge, one of Canada’s great companies.)But back to Line 5. Michigan politicians and some aboriginal groups along the route are fighting a determined battle to shut it down, specifically the portion that runs under the Straights of Mackinac on its journey to provide feedstock to the refining complex at Sarnia. That is, the refineries in Sarnia belonging to Imperial Oil, Suncor and Shell, as well as other petrochemical and agricultural processing in “Chemical Valley. Without Line 5, these face closure. And inconveniently, this would eliminate jet fuel for Pearson Airport and without gasoline, electric vehicles will have Ontario roads to themselves.It should also be noted that some of the lost 540,000 bpd also moves further east into a Quebec refining complex at the moment. Losing this would contribute further to the net zero imperative.This will be tough stuff. But if your government insists on being a world leader in fighting climate change, it's necessary — the right thing to do.As for our small contribution to global emissions, it would be replaced in a few months by India and China. Both have a free ride for the foreseeable future, exempted as a condition for signing the Paris Accord. Does this make Canada a world leader, or just irrelevant?Job losses, not to worry, as it is likely Minister Wilkinson would ensure a “just transition”.So, we all need to understand that reducing combustion is the only pathway to net zero. And this — not production cuts — is the real price of our global leadership as a progressive model for the rest of the world to admire and follow. Any real net zero solution needs to capture the 90% of emissions from refining and consuming oil products. So, we in the West fully expect central Canadians to embrace the sacrifice, rather than a NIMBY response.Minister, this deal would save you from the inevitable failure of your current path. And, it would help dispel the belief in the West that production cuts, an obvious non-solution, are more about putting we uppity Westerners in our place.And, this is also an invitation to challenge the above facts. As Premier Danielle Smith said once, "I double dog dare you!"