Today, readers are discussing Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s attacks on Ottawa’s recent energy policies. The Premier is dismissing an aid package unveiled this week as woefully inadequate.
Oil is already a sunset industry; its advocates just don’t get that yet. Will we still use it? Yes, of course, but the return on any big investment in its infrastructure and exploration is doomed. With a glut in the world markets of something we desperately need to use less of, going after increased environmental regulation of the stuff so your political supporters will be happy with you is cynical. The workforce in the industry needs to participate in new options for the future, in a big way, not continue to try and sell the stuff at the bottom of the barrel (bitumen) into a saturated and ultimately dwindling world market for stuff that has no future, if indeed we want one for the planet. - PeterHStephenson
I think Notley is playing a dangerous game whipping up anger incessantly. Some Albertans are practically foaming at the mouth right now (separatism, seriously?). All she cares about is her re-election and looking tougher than Kenny. Unfortunately we all have to endure this seemingly endless political theatre. - JDK101
Alberta totally is responsible for promoting oil sands development without giving a thought to how they would ship it. It’s fair to say that we in BC never heard anything about increased oil exports from here prior to about 2004 when the oil companies panicked at the increase in fracked American oil and realized that they might have problems with Keystone XL and even sending it to or through the USA. Alberta completely wears that one. Guilty! - ThinkRightGM
They are also responsible for not investing in the Heritage Fund for over 30 years; it's value is the same as it was in 1985. Over the same period, tiny Norway amassed $1 trillion, or close to $200,000 for every single citizen. Alberta prefers to spend in good times and suffer in bad, and without a provincial sales tax, are dependent on the whims of the oil market to pay for health care, education, and other provincial responsibilities.Had they managed the fund Lougheed started with even a shred of fiscal responsibility, they would be well fixed to weather the storm of falling prices and inadequate infrastructure. They might even be able to clean up the environmental disasters of abandoned wells and tailings ponds. It's true that federal legislation designed to protect the environment is a partial cause of Alberta woes. But the bulk of the blame is in the mirror. Poor fiscal management and failure to diversify is solely an Alberta problem, and to blame everything on the rest of Canada is childish. - WhistlingInTheDark
In response to WhistlingInTheDark:
Many Albertans would have preferred to pay sales taxes and to set aside some of the resource revenues as Norway and others have. But, Governments never do everything they ought to. Even the Notley NDP has not imposed a provincial sales tax, much to the surprise of many of us who voted NDP! As for the tired Norwegian reference, unfortunately (so far) Alberta is not a country, but is a mere province, and its taxpayers have had to send over $200 billion more to Ottawa than Ottawa spent in the province over the last couple of decades. Had that $200 billion remained in Alberta the current financial situation would be dramatically different. - Snowaway
Alberta’s financial, economic and political elites are delusional. The glory days of the Alberta energy sector are not coming back. Even without climate change the shale oil and natural gas booms would see to that. High-cost, low-quality producers get squeezed out of markets. The past does not predict the future. Ms. Notley (and Mr. Kenny) will be seen as failures in twenty years. It is time for Alberta to move forward without these fossils. - Steven Forth
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"The Alberta government has raised concerns that, under the bill, pipeline approvals could take longer, steam-driven oil sands projects might require lengthy environmental assessments and there could be a greenhouse gas emissions test for new projects."
Sounds fine. Maybe the Alberta and federal governments should be questioning the need for any expensive new pipelines at all, considering this country and other oil and gas producers should be focused on ways to wind down the fossil fuel industry in as orderly a fashion as possible over the next twenty or thirty years. - Mark Shore
Isn’t this a supply and demand issue? Projects initiated years ago are coming online resulting in this glut. U.S. producers also. Some companies are even forecasting additional production growth in 2019? Existing pipelines are full. Storage is full. Where is this oil going to go? Tidewater TMX access will help in the short-term, but won’t the increased supply affect pricing, too? Why continue to increase production in a saturated market and then play the blame game?
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