CAPP Meet Mr Kenney

Recently Mr Kenney told municipal leaders in Cochrane that in addition to multi-billion dollar deficits and rising debt levels Alberta was drowning in red tape.  To illustrate his point Kenney said it takes a week to approve a conventional oil well in Texas but a year or more to approve one in Alberta.

Hmmm, wondered Ms Soapbox, where did Mr Kenney get these facts?

After some digging she found a CAPP report entitled “A Competitive Policy and Regulatory Framework for Alberta’s Upstream Oil and Natural Gas Industry.” At the back of the report was a discussion about jurisdictional differences in approving well applications which said the median review time for a new well in Texas was indeed 7 days.

However, it also said the median review time for a routine well in Alberta was 2 days, the median review time for a non-routine technical well was 5 days and the longest median review time (for a non-routine, participant-involvement well) was 34 days.  In other words, the CAPP report flat out contradicted Mr Kenney’s statement that it takes a year or more to approve a conventional oil well in Alberta.  (If Mr Kenney was relying on another information source Ms Soapbox would be happy to share it with her readers).


If you can’t find a fact, a “factoid” will do

This CAPP report forms the foundation of a briefer CAPP report called “Oil and Gas Priorities for a Prosperous Alberta”.  Given that the UCP’s energy critic Mr Panda endorsed the recommendations and concerns set out in the summary CAPP report—he said they reinforce what the UCP has been saying all along—it’s safe to assume the UCP also endorses the recommendations and concerns set out in greater detail in the foundation CAPP report.

Or is it?

Contrary to the UCP’s mantra that Premier Notley’s support of the energy industry is “half hearted” and her government is in bed with its “NDP cousins in BC” and their “Liberal BFF Trudeau” in Ottawa, CAPP gives Notley and her government full credit for their “tireless advocacy” in championing the need for the Trans Mountain expansion.  Presumably the best we could hope for from Mr Kenney on this point is mumble, mumble, Notley, mumble, mumble.

CAPP said the industry supports effective and efficient climate policies that take cumulative costs into account and recommended reinvesting carbon tax revenues in energy-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) sectors, (it also recommended protecting EITE from the full impact of some climate policies).  Jason Kenney has been crystal clear that the first item on his hit list is Notley’s climate policies, particularly the carbon levy.  Perhaps the UCP’s endorsement of CAPP’s position on climate policies comes with a caveat: we’re kinda, sorta on side with the industry, depending on who we’re talking to at the time.  Or maybe the UCP didn’t read the report and were simply babbling.

CAPP also said the industry supports the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and endorses its implementation in a manner consistent with the Constitution and Canada’s laws.  For someone who never misses an opportunity to chime in on federal policies Mr Kenney has been strangely silent on this issue and we have no idea whether Mr Kenney stands with industry or not on this one.


This isn’t the first time Mr Kenney’s UCP have tried to rile up Albertans with misinformation and dodgy facts.

Kenney’s shadow energy critic Mr Panda chastised Premier Notley for the delay in building Trans Mountain saying he’d worked at Reliance and built the world’s largest petrochemical complex in just 3 years.  His example is utterly irrelevant given the Reliance complex is a refinery not a pipeline and was built in India where the environmental, health and safety regulations are less stringent than in Alberta.  Recall that one of Mr Kenney’s major objections to foreign oil (it’s “unethical”) is based on the fact foreign producers do not operate to Alberta’s higher standards.  Apparently, this concern about ethics can be selectively applied whenever it suits the UCP.

Mr Barnes, UCP finance and treasury critic said investment is leaving Alberta to go to the US.  He referred to two companies, Plains All American and EPIC, that were going to invest in Texas.  There’s no evidence either of these companies intended to invest in Alberta; in any event Plains is a smallish company, less than a third of the size of Canada’s interprovincial pipeline companies and EPIC is going to convert an existing natural gas liquids line to crude.  Both companies were constructing their facilities entirely within the state of Texas.  Any comparison to investing in an interprovincial pipeline like Trans Mountain is silly.

The power of the pen

Apparently, Mr Kenney and the UCP believe when the facts don’t support your case any old factoid will do.

This may satisfy gullible Albertans, but it should trouble organizations like CAPP who may be under the illusion that their vision for Alberta aligns with Mr Kenney’s.

They have not yet learned their lesson, anyone can propose policy but it’s Mr Kenney who holds the pen.

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40 Responses to CAPP Meet Mr Kenney

  1. Katie Pearlman says:

    Susan, you might want to check out Vivian Krause. The UCP may be getting info from her.
    Her “facts” have been debunked, but she still gets press most recently from Licia Corbella – a few times – in the Herald. It sure would be great to stop her.

    • Katie, you’re absolutely right about the UCP using Vivian Krause as a source of information. Jason Kenney cites her as an authority for his conspiracy theory that sinister organizations in the US are working with US oil producers to fund Canadian protesters in order to kill the Canadian industry. This makes no sense. When I worked in the petrochemical industry in the US one of our competitors was being investigated over the possible harmful effects of oleochemicals in baby bottles. We didn’t use oleochemicals but our CEO said we would not attack our competitor because what goes around comes around and we never knew whether we’d be the target of a similar investigation in the future. He said the public doesn’t distinguish between “good” petrochemicals and “bad” petrochemicals. If one goes down, they all go down. I think the same holds true for oil companies, attacking Canadian oil (even oil sands oil) will backfire for US producers.
      And yes, you’re right about Licia Corbella singing Krause’s praises. I’ve stopped reading Corbella’s columns as a result, they’re just too partisan.

  2. Susan, just a clarification. CAPP called for protection for EITE sectors like oil and gas despite the Notley govt having explicitly provided that protection in the form of output-based allocations that are part of the Carbon Competitiveness Incentives Regulation. Here’s the deep dive I did on that report. My source economists had some choice comments for CAPP:

    • Markham, thanks for the clarification and the link to your excellent overview of CAPP’s climate change/carbon levy policy (such as it is). The comment from Ben Dachis, economist for CD Howe was very interesting. He ranked the top 5 policy costs as follows:
      #1 market access (pipelines)
      #2 corporate income taxes
      #3 royalties
      #4 municipal property taxes
      #5 emissions at a distant #5
      The CAPP report said municipal taxes “are the second-highest cost to the oil and natural gas industry…after royalties” and pushed the government to reduce the property tax burden on industry and reverse steps it had taken that shift costs historically borne by municipalities onto industry” (page 52).

      I wonder whether Kenney would agree that the good people of Fort McMurray should shoulder a heavier property tax burden?

  3. ed henderson says:

    Hi Susan..great work. Most politicians stand on a platform made of wet BS that will collapse when investigated carefully. Mr Kenny is no different.
    Please keep up the great work.

    • Thanks Ed and Rocky. What I find particularly disturbing is the fact these half-truths and outright lies can be easily checked and refuted but the media isn’t inclined to follow up. For example the summary CAPP report wants the government to advocate for Trans Mountain, Line 3, and Keystone XL PLUS three additional interprovincial pipelines which should be constructed by 2025, PLUS 4 major liquified natural gas (LNG) plants by 2025. The media dutifully reported CAPP’s recommendations but didn’t bother getting comments from the pipeline companies or the LNG producers who are not members of CAPP and who may have a completely different perspective on putting this much infrastructure in place in the next 6 years.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. We cannot expect any truth to come from Jason Kenney and the UCP. Sadly, there are people who will believe what he says, without even questioning it. Jason Kenney also contradicts himself. He did make it clear that he supports the carbon tax. Why isn’t Prasad Panda asking Jason Kenney why he was dithering on the pipeline issue, when Jason Kenney was in the CPC, when the CPC had a majority government and had greater oil prices? Jason Kenney has also made it clear that he supports the government purchasing the pipeline. There are people who want to fault Justin Trudeau for and Rachel Notley for this, yet are silent when Jason Kenney endorses it. The same thing applies to halting oilsands production in Alberta, to help raise the price of Alberta’s oil. When Jason Kenney proposes it, nothing is said about it, by the UCP supporters. When Rachel Notley proposes it, the critics rise to complain about it. These critics do not mention how the Alberta PCs blew around $35 billion on a bitumen upgrader, which has a far greater cost. Another issue on the oil industry surfaced again recently. This is the issue of abandoned oil wells in Alberta. There is a staggering cost of around $260 billion to clean up abandoned oil wells in Alberta. This stems from when the Alberta PCs were in power. It has its origins when Ralph Klein was premier. What Jason Kenney, and many others choose to ignore is that Alberta’s current fiscal situation was the result of decades of fiscal recklessness, negligence and poor planning, caused by the Alberta PCs, starting when Peter Lougheed was no longer Alberta’s premier. This abandoned oil well cleanup cost is another one. I heard that a court ruling said that bankruptcy is not an excuse, but who will still pay for the costs of cleaning up these abandoned oil wells? How is investment leaving Alberta? The UCP and their supporters blame the carbon tax and Rachel Notley. Would they blame Ed Stelmach? It was he who gave Alberta North America’s very first carbon tax. It also had a focus on the oil industry. The oil companies have also said they endorsed a carbon tax, when Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau were not even in power. Jason Kenney is looking for a scapegoat, and sadly there are people who support what he says. It’s sad how there are people who believe that Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau are the cause of Alberta’s oil issues. I put another response in your previous blog about a YouTube video featuring Rex Murphy, speaking at Cambridge House, asking if Justin Trudeau has destroyed Canada’s resource future. It is not surprising to see how the comment section is full of nasty comments against Justin Trudeau, and how they him for the problems related to our energy and resource sector.

    • Kenney is a racist, pro-fascist little punk.

    • Thanks Dwayne. You raise some excellent points. I particularly liked your point about the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling in Redwater which held that bankrupt companies had to clean up abandoned wells before paying out their creditors. It was the right decision and reasserted the principle that “the polluter pays” takes priority over “privatize the reward, socialize the risk” which was in place prior to the court’s ruling.
      Did you notice Jason Kenney’s initial response to the decision? He said he hadn’t heard about it. If he wasn’t aware of the decision he’s unbelievably disconnected from the industry. I suspect he didn’t know how to respond and was stalling until he could check with his people. He goes where the wind blows and the difficulty for him was if he sided with the banks (investors in the industry) he would be going against the landowners and taxpayers and vice versa. That tells you something about how he will govern if he forms government–he’s not a leader, he’s a follower.

  5. Ken Chapman says:

    Thanks Susan for this post. We really need to expose, oppose and, come election time, dispose of Mr. Kenney from our political culture. He lacks the integrity, character and commitment to the greater good of Albertans to ever lead our Alberta.

  6. Frank Horvath says:

    I love the clarity you bring to this topic, Susan. Jason Kenny’s views are based on “alternative facts”, the ones that support whatever he thinks the Alberta electorate wants to hear. As you’ve shown, the truth is immaterial to him in this political strategy. I think most Albertans would not be impressed if they only knew. Any chance that the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal as well as Lethbridge, Red Deer, Grand Prairie, and Fort McMurray papers would run this ?

    • Ah Frank, I can’t even get the Post Media press to print my letters to the editor, although I hadn’t thought about the local papers, they may be more open to a different point of view.
      Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Midge Lambert says:

        Even smaller local papers are a great place to try. And The Edmonton & Calgary Star are doing some pretty good reporting, they may be good to approach! Thanks for this blog again. Facts Matter!
        And, knowing what we do about Kenney’s ideological record, I think he would be more inclined to support the 550 year old ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ than the 21st century UNDRIP.

      • Good point Midge. I’ve started following the Star and am impressed by the quality of their reporting. I find some of the Edmonton Journal reporters, people like Emma Graney, to be very good as well.
        I googled the Doctrine of Discovery and found it’s primary use was to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of colonial or post-colonial governments–sounds appropriate in the UCP universe.

  7. J.E. Molnar says:

    Excellent post Ms. Soapbox! This post was a real eye-opener, especially with Markham Hislop weighting in on bonus coverage with his link explaining the half-truths/obfuscation being perpetrated by CAPP on climate mitigation efforts and his revelations regarding the political underpinnings of the energy industry in Alberta and Canada.

    As for Jason Kenney and the other UCP minions offering mangled discourse (as usual), I’ve always contended that I wouldn’t believe a thing Jason Kenney et al. said — even if their tongues were notarized. Your piece just proved it one more time. Again, well done.

    • Thanks J.E. The Jason Kenney effect is an example of what the CEO of The New York Times Company describes as the most troubling trend in contemporary political discourse–it achieves its impact by denying any complexity, conditionality, or uncertainty. It exaggerates wildly to make a point and it’s built on a presumption of bad faith on the part of its opponents. It accepts no responsibility to explain anything to anyone and treats the facts as mere opinion.
      Kenney and the UCP attack the federal and provincial governments with baloney and the gullible public gobble it up because it fits their partisan view of the world.
      This makes it extremely difficult to engage in rational debate.

  8. .. I note that some, or lately, one comment I submitted never appeared. It was the previous blog entry re upcoming election – policy would be nice. The comment was quite specific and questioned Jason Kenney’s candidacy in an Alberta federal riding. Did you not receive such a comment ? Kt follows on the research by Kyle Morrow re Kenney’s ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ Residency claims. The money involved is no small matter.. But .. how he qualified for an Alberta Health Card or Drkver’s License is a complete mystery. If he failed those qualifications.. pretending and assuming and stating ‘he lived in Calgar’ but in reality was only an occasional visitor. and in reality ‘lived’ in the pricy Ottawa condo he bought, along with ‘living in hotels – as a senior Minister’ then there is a likelyhood he would be forced to resign.. quite a scandal. We’ll see if this comment arrives.. please keep up hour fine work, thanks !

    • Oh dear diamondwalker, I don’t think your last comment came through but I will look into the innards of WordPress and see if I can find it. The WordPress people are trying to get us to shift to a newer and better “editor” (whatever that is) and sometimes when they’re in the process of upgrading their platform things go awry.
      I applaud Kyle Morrow for his investigation of Kenney’s “primary” and “secondary” residency claims. The main stream media should have been on this story a long time ago. Sadly, they seem to have forgotten how to do their job.

      • .. not to worry.. I prefer not to use Facebook or Twitter sign in validation.. re comments. Those two entities seem to want my firstborn and unlimited licence to all my photography, literary rights etc etc into Infinity.. But am fine with Diamond Walker via my unpublished novel on WordPress.. its just that fine print is baffling and the mysterious ‘Do you want to resubmit this form?’ dazes me..

      • Diamond, almost everything WP says to me baffles me. 🙂

  9. GoinFawr says:

    I’m not sure why we are so worried about Mr.Kenney being elected, after all if Mr.Trudeau or any other neo-liberal already in power doesn’t like it they can always just declare the provincial election “not up to international standards” just like they do with Venezuelan elections regardless of the following,

    “Venezuelan elections, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion, so the Venezuelans have developed a polling method that creates numerous checks to ensure that the result is verifiable. A voter must go to their poll, unlock the voting machine with the fingerprint biometric on their national identity card, and vote electronically. The machine issues a receipt/paper ballot verifying their vote and which they then deposit into a ballot box. After voting the citizen must sign off and provide a fingerprint beside their signature certifying they have voted. At the end of the day the results are transmitted electronically to the Election commission, and 54 per cent of ballot boxes are counted to ensure the machines tabulated the votes correctly. No hanging chads or butterfly ballots here. Just a high turnout of working-class and poor electors who know that keeping their welfare state depends on keeping the socialists in power. But because the neoliberals can’t win, those checks and balances are “failing to meet international standards”. ” – Humberto DaSilva

    ….on the other hand, seeing as Mr.Trudeau and Mr.Kenney are not ultimately all that politically different (except rhetorically) in any real sense, I suppose I have to admit that that will be highly unlikely.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      ‘….on the other hand, seeing as Mr.Trudeau and Mr.Kenney are not ultimately all that politically different (except rhetorically) in any real sense, I suppose I have to admit that that will be highly unlikely.’

      I have to agree with you in many ways. One just has more class lying. The other is a buffoon.

      I would like to understand why we in the West have this craving of jumping on everyone lives as if we own morality and good behavior. Why is Canada already approving the opposition member in Venezuela without having a clue of who he actually is. No one knows him in Venezuela never mind here. We love to jump as if anyone has even asked for our help. Imagine if we had a political instability and Venezuela right away would take sides with one of our politicians.

      This fellow is not on the left but could very well be another candidate for a dictatorship of the right and get a nice bank account in a couple of years thanks to Venezuela oil. Apparently Maduro is preparing to jump with the gold reserves. Of course I am sure either the Americans or the Russians will get it. They just have to allow the situation to deteriorate a little more so that sting is not that obvious. I am quite certain that by now Trump’s goons, like his eldest son and son in law already have an observation team on site in Caracas.

      • GoinFawr says:

        “Why is Canada already approving the opposition member in Venezuela without having a clue of who he actually is.”

        Oh you can bet Ms.Freeland and Mr.Trudeau know this guy well: Guaido is their peer, an economic hitman trained at George Washington U, another IMF/World Banq flying monkey mill.

        “This fellow is not on the left but could very well be another candidate for a dictatorship of the right and get a nice bank account in a couple of years thanks to Venezuela oil.”

        That’s the nail hit right on the head, but US/Canada are already funding him, and now they are apparently giving him access to Venezuelan funds they’ve seized.

        It’s not just disgusting and hypocritical, it’s illegal.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Goinfawr thank you for waking me up for the reality of IMF/World Bank brotherhood. I did not know that and did not do any research on it. Now I do get it why our ‘Canada is back/ Bollywood’ prime minister was the very first to jump in approving the right wing candidate.
        It seems that the more we show our disgust with corrupted and anti-democratic politics, the more they push.

        Now we are hammered with Maduro being a SOCIALIST dictator. The other ones on the right like Orban in Hungary, Boisonaro in Brazil are ‘populists’. Stealing from the left is Socialism, stealing from the right is business deregulation.

        Neo Liberals cannot stand anyone saying a Neo-Liberal dictator like in the case of Orban.
        In fact they already changing their neo-liberal propaganda so that they can continue their 40 year marathon of globalization, inequality and social injustice. Billionaires, like Shultz want to be called ‘people of means’ – after all they, like the rest of us, have difficulties putting butter on the table because of course they have so much maintenance expenses with the Jets, the mansions in Europe and being able to give their kids the well deserved Ferraris for Christmas. I believe we can all relate to that.

        I thought that this on going political crisis was opening the eyes of many people around the world but it seems to have the opposite effect. We are so imbued in the celebrity/ ‘you made it’/ socially blind type model that we seem to be going extreme in the battle for the loot. It is not difficult to predict what is going to happen. One just has to look back to the Russian Revolution to understand what resentment, inequality, injustice and greed does to any society. They are ignoring it at their peril because the consequences are always the holocausts.

        Yes GoinFawr this is illegal for us mortal peons. After all, we were not educated in the World’s Financial Oracles to understand any better.

        I doubt Venezuela will ever get their assets. By now they already in some bank account in the Bahamas for Guaido retirement years, another hero of the Neo-Liberal revolution. I am sure it is not complete yet because after all commissions have to be paid and he has not won the throne yet. They are now in the military phase. Checking how much the generals have to be paid to jump ship.

        I am sure Susan will not appreciate this extremist response but one day people will realize for good what is behind this edifice. These are not conspiracy theories, they are our sad reality.

      • GoinFawr and Carlos, I don’t have enough information to comment on the Guaido situation specifically, but I worry when heads of state jump into the fray in the middle of a domestic crisis because these heads of state represent us, the people, and we have no idea what they’re talking about. It gets even worse when people like Mike Pence tell Venezuelans who are getting ready to take to the streets that they have America’s “unwavering support”. My mother said you can’t trust the Americans. She says the Americans told the Hungarians they’d take care of them after WW2 only to discover they’d been traded away to the Russians. Also this is one of those “what’s good for the goose” situations. If anyone had dared to tell the USA that Bush was an illegitimate president and that Gore had rightfully won the 2000 election America would have gone ballistic.
        I do agree there’s trouble ahead if “people of means” fail to understand why they should support governments dedicated to reducing income inequity and providing quality public services for everyone. I read an interesting phrase in the introduction to a book on Winston Churchill the other day. It said in the England of a century ago “victims meekly conspired in their own oppression.” Those days are gone.

  10. Bob Raynard says:

    (The following is a take off of MP Jason Kenney’s residency claim that has recently been reported)

    Susan I wonder if you are being too hard on Mr. Kenney. Sure he has his faults, but look at his good side – he is a sign of hope for stay at home sons everywhere! Because of Mr. Kenney, thousands of men are learning that living in Mom’s basement, while never having worked a real job, and no prospect of a girlfriend, is not something to be ashamed of – they are all aspiring premiers!

    And think of their parents. Thanks to Mr. Kenney, they no longer have to be ashamed of their sons! No longer do they have to mumble something about being between jobs when people ask about their kids. Instead, they can say their son is preparing for a life in political leadership.

    Can there be no doubt now what motivates Jason Kenney’s rabid followers? Instead of climbing the ladder to success, they can feel proud as they climb the stairs, when supper is ready.

    • Bob I loved your satirical comment! This whole business about Kenney’s residence is fascinating. When the issue of where Kenney lived first came up it was stated as “Good lord, Kenney lives in his Mom’s basement.” Kenney huffily replied, “Wrong, I own a condo.” Then when the issue morphed into a question of residency eligible for subsidies, he replied, “Well, actually I lived in my Mom’s basement.” For me this is another example of Kenney shading the facts. In the beginning someone was challenging the maturity of a grown man living in his Mom’s basement and he countered with “I’m a big boy, I own a condo”. Then someone challenged whether he was eligible for a housing subsidy and he said “I am eligible, I live in my Mom’s basement.” It’s likely both of these facts are true, but the real issue is when were they true, because if he’s telling us he lived in his Mom’s basement all the years he was a federal MP, then his first answer should have been “yes, I lived in Mom’s basement (so I could collect a housing subsidy) but I don’t live there now (because I’m no longer a federal MP and I can’t collect it anymore.”)

  11. David says:

    Kenney reminds me very much of an old style ward politician who knows how to stir up somewhat sympathetic crowds by telling tales that are not quite true, but sound good. As the old saying goes, I don’t think he ever lets the facts get in the way of a good story. I think he both panders to the prejudices and preconceptions of his intended audience and projects his own. I think he would have fit in very well, say in 1930’s Chicago.

    He tries to have a populist appeal, but that is partly because that is the current fashion and is currently considered the best path to get what he wants electorally – lets call it fake populism. I think he is too much of a career politician and an insider to be a real populist. I think if he actually had some populist inclinations at heart, his “grassroots guarantee” would have survived a bit longer, perhaps until after the next election. Likewise, I doubt he is truly interested in recall votes or referendums, at least unless they support his positions. He also seems quick to dismiss things that do not fit the political image he is trying to craft as an outsider, like spending only 4 days in Alberta in 2015 and claiming to live in his mom’s basement – a claim that many regard as another whopper.

    Years ago candidates ran around the province with a debt clock, showing how much the debt was growing every minute. Perhaps this time we need a Pinocchio meter for Kenney, showing how much his nose is growing with each and every tall tale he tells.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Ok so maybe that is wow Jason Kenney got to accumulate 19 million dollars, at his mother’s basement. It could be inherited.
      How is it that a person working for the Taxpayers Association of Alberta and then as a minister for the Federal Government gets 19 million dollars is curious. I am sure very hard work.

      • Carlos, I remember when this story broke on Twitter. Jason Kenney went bananas, but failed to provide a rationale explanation of why this was wrong. Maybe you can save more money than we ever dreamed possible by living in your Mom’s basement. 🙂

      • carlosbeca says:

        Oh yes you are right – maybe there is a consulting service he runs – something like ‘Making a coin on Mama’s basement’

    • David, I like the idea of a Pinocchio meter for Kenney because he has no qualms about spreading misinformation. The media recently reported a comment in which he said we needed an early election because he’d heard all sorts of “rumours” about what Notley planned to do if she’s re-elected. These “rumours” can’t be any worse than the ones the UCP were spreading over the farm safety bill (they’re going to unionize your farm and take your land away) and GSAs in schools (they’re going to turn your kids into LBGTQ+), neither of which are true.
      I smiled when I saw your comment about the debt clock, it’s amazing how easily people are swayed by props. By the way if reducing the debt was all that we needed to be a happy prosperous province why didn’t it work when Klein did it.

  12. jerrymacgp says:

    Well, when you think about, perhaps it should take a bit longer to approve an oil well than it does to get a building permit for an extension to your deck, or a development permit for a liquor or pot store in a residential neighbourhood… don’t you think? Why not take the time to do the due diligence on applications, instead of rubber-stamping them willy-nilly?

    So, how such delays are interpreted depend on how you frame them. Are we delaying growth, development and jobs—the Cons’ take—or are we taking the time to be prudent?

    • Carlos Beca says:

      That makes so much sense to anyone that cares about our resources and environment. The issue is that companies seem to want to operate here the same way they do in places like Ecuador where it is a catastrophic mess. Of course we already have one in the tailing ponds but it will be invisible until there is nothing left and the companies take off and leave it with us.
      This is why the companies want to reduce regulations so they can operate whatever way they want and makes more money. Jason Kenney is the candidate that will easily allow them to do that. That is why he has their support. A lot of Albertans are willing to vote him in because of course it creates faster development and more jobs faster. Unfortunately that is the way we think these days. Short term and the heck with the consequences.

      Answering your question – I believe we are taking the time to be prudent. Does that matter to Conservatives? I do not think so. It seems Conservatism is only for social issues. When it comes to money nothing matters.

      • Carlos, if the energy companies are successful in their push to lighten their regulatory burden we are indeed at risk of landing in a catastrophic mess. Last fall the Alberta Energy Regulator approved Suncor’s plan to manage its end of life tailings ponds by “water capping” which is supposed to be better than Syncrude’s solution of putting a water cap on top of untreated tailings. Suncor will treat its tailings prior to covering them with a water cap. Now here’s the trick. This solution involves treating the tailings with chemicals and has only been been demonstrated in the lab. So Suncor is going to run a 15 year pilot test while at the same time commercializing it. So we won’t know if it really works until the tailings ponds reach their end of life. What happens if it doesn’t work? Lord only knows, but Pembina said with more oilsands mines preparing to close in the early-2030s, after 50 years of mismanagement it’s crucial the problem of tailings be properly dealt with now. Amen to that!
        Here are the links:

    • Indeed Jerry, why not take the time to do the due diligence instead of rubber-stamping applications and firing them back out the door.
      CAPP says it wants to reduce average application times by 50% and annual regulatory costs by $2 billion “while maintaining environmental and safety outcomes”. I’m curious what CAPP counts as “regulatory costs”. It can’t be what industry pays to the regulators because that’s a pittance, for example the industry paid only $278 million in fees, levies and assessments to the Alberta Energy Regulator. I suspect the industry wants the regulator to “streamline” the process so the cost to industry drops by $2 billion/year. This raises the question of how the industry thinks the government/regulator is going to measure its success at reaching the target. First we need to set a baseline of costs. This requires all energy companies to submit proof of the costs they incur, both internal and external, over the year when filing applications with the regulator. Once the baseline is set we need to get the energy companies to continue to submit proof of the costs they incur so we can see whether regulatory costs are meeting the $2 billion cost reduction target. Also we’ll need to set up a variable to address boom years vs bust years. How many more employees will the government and industry have to hire to do this exercise properly? Or perhaps what the industry really wants is for us to just deregulate and pay lip service to “maintaining environmental and safety outcomes.”
      Frankly I don’t think CAPP has a clue what it’s talking about.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        ‘Or perhaps what the industry really wants is for us to just deregulate and pay lip service to “maintaining environmental and safety outcomes.”
        Frankly I don’t think CAPP has a clue what it’s talking about.’

        Of course this is what they are talking about. Jason Kenney understands this full well and will be more than happy to give them whatever they want as long as another boom comes back and whatever else is the prize allocated to it.

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