Kenney’s Coal Facts and Myths

The Economist considered a number of cover illustrations for its Making Coal History edition before settling on a lump of coal on display under a bell jar like an artifact in a museum.

While The Economist was chronicling the demise of coal the Kenney government was busy cancelling Lougheed’s Coal Policy to give the industry a shot in the arm.  

When the public got wind of the Kenney government’s machinations it demanded Mr Kenney reverse course. He responded with a PR brochure setting out the “myths” and the “facts” of coal mining in Alberta. It was intended to set our minds at ease, it did the opposite.

Myths?  

Kenney* said it’s a myth “the world” is moving away from coal because metallurgical coal is used in steel and steel will be critical for post covid recovery. He cites an S&P report in support.

Fact: 80% of all coal consumption occurs in Asia, 50% in China and 11% in India. North American and European consumption is plummeting. Coal was never high in the energy mix in South America and Africa in the first place.** So unless “the world” means China and India, Kenney is wrong.

Furthermore, the S&P report quotes one Australian coal executive saying coking coal will be crucial to Asia’s post covid recovery. Kenney facts hinge on the dreams of one coal executive trying to shore up support for the Olive Downs project in Australia because the IEA says global coal use will never surpass its pre-covid peak.    

Kenney said it’s okay to lift the Coal Policy protection on Category 2 lands because coal mining in Category 1 lands is still banned and coal mining in Category 3 lands is regulated.

Fact: This blurs the difference between Category 2 and Category 3 lands.  

When Kenney cancelled the Coal Policy, he removed the stipulation that open pit mining “would not normally be considered” in Category 2 lands (although exceptions could be made under certain conditions). This flipped Category 2 lands from “no” (like Category 1) to “yes” (like Category 3).  

It’s like when your kid asks for the car. You can say “No, not unless I’m having a heart attack and you have to drive me to the hospital” (Category 2) or “Yes, as long as you bring it back with a full tank” (Category 3).

Coal development in what was once Category 2 lands will be allowed, subject to regulation, just like it’s allowed in Category 3 lands. The extra protection offered by the Coal Policy is gone.  

Kenney said coal mines will not “forever change our mountain landscapes” because companies are bound by land reclamation and environmental rules.

Fact: This is ridiculous. Leaving aside the issues around reclamation and environmental rules (see below), even a two-year old knows a mountain has a peak and a wild landscape while a chunk of rock that’s undergone decades of open pit mining does not.     

Kenney said it’s not true that cancelling the Coal Policy has deregulated Alberta coal development.

Fact: Cancelling the coal policy removed Category 2 lands from protection from open pit mining. These lands like the category 3 and 4 lands will be regulated by the Alberta Energy Regulation (AER).

The AER has been plagued with scandals and its new CEO, Mr Laurie Pushor brings the baggage of his own multi-million dollar land scandal in Saskatchewan. Pushor will supervise the downsizing of the AER (270 gone at last count) and implement $147 million in budget cuts to meet Kenney’s promise to cut red tape and open Alberta up for business.

Yep, we’re in good hands.  

Kenney said water quality and key headwaters are not at risk because the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act will protect our water supply and the AER will take care of the selenium issue which, he notes, wasn’t even mentioned in Lougheed’s Coal Policy.  

Fact: Kenney’s assurance that selenium, water quality, and the headwaters fall into the purview of the environment minister Jason Nixon who has a troubling track record and the AER’s Pushor is hardly comforting.

Kenney said it’s a myth that a coal lease means a coal mine is on its way because coal projects must go through a strict regulatory and consultation process.

Fact: In addition to the concerns already expressed about Alberta’s regulatory process there’s the fact that Atrum, an Australian coal company, told investors the UCP government is “engaged and supportive” of its plans to develop its “flag ship asset” a large-scale project with multi-mine potential in Category 2 lands.

Right, it’s the UCP government, not the regulator they’re worried about.  

Kenney said it’s not true his government is abandoning the federal/provincial plan to phase out thermal coal.

Fact: Fine, but we’re talking about coking (metallurgical) coal, not thermal coal. This is a red herring.  

Kenney said it’s a myth the government didn’t cancel all the leases affected by his decision to cancel the Coal Policy. They cancelled 11 leases. Other leases resulted from requests made while the Coal Policy was in place.

Fact: The issue here is the cancellation of the Coal Policy, not the cancellation of old leases granted while the policy was still in place.  Also, the fact the government cancelled 11 leases doesn’t mean it won’t approve any more that come along.    

Bottom line

The coal companies will benefit from Kenney’s cancellation of the Coal Policy.   

Atrum expects a post-tax internal rate of return of 25 to 26% with payback within 3.9 to 4.4 years.

It identified five key risks: stakeholder support, selenium, westslope cutthroat trout habitat, Category 2 zoning (a risk eliminated by Kenney when he killed the Coal Policy) and regulatory approval timelines (also mitigated by Kenney when he appointed Mr Pushor to head the AER and gutted its budget, leaving only the federal timelines in play).

Alberta will not benefit from Kenney’s cancellation of the Coal Policy.   

Which brings us back to Peter Lougheed. When he implemented the Coal Policy he said the beauty of this province and the eastern slopes would not be destroyed to satisfy Ontario’s desire for cheap electricity.***

And here we are 45 years later watching Kenney destroy the beauty of this province and the eastern slopes to satisfy an Australian company’s desire for windfall profits.

It boggles the mind.

*“Kenney” is used here because the PR piece was presumably drafted under the direction of the man who holds the pen.

**The Economist, Dec 5, 2020 p 28

***Hansard, Oct 14, 1976 starting at 1339

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67 Responses to Kenney’s Coal Facts and Myths

  1. Susan in Palliser says:

    Susan, I ask you to stand on the SOAPBOX and look at the slate for the upcoming Calgary municipal election. Help!
    I so appreciate your weekly in depth analysis of the Kenney/ UPC government’s actions and policies; now with this focus on the myths and facts about coal mining. Your readership may go beyond Calgary. This readership views slant to a PROGRESSIVE perspective. Is there hope at the municipal level? Is the next city council to be a reflection of the provincial themes … cut taxes, privatize and reduce services with limited vision to plan for now and future challenges?
    Susan in Palliser

    • Susan in Palliser. I’ve had my eye on the Calgary municipal election for a while now. I want to wait until I see everyone who’s put their name forward and have a chance to see what they’ve posted on their websites before I comment, but as you rightly point out, already we’re seeing the rise of the “cut taxes” candidates. I fully understand that people are worried about paying more taxes, but Calgary needs someone with vision to get us through this mess and tax cuts in and of themselves is not the silver bullet.
      You’d think we would have figured that out when Kenney slashed corporate taxes and it did nothing to improve Alberta’s economy.

    • Keith, thank you so much for these links, when the large Japanese and South Korean steel companies make it an objective to get to net zero steel by 2050, you know it’s feasible.
      The S&P article Kenney relies on in support his point that the world is not moving away from coal actually cites two multinational mines and minerals companies, one in Singapore and one in Switzerland, which are making a “managed” exit out of their coal businesses (both thermal and coking coal).
      When global coal commodity companies tell you they’re abandoning coal and global steel companies based in Asia (the last remaining big market) say they’re moving to “green” steel, it’s time to wake up.

  2. Robert L Moffat says:

    Fact: 80% of all coal consumption occurs in Asia, 50% in China and 11% in India..? 141%… This could be corrected. Thank you for the article.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I tried putting up comments, but it said your comment is awaiting moderation. Then there was no comments of mine to be seen. This happened last night. Rather odd, and very frustrating.

    • Thanks for the links Dwayne. I think the reason some of the comments aren’t showing up is they contain links which get caught by the WordPress spam filter. I don’t know why, but I don’t even see them. Sorry about that.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: I hope you can see the other links I posted. When I posted both on the same comment, it said your comment is awaiting moderation. When I posted the links separately, it never said that. I hope you can see them. Thanks for the great blogs.

  4. lindamcfarlane says:

    thanks Wow! Linda McFarlane403-999-9299 C

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Only one of my comments showed up. The other didn’t.

  6. Debra Bryan says:

    What can we do? I talked with my Mla and she said we had to wait until the next election. I have a lawn sign but what good is that? Thanks, Debra

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Join the Facebook page called: Protect Alberta’s Rockies and Headwaters and become informed; phone, email or write your MLA and copy to opposition members e.g. email J Kenney and cc Rachel Notley; also contact Minister Savage, Jason Nixon; email etc. appropriate MPs and the Prime Minister. No one knows if it this will make a difference but I find it is some sort of action. Your MLA is wrong and she can listen to her constituents and bring forth concerns, although if she is UCP member, this would mean going against her party. Write the NDP. The lawn sign is good.

    • Debra, I agree with Judy. All the steps she’s outlined will reinforce to the UCP, even a recalcitrant UCP MLA, that this issue means a lot to Albertans. We may not be able to get them out of office until 2023, but at least we’ll slow them down and reduce the damage they’re doing.

  7. Kenny does realize it’s 2021 and not 1821, right?

  8. Arnie stephens says:

    Susan, You conveniently overlook our neighbor, B.C. They are the 2nd largest coal exporter in the world. They also have 4 large new coal mines under development. . Or is it because they have a leftist government that you give them a pass.

    • Janna says:

      Arnie, we are trying to prevent the same happening here. BC is irrelevant to this discussion.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Arnold, You conveniently overlook that the title of the article is as clear as a cerulean sky of deepest Alberta winter. The text is the very largest on the page and doesn’t mention our neighbour, BC. They also have some problem pols, whom the locals have under development. Or is it because you consider them to have a ‘leftist’ gov’t that you regurgitate it.

      • Arnie,
        Janna and GoinFawr responded to your comment better than I could.
        But just for the record BC is not the second largest coal exporter in the world.
        Canada is the 8th largest exporter in the world, responsible for 3% of all coal exports,
        As far as coal production goes, Canada is the 13th largest coal producer in the world. It’s responsible for 1% of global coal production. BC produces 48% of this 1%, Alberta produces 35% of this 1%. Check out the Natural Resources Canada Factbook, pages 118 and 119.

        Click to access energy-factbook-2020-2021-English.pdf

    • Kilgore says:

      Arnie, while you’re premise is wrong, I must admit you bring up points worth consideration. One being humans and their propensity for self harm while in some delusional rapture of self service, and the other the monumental complexity of what has and is being done to ensure that future generations inherit a grey cinder instead of a planet! Yours Truly, Ice Nine PS There’s plenty of guilt to go ’round!

  9. GoinFawr says:

    “…even a two-year old knows a mountain has a peak and a wild landscape while a chunk of rock that’s undergone decades of open pit mining does not.”

    Personal anecdote, for what that is worth:

    It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Brazeau’s ‘fully reclaimed’ areas, but the last one I saw looked like a golf course, complete with metal gates on the inlets and outlets of the stocked ‘ponds’. I didn’t hear a single frog, or bird, or see another living creature.

    In other words, ‘reclaimed’ is obviously a subjective term.

  10. Dave says:

    I don’t know what is more troubling, Kenney’s back to 60’s economic vision or his governments tendency to run roughshod over citizens concerns.

    These days, it is hard to argue that coal has much of a future. If Kenney and the UCP actually believe what is in their brochure, then we are in a lot of trouble economically as a province. They seem to be putting most of their energy into fighting losing battles or battles of the past and not much in looking towards future growth industries. I would say Kenney has no economic vision, but really that is not surprising for a Premier who claims to be business friendly, but has no actual business experience or any formal education in business or economics. His claims of business credibility are a sham and would have long ago been called out in places where there is more rigorous media scrutiny of political leaders (ie. places that do not have a past history of being somewhat of a one party state).

    Getting rid of the coal policy with the stroke of the pen, is another example of the UCP running roughshod over citizens concerns. Perhaps they did it because it seemed easy to do, or perhaps because unlike the PC’s they had no institutional memory of why this policy was in place. In any event, I don’t think they spent much time thinking about how it would impact land owners, other people living in the area and nearby and the environment, if they considered this at all. As per their usual pattern, when initial concerns were raised, they were dismissed or ignored. Plans were only put on hold when it became clear how strong and damaging the political response was becoming. However, I do wonder if on hold means just waiting until the furor dies down and then proceeding anyways.

    • Dave, I still can’t understand why Kenney thought rescinding the Coal Policy was a good idea. As you point out, the industry is in decline.
      Is it about jobs? The UCP brochure asserts that thousands of Albertan are employed in the coal industry but Ian Urquhart says employment in coal peaked in 1998 at 2,985 and now sits at 1,542 workers.
      Compare this the number of workers in agriculture, a sector very concerned about the cancellation of this policy. The most recent numbers I could find come from 2015 and suggest there were more than 30,000 people employed in agriculture. If Kenney is worried about small town Alberta why not focus on the agricultural sector instead?
      https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/content_pieces-eng.do?cid=11918#fnb26

  11. Carlos says:

    I would love to understand what is really behind this push for coal. I cannot comprehend that anyone can actually believe that coal mining in 2021 is desirable and a good investment and destroy what the NDP has started with wind and solar. This is to me the ultimate display of ignorance and in the case of people like Jason Kenney, James Nixon, Savage and Shandro a full display of incompetence. It feels more like an intentional vendetta against progress and progressive forces. It is so bad that became very obvious to me. Almost like an evangelical war against the 21 century.

    • Carlos, you’ve asked the $64 million question, what’s behind the push for coal? It’s not an industry with a future. Ian Urquhart provides an example close to home. He said Canada’s leading metallurgical coal producer, Teck Resources, abandoned the Mackenzie Redcap project in 2019. It had been approved by the AER and would have extended the life of the Cheviot mine until approximately 2027. Companies don’t abandon viable projects.
      To me this looks a lot like a bunch of people who are terrified of change, but hiding from it won’t stop it from landing on our doorstep. We either get with the program or get left behind.

  12. carlosbeca says:

    I seriously would like to be able to find out (and it should be legal) how many offshore bank accounts these people have.

  13. Jerry Loran says:

    This policy has to be reversed, no question

  14. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I will reiterate the old adage. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. So, I’ll attempt to redo my other comment that got deleted.
    The UCP clearly have their own agenda, and they don’t care what Albertans think. They are clearly going backwards with their open pit coal mining in the Alberta Rockies. Who will be the benefactors of this? Certainly not Albertans. The environmental damage from things like selenium contamination cannot be remedied. The damage to the mountains cannot be reversed. There are people who are saying the mines are a good thing, as they will provide jobs for people, and will boost Alberta’s economy. The jobs given will be temporary, and most of the work will be done by automation. The paltry 1 percent royalty rate on Alberta’s coal will provide hardly anything to Alberta’s coffers. A foreign company will be the one benefitting financially, while the environment in Alberta will be damaged beyond repair. The UCP are merely pausing on their decision on open pit coal mining in the Alberta Rockies. They will carry on with it, while they distract Albertans with something else. Alberta musicians, like Corb Lund and Paul Brandt oppose these open pit coal mines in the Alberta Rockies. Corb Lund said he wasn’t making it political, and he spoke to politicians from different political parties on the matter, and he was dismayed by the UCP’s answers to his concerns. Paul Brandt, (who is involved with stopping human trafficking, which is a good thing), said he already spoke to the UCP on the matter. I don’t think the UCP will listen to Paul Brandt. Other Alberta musicians, like K.D Lang, Jann Arden and Terri Clark have also become vocal against these open pit coal mines in the Alberta Rockies. Again, the UCP won’t care. The UCP claims they will treat the environmental concerns with respect. I don’t think so. This is reminiscent of the Alberta PCs, starting with Ralph Klein. Remember the abandoned oil wells in Alberta, which Albertans now have to pay $260 billion to cleanup? Remember the flooding that happened in Calgary, and in southern Alberta, in 2005, 2013 and in 2014. This was due to the Alberta PCs allowing clearcut logging operations to continue near the Rocky Mountains. The Alberta PCs didn’t learn from the first time, and allowed more logging operations to continue, and more severe flooding happened. Peter Lougheed put in the coal policy for a reason. He would be appalled at what the UCP are doing. My late, maternal, great grandfather was employed in the coal mines in the Crowsnest Pass, not long after he came to North America, from Slovakia with his Czech born wife, in the very early 1900s. After the Hillcrest Mine explosion happened, my great grandfather realized that coal mining was a risky form of employment. He took his wife and their children who were born in that part of Alberta, (including my grandmother), and went to eastern Alberta and got into farming. The UCP is obviously on the road to defeat, due to how badly they are governing.

  15. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I also found these articles. I’ll post them here, and see what happens. What is your thoughts on these articles?
    https://www.mining.com/web/glencore-is-looking-lonely-as-rivals-look-to-abandon-coal-business/
    https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/sci-tech/2019/6/17/1_4470233.html

  16. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Sorry about the comment issues. I also found this article. What do you think of it?
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-calgary-oil-company-files-400m-lawsuit-against-alberta-government-over/

    • Dwayne, this article is for subscribers only so for those without a Globe subscription it’s about Prosper, an oil company, suing the Kenney government for $400 million because it refuses to approve Prosper’s Rigel project which has received regulatory approval. Prosper is suing for damages.
      Prosper says the government made “false, misleading, and inaccurate representations” to Prosper, failed to give Prosper information that would affect the project and tried to influence the regulatory process to delay the project. Apparently the project is near the Fort McKay First Nation.
      To tell you the truth, the whole thing is mystifying because it runs counter to Kenney’s emphasis on getting the oil sector back on its feet.
      It makes me wonder what other forces are at play here.

  17. jerrymacgp says:

    Not being familiar with the geography of the area under discussion — my perspective on Alberta geography has always been top-down, having lived in Fort Vermilion in the ‘80s, & now in Grande Prairie — I’m hesitant to comment on this issue, except to observe that in any balancing of priorities between short-term economic activity and long-term protection of the environment, the UCP will always have its thumbs on the scales in the direction of “the economy”.

    Meanwhile, out East, we have the province of Nova Scotia identifying 20 new provincial parks. Remember, this is in a province led by one of the most conservative “Liberal” premiers in recent memory … but the policy gulf between Stephen McNeil & Jason Kenny is still wider than the Grand Canyon (or the beautiful Peace River Valley at Dunvegan, site of the longest suspension bridge in Alberta … to cite some geography I am familiar with lol).

    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/02/02/nova-scotia-government-poised-to-add-20-sites-to-its-list-of-parks-and-protected-area.html

    • Carlos says:

      Jerry there is a major difference between Stephen McNeil and Jason Kenney that I would like to make clear
      Stephen McNeil is a thinking Conservative
      Jason Kenney is a dishonest Fascist

    • Jerrymacgp I can’t tell you how much I long for the day when Alberta, like Nova Scotia, will be described as a “leader in conserving unique habitats, coastline and biodiversity.” I note the NS government will conduct “formal consultation” on 12 of the sites and has listed the remaining 8 as “intended for protection”. A night and day difference from the Alberta government who slipped through an Order-in-Council on the May long weekend to eliminate protection that had been in existence for 45 years.
      Yes, the policy gulf is something to behold.

  18. Carlos says:

    I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end for this government which will come as a great gift to most of us in Alberta

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/02/03/opinion/jason-kenney-open-pit-coal-mining-united-albertans-against-him

    • Carlos, the latest twist in this sad story is Sonya Savage’s announcement that her government will unveil a new coal policy next week. This after Kenney saying the old policy was “a dead letter” and unnecessary because the new environmental regs will protect mountains, headwaters, etc and so on.
      I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Yes apparently they re-introduced some of the old policy just to throw sand on our eyes.
        The whole policy should be reinstated and the mining companies kicked out of there. Of course Jason Kenney is just not enough of a person to do that because he is totally useless and incompetent. The UCP just is not good enough to govern our province and that is as clear as water. It is up to us to continue pressure on them so they can wake up and resign.

  19. Carlos says:

    wow the UCP government struggled to give 69 million dollars to long term care facilities that take care of our parents and grandparents but to gamble on the casino they spent 1.5 billion and have 6 billion in waiting.
    This is the type of government they are so proud of.

  20. Terry Gibson says:

    I understand that if the coal mining incentives don’t work, Kenney is planning to support kerosene lamps and candles as a future industry for AB. It is too bad that Kenney didn’t have the courage to implement his proposal for recalling MLA’s. This government is way past its best before date, if it ever had one.

    • “kerosene lamps and candles” Terry: you made me smile.
      I’m beginning to think we won’t need Kenney to implement his recall proposal, He’s polling in the mid 20s, Brian Jean just published an open letter itemizing Kenney’s failures of leadership, how much worse does Kenney have to get before the UCP toss him out on his ear?

  21. Carlos says:

    This was supposed to be a reply to Terry but Word Press is in a No day and I have been trying to post for a while.
    Well Terry, Jason Kenney is defending his coal policy despite an almost provincial uproar against it especially considering that the benefits are a joke. Maybe not too bad to the UCP party because we do not know what is going on behind closed doors but certainly in financial terms it is a joke. It is time that anytime there are these kind of negotiations, a regular citizen or citizens should be present. All politicians talk about transparency but in reality never anything changes. The way government works has to be changed in many ways so that our democracy progresses and allows citizens to have a much more active role in what they buy and sell on our behalf. These are our resources and not Jason Kenney’s bank account. Much has to be changed so we can move forward steadily and in the right direction. Secrecy should be diminished and not increased like it has been happening. Ideologies should not matter if we are to move forward. We should have consensus in the Legislature instead of this constant bickering and drastic changes that just drag us all down.
    Just look at what is going on with this vaccine deployment issue. In all of Africa only 300 thousand people have been vaccinated to a total population of about 1 billion and here is Canada trying to get vaccines of the little they have in Covax just so we are in the list of the first in the world. All this happening because of pressure from the media and politicians. It is absurd and we have 30 million people and 1 million are already vaccinated. We need to grow up. Who cares about being on the list we have enough money to buy the vaccines sooner or later and we should stop this race that means nothing really. One more month is not going to make any difference and we should not let ourselves get caught in this non-sense. Let developed nations have their vaccines and protect their people as we do ourselves. We only gain on our reputation as a respectful nation.

    • Many good point here Carlos, with respect to your last point re: the “me first” approach to vaccination, from what I can tell Canada has joined the ranks of New Zealand and Singapore in scooping up covax. The EU and the US have already adopted a “me first” policy. At the end of the day the entire globe will pay dearly for our selfishness because the longer the larger poorer countries remain unvacinated, the higher the likelihood of a variant that none of the vaccines can protect us against.

      • Carlos says:

        You are absolutely right Susan
        I feel embarrassed as a Canadian that we did this so we can say that we are first in the world to get vaccinated and be on the list. It is ridiculous and a direct attack on those that probably will never be vaccinated due to our greed and lack of respect. We all become better humans if we help everyone to have the same access to protection for themselves and their families. Just because they do not have the power we have does not make them less human. Justin Trudeau and all those that are putting pressure on him should know better.

  22. GoinFawr says:

    And now as a garnish for the Used Car Partiers plate: Canada’s neighbour south has just indicated that they will NOT be selling any more weapons to the house of Saud. ’bout time too. Mr.Trudeau should follow that lead, and right smartly.

    However, back in Wildrose country I wonder if Mr.Kenney will now get the idea that it is perhaps not the best time to be cosying up to brutal monarchists, along with the companies they own and operate?

    I suppose in any case, regardless of Mr;Kenney’s potentially denying himself the further ignominy of displaying his utter hypocrisy, there is still AWzzy Gina Rinehart and her mining conglomerate for him and his to fawn over; she does seem quite annoyed with Australia, what with all the regulations and everything.

    She would never poison Alberta’s rivers though, right? Even when nobody is looking? Which they aren’t so much anymore, courtesy of the UCP.

    Otherwise by 2023 all that will be left is toxic water for Albertan’s to wash down the feast of atrociously expensive decisions Mr.Kenney and the UCP are continually serving up while telling everyone it’s ambrosia.

    Ask yourself Alberta, cui bono?

    I’m looking at YOU, Calgary-Lougheed: recall your MLA today.

  23. GoinFawr: Ms Rinehart has good reason to be annoyed with Australia, its federal government is still very pro-coal but the states and territories are clamping down on coal production. So she wisely turned to Kenney’s Alberta, apparently the last province in Canada to understand that betting on coal is as stupid as betting on KXL.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Kirsten Marcia is someone in the energy sector the UCP SHOULD be talking to:

      https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/saskatchewan-driller-hits-gusher-with-ground-breaking-geothermal-well-that-offers-hope-for-oil-workers

      With the “well limited by the hardware” yet providing enough electricity for 3K homes; that is exciting stuff.

      I mean, imagine how far that technology could have gone if 1.5 billion$, with 6 billion$ in loan guarantees had been invested into THAT, instead of the great white north’s dream of Donald T****’s presidency continuing.

      Instead of a broke laughingstock, Alberta would currently be a leader in a desperately needed, sustainable, industry. Unemployed oil workers could have found gainful, ecologically responsible jobs, practically in the same field of work they are already in! Since there are minimal inputs following the initial capital expenditure of building such electricity generating plants, Albertans could be enjoying ever less expensive, clean energy. I mean the list of benefits goes on, and on…

      Imagine.

      • Carlos says:

        Yes GoinFawr I keep imagining it every single day. The possibilities are limitless in this province. All we need is true government and we do not have it at all.
        Jason Kenney would never talk to the person who wrote this article because of course she is a communist. What an unfortunate time this is for most of us. For some of us, me included, we may never see this province have the leaders it deserves. We managed to do the impossible with Alberta. We have education, health, gorgeous landscape but somehow we cannot find our own freedom to do the best we can. More and more I am convinced that we will never reach it unless we change our completely inadequate political system.
        We do not need to look anywhere to find a failed system.

  24. dougfrenette says:

    Prescient, Susan. The government is now taking your advice (let it not be the last time) and reinstating Lougheed’s 1976 coal policy (but leaving the Australian coal mining decision intact??). Keep up the absorbing good work,

    Doug Frenette (CAA guy)

    On Sun, 31 Jan 2021 at 19:25, Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: ” The Economist considered a number of cover > illustrations for its Making Coal History edition before settling on a lump > of coal on display under a bell jar like an artifact in a museum. While The > Economist was chronicling the demise of coal the Kenney ” >

    • Thanks Doug. Good question about the Australian coal mining decision. Sonya Savage did say the that 6 projects are being explored now and that reinstating the 1976 coal policy will not affect current exploration and mining on any categories of land so I assume whatever is in place today will continue. This is why we need to keep the pressure on. The more we know about these projects the better prepared we’ll be if/when they come before the regulator.

  25. Carlos says:

    I know that many people that read this blog are concerned not only with the state of politics in Alberta but also about climate change and the overall environmental crisis we are facing.
    A book came out in late 2020 that I believe it is extremely important and that I suggest to all of you to read

    It is titled ‘HOPE Matters’ and written by a Canadian Scholar named ELIN KELSEY

    Thank you

  26. Bob Hawkesworth says:

    Hi, Susan. I’m intrigued by the Lougheed quote – the eastern slopes would not be sacrificed for cheap Ontario electricity. That comment would indicate the coal is thermal, suitable for power generation. Premier Kenney however, has indicated that it is metallurgical coal for making steel that lies under those hills. Which Premier is correct? That might be another IR to add to your list.

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