Free Money? No Thank You!

Many years ago the (then) Progressive Conservative government offered energy companies bags of money if they undertook projects the government thought were necessary. The CEO I worked for told us to create such a project (even though it would be of little value to the company) and apply for the funds. We did and were awarded millions of dollars. Why did he do it? Because when someone offers you free money, you take it…

…unless your Danielle Smith in which case you toss the money back in the federal government’s face with a pithy comment like ‘stay in your lane, you filthy blackguards!’

This, in a nutshell, was Smith’s response to Canada’s “just transition” plan. Canada agreed to the “just transition” of the workforce to decent, quality jobs in the low-carbon economy when it signed on to the Paris Agreement to reduce GHG emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Danielle Smith

You remember climate change, that thing that poses an existential threat to humanity.

Smith huffs…

Smith says Alberta won’t shut down its oil and gas industry and it won’t transition its well paid oil and gas workers into, heaven forbid, installing solar panels.

Sadly, Smith is stuck in yesteryear while other fossil fuel producing countries move ahead with ambitious legislation to reduce domestic emissions and embark on meaningful climate action.*

She complains that Prime Minister Trudeau hasn’t even picked up the phone to tell her what he has in mind.

Since July 2021 the fed’s engagement included 17 roundtables with industry, unions, and experts, 30,000 submissions, and meetings (still ongoing) with the provinces, territories and Indigenous groups. Perhaps the Alberta government was too busy enjoying the Best Summer Ever to attend.  

If Smith wants to know what’s on offer she can read the “Just Transition” discussion paper: the feds have committed to investing billions to deliver 500,000 new training and work opportunities, decarbonize industry and identify skills for the future, etc.    

And they puff…

Smith’s supporters (or bosses, take your pick) are equally outraged.

Project Confederation and Free Alberta Strategy argue “Just Transition” is worse than Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s National Energy Policy because it would shut down the industry all together. It doesn’t.  

Free Alberta Strategy praised Alberta’s “firebrand” premier for firing back at Ottawa. Yawn.  

Project Confederation said “Just Transition”:    

  • is illegal because it’s unconstitutional and infringes the province’s rights. How is an investment in supporting and retraining the workforce in an industry undergoing fundamental change unconstitutional?  
  • its ‘explicitly stated goal” is to eliminate the oil and gas industry. Not true. Jonathan Wilkinson, Natural Resources minister says the words ‘just transition’ have been misinterpreted and suggests we need a more positive conversation about where we’re heading…[one] that will create opportunities in a range of different areas, including the traditional energy sector.” That doesn’t sound like the elimination of the oil and gas sector to me.
  • it’s “insane” because Canada can’t abandon its fossil fuel industry in the blink of an eye; current or even foreseeable renewables can’t entirely replace oil and gas. The result will be reduced incomes and higher costs. This is true, but no one is suggesting the transition happen instantly.
  • it’s “immoral” because millions of people around the world burn coal, wood, and dung to survive and we owe it to them to expand the sector. Our exports will raise their standard of living. Really? villagers burn dung cakes because it’s cheaper than the alternative. What are they proposing, that energy companies ship their oil and natural gas to Africa and Asia and give it away?   
  • it’s unjust because the Feds are promising a “pipeline” to a new “green energy” jobs but given Trudeau’s track record on pipelines it will fail. Oh, and the moratorium on cod fishing was a disaster. Excuse me, Trudeau delivered a pipeline, it’s called TMX. Mulroney imposed the moratorium on cod fishing. It came far too late to prevent the collapse of the cod fishery which was decimated by (1) the shift from schooners to steam and diesel engines in the 1900s and (2) advances in sonar, radar, and other fish finding technologies which resulted in overfishing in Canadian and international waters. The moratorium illustrates what happens when a government fails to intervene fast enough to preserve an ecosystem. ‘Just transition’ is part of the federal government’s plan to address the existential threat of climate change and try to preserve the biggest ecosystem of all, our planet.  

It should be noted that Stats Canada reports that total employment in Alberta’s oil and gas sector is down by 25% compared to where it was in 2014. Which brings us back to the original question: Why wouldn’t the Alberta government support a federal proposal designed to help unemployed oil and gas workers transition to another job?

And they blew the house down

If Smith and her ilk are worried about the federal government using unconstitutional means to shut down the oil and gas sector, they can challenge the feds in court or use the sovereignty act (which will land them in court as well).

What they can’t do is lie about the “Just Transition” plan (OMG! It’s worse than the NEP!!!) to create a convenient enemy on the eve of the May 2023 election, because too many Albertans will need the fed’s support.

Or in the words of my CEO, it’s free money, you’d have to be an idiot not to take it.

This entry was posted in Danielle Smith, Energy & Natural Resources, Environment, Politics and Government and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Free Money? No Thank You!

  1. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. Danielle Smith sure has a short term memory issue, and also loves to bash the federal government, when it’s unwarranted. Stephen Harper happened to be at a global climate summit in 2015, and he also said that the oilsands needed to be phased out. Also, there is the issue of the gargantuan cost Albertans have to pay to cleanup all those oil industry related messes. It sits at $260 billion. This stemmed from Ralph Klein doing the exact opposite of what Peter Lougheed did when he was premier. Unlike Ralph Klein, Peter Lougheed never gave away Alberta’s oil to foreign enterprises, got very good oil royalty rates, without backing down, and he ensured that the oil industry in Alberta was managed in a responsible fashion, so the environment wouldn’t be put at risk. Around 18 years ago, Peter Lougheed expressed his disdain about how the oilsands in Fort McMurray were being developed in a very reckless and fast paced manner, and said there would be adverse consequences from this. When someone like Peter Lougheed has oil industry experience under his belt, he knew what to do, and what not to do. Danielle Smith is making it so that Albertans are on the hook for the costs of what the oil companies should have been looking after. The money Ottawa gave Alberta to fix these oil industry related messes was likely never used by the UCP. Consecutive Conservative governments in Alberta also lost $575 billion from accepting the poorest oil royalty rates, and blew very large amounts of money on other oil industry related projects, which cost billions of dollars. The UCP also let oil companies get away with not paying their property taxes, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue lost, which makes municipalities in Alberta have to bump up their tax rates. Hope you have a Happy New Year!
    https://www.huffpost.com/archive/ca/entry/trudeau-oilsands-phase-out-stephen-harper_n_14204028

    • Dwayne, thanks for this excellent overview and the very timely reminder that Harper signed on to the G7 commitment to make deep cuts to emissions by 2050. It’s funny how we forget such things, but that’s how propaganda works, if you repeat something often enough it will become the truth.
      Here is another link to the Harper story: https://thenarwhal.ca/stephen-harper-forgets-stephen-harper-s-pledge-end-fossil-fuels/
      PS Hope you had a happy new year. We had our usual new year’s eve, we hung out with our daughters and were in bed well before the clock struck midnight. I’m trying to remember the last time I rang in the new year. I think it was in 2000 when everyone was worried that Y2K would kill civilization as we knew it. 🙂

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I thought I’d share some great music, since it’s the New Year. Here is a composition from Elvin Bishop, and S. Colby Miller, from Elvin Bishop’s 1995 album, Ace In The Hole, Party Till The Cows Come Home. I saw Elvin Bishop 3 times live and met him. He was also one of the founder members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the 1960s. This song was also played when I saw Elvin Bishop live.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my second song pick. This is a Randy Bachman composition from his time in The Guess Who, recorded in 1966, It’s My Pride. I have this in my music collection. It features an 18 year old Burton Cummings on lead vocals and keyboards. Burton Cummings turned 75 on December 31, 2022. I saw Randy Bachman 8 times live and met him. I saw Burton Cummings 4 times live and met him. A very fitting song.

    • Sharon says:

      Dodo Danielle is ignorant and we all know that ignorance is bliss. What would she say if Albertans gave back the dirty Danielle dollars she is handing out…she needs to go now, along with her Free Alberta people. I am sure there are banana republics who would like their expertise

      • Sharon and Leila: I’m wondering how long it will take before Danielle’s supporters figure out that their leader is nowhere near as smart as she and they think she is. Her lack of critical thinking and analysis is astounding.

  4. Leila Keith says:

    dodo danielle is appropriate in name and deed…

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. It is a Glenn Frey and Don Henley composition, from 1975, Lyin’ Eyes. This is also in my music collection. It is very fitting. I saw The Eagles live in 2013.

  6. jerrymacgp says:

    The irrational hatred of the federal government and all its works is simply exhausting. The Trudeau government has sacrificed a lot of political capital on expanding pipeline capacity to the west coast, & is planning to invest billions of dollars in a technology — carbon capture, utilization & storage — that many outside the fossil fuel industry & its supporters say is unproven & worse than useless.

    The oil & gas industry is under pressure from the market, as the world gradually shifts away from burning stuff to generate heat & power & to move vehicles around, to finding other ways to do those two things. The “just transition” idea is intended to provide a soft landing for workers in the oil & gas industry who find themselves needing to make a career change as a result of these market forces.

    It’s a bit like providing career transition supports to buggy whip makers in the early days of the automobile: nobody told buggy whip factories to stop making buggy whips, but the market moved away from horse-drawn buggies to motorized vehicles and they found themselves with no market for their product.

    While Sonya Savage rants, readers in the rest of Canada write to newspapers calling upon the federal government to act more swiftly on climate change. For example, this recent letter to the Toronto Star:

    “It appears that our governments yet again need a swift kick to start taking more action on, and not just talking about, climate change…We need an immediate halt on all fossil fuel expansion projects. Instead, that money needs to be used for massive investments in a green economy and training oil and gas workers for sustainable and clean jobs…We need to give front-line and Indigenous communities actual decision-making power over their transitions, which will give those in power a real surprise at the great ideas that would result and be implemented…We need to save what planet we still have and build a resilient future for our kids, grandkids and environment…I have written to my MP, and believe he is onside to push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to see the absolute urgency of the situation to build a better, climate-safe future for all..We must ensure we avoid climate catastrophe by committing to bold climate action.” (Irene Wintersinger, Toronto).

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2021/08/14/canada-must-halt-all-fossil-fuel-projects-before-its-too-late.html

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      jerrymacgp, it’s not just Ontarians who favour more and faster action on climate change. Recent polling by the Prime Minister’s Office has shown that Quebeckers are far and away in favour of faster action. Heck, even here in Oilberduhstan, about 50% favour more action. (I’ll try to find a link to the CBC article later.)

      Sonya is Savagely ranting for the benefit of the base, but she—and her boss—are hopelessly out of touch. As that source pointed out, the Trudeau government will focus on Quebec—for the excellent reason that Quebec is where elections are won or lost. The Smith UCP have just pushed us even further into the backwoods.

    • Jerrymacgp: thank you for the excellent comment and the letter to the Star.
      As an example of the “irrational hatred” of the federal government, I read in the Globe and Mail that many Albertans don’t like the fact the transition plan is called “just transition.” That got me thinking, surely they don’t object to the word “just” (moral, right, fair), so the word they’re taking issue with is “transition.” Why? because (1) they don’t believe climate change is real and/or (2) they think technology will save our planet at the last minute. In other words, there is no need for a transition, because there is no problem to transition away from.
      They won’t come around until it’s too late. Luckily, as Mike’s statistics demonstrate, there are more of us than there are of them.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Hi Susan. For all its stupidity, Sonya Savage’s rant about changing the world order has a grain of truth. Like all good straw-man arguments, it’s a twisted (“spun” is too mild) version of a complex idea.

        The “just transition” was part of the “great reset” idea. It was (supposed to be!) a chance to fix the worst excesses of runaway capitalism, somehow making more money available to poor people around the world. I’m paraphrasing (and setting up a positive straw-man argument!) but the general idea was that the richest guys don’t need to get richer, so how about leaving some cash on the table for everyone else? Ironically, this was a talking point at a WEF meeting in 2015; billionaires telling each other they should maybe ease off a bit. “If we don’t, the peasants might revolt. So, hey guys, how about it? Leave ‘em a few extra crumbs for a while.” (Yes, that’s another straw-man argument, plus heavy sarcasm. I refuse to apologize.)

        This idea must have caused conniptions in boardrooms around the world. Nothing goads a reactionary to fury like being told he has to change something he likes. Sadly, Alberta has its share, and probably more than its share, of reactionaries.

        Combine this “how about sharing some” idea with the indisputable need to burn less stuff. Reactionary + reactionary = explosion! The UCP simply lights every fuse within reach to make the explosion bigger. “Just” means rich guys don’t get richer. Boom! “Transition” means oil executives get smaller stock options. Boom! Danielle Smith believes the oil industry is all-powerful and must be protected from harm. BOOM!!!

        Fortunately, as Lee Neville points out, most Albertans are smarter than all that. With luck, we’ll see the UCP party’s boom-boom-BOOM go bust in May.

  7. Dave says:

    First, lets start with the CEO saying its free money, you would have to be an idiot not to take it. Of course, not every CEO will, but I expect most will be smart enough to get on board regardless of Smiths incessant whining.

    Second, as I recall the NEP was about taking money away, this transition (I would prefer it called Energy Transition or something else, the word just reeks of being patronizing and overly idealistic) is about providing money. So, really not a good comparison. Of course, to some Alberta Conservatives anything the Federal government does is the NEP all over again. It’s their one hit wonder from the 80’s.

    If its any consolation, I suspect Alberta’s business leaders are a bit brighter than the current Alberta politicians who claim to be conservative and claim to be standing up for them. They are neither, however I am hopeful we will soon be rid of the those politicians as our government.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Hi Dave. I think the NEP was a price-control scheme that capped oil prices below world levels. It was legal at the time—but not anymore. International trade agreements prohibit national price controls.

      We should call the transition plans “the Smart Transition.” Weaning ourselves off oil and gas revenues will be much smarter than waiting for the next market crash…and the next…and the next…. The current UCP lack of a plan is a dumb transition.

      You’ll be glad to hear that Alberta business owners are indeed smarter than the UCP currently infesting the Legislature. Among those are the owners of Greengate Power, now building an enormous solar-panel project in southern Alberta:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/travers-solar-project-vulcan-1.6233629

      Renewable development is moving so fast that Alberta may lead Canada by 2025(!), according to Rystad Energy (quoted in a CBC report from 2020, here:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/alberta-wind-and-solar-future-1.5728757
      Ironically, it’s Alberta’s deregulated wholesale market for electricity that’s making this possible. Alberta has never subsidized wind power; I don’t know if utility-size solar gets any government backing. Even so, there’s so much momentum even Danielle Smith and Sonya Savage won’t be able to slow it down.

      • Mike, thanks for the links. A ray of sunshine (no pun intended) in an otherwise gloomy discussion.

      • Lee Neville says:

        The NEP also guarantied a floor price for Canada oil and gas. At the time, Alberta natural gas producers couldn’t give natural gas away! This is why Peter Lougheed signed it. The thinking was caps and floor pricing would stabilize energy pricing and insulate the Canadian domestic economy. We’ll never know will we? I doubt this could be done now under WTO and the trilateral trading agreements with the US and Mexico.

      • Thanks for the clarification Lee.

    • Dave, based on my experience, (I’ve been a member of the executive team of 5 CEOs and business presidents–the burn rate in these positions is high), every last one of them would grab free money if they got the chance. As I thought about it further I realized that while the project in this instance wasn’t something of value per se to the company, the training and expertise the team members gained in executing the project was valuable to them at the personal level.
      With respect to the name of the transition plan, while it may sound patronizing it’s how the Paris Agreement described it which is probably why the feds adopted the term. As I indicated above, I think the word that sticks in the UCP’s craw is “transition,” rather than “just”.
      You’re absolutely right about the analogy to the NEP being bonkers. But it’s effective shorthand: NEP = bad! Just Transition = double bad!
      No need to read the document, to think about what it says, just run with your emotions, Trudeau Sr. = bad, Trudeau Jr = even worse.
      Sadly that passes for political discourse these days.

  8. Carlos says:

    Talking about Jason Kenney’s disastrous performance as premier was a sport. Daniel Smith is a completely different ball game. With JK the ball bounced in all directions, but Daniele Smith does not believe in bouncing unless the ball is made of lead.

    It is basically impossible to understand what she means unless one is on crack.
    Her attacks on the Federal Government remind me of Putin’s savagery against the Ukraine. Her facts are as good as Donald Trump’s conversations with Kim Jong-un.

    Summarizing by the end of this pandemic and the UCP trial run we will be walking dead just like them. What a fun time to witness the demise of such wonderful province

    • Carlos, I agree with you 100%. If we learned anything when Trump was in power it was that it’s pointless to try to understand him because whatever he says makes no sense. I believe we should take the same approach with Smith.

      We must not lose heart. May 2023 is coming. Soon we’ll have an opportunity to be rid of Smith and her wretched government. I firmly believe the UCP will split if she’s not elected. That would be the best outcome of all.

  9. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Alberta, the ignorant leading the blind.

  10. Lee Neville says:

    The UCP IS the political arm of the O & G industry in Alberta.

    Duh Duh Danielle and her key winders are utterly captured – so its perfectly understandable Project (Break) Confederation and Free (Dumb) Alberta Strategy are “agin” this Federal initiative to steer economic stimulus and federal budget dollars away from the tertiary/sun-setting O a& G industry funding the UCP. First rule of petrostates is your industry donors get paid first, handsomely and often!

    How dare the Feds not fall in line with this orthodoxy here in Alberduh! How rude! Cue the whining lies. Any one got cheese? Duh duh Danielle’s foot on the floor, the UCP’s eyes locked in the rear view mirror folks!

    Let Duh duh Danielle, Sonya the Savage Minister of Let ‘er Rip and Preston Manning’s dweeby flock of clucking political vandals bleat on all Red-Queen on behalf of these becoming-irrelevant economic dinosaurs.

    Alberta and Canadian business people are pretty savvy – this Federal program will attract investment, jobs and will take advantage of federal funding for transition economic growth despite the UCP’s head in the sand. They are going to be all asking the central question that Susan raised – why are you not taking the Federal money to diversify Duh Duh Danielle?

    The longer Der Dunderhead ignores common sense, the better as far as I am concerned – she and the rest of her remedial UCP won’t see the big mighty boot in the ass come May 2023.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      “Key winders.” Now I’m picturing a wind-up toy, Danielle Smith squawk box (can’t imagine it playing music!). Brilliant image!

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Smith is fresh off a stint as an oil-industry lobbyist. Before becoming Queen of the UCP, she was pushing an “incentive program” of royalty rebates to oil companies that cleaned up old wells. In short, paying off oil companies to do what environmental regulations require them to do. Now, Queen Dannie is implementing Dannie-the-shill’s payoff scam.

      The UCP generally, and Smith in particular, seem fixated on the small oil and gas companies—or rather, their owners. I call ‘em the “Calgary oil guys,” the crowd who got rich in the ‘90s and early 2000s selling oil companies to each other. These guys own the small and medium companies (less than 100,000 barrels per day) and they include the noisiest, most reactionary group in the oilpatch. They’re the ones most likely to bitch about carbon-reduction plans and other regulations as too expensive, not practical and not needed anyway. Together, they’ve managed to delay meaningful—and necessary—improvements in Alberta’s oil industry.

      By contrast, the big companies—mostly bitumen producers–have largely accepted the necessity of carbon pricing and pollution mitigation. They’re not above whining for more government subsidies, as shown by Alex Pourbaix claiming—in 2022!—that carbon capture is “too expensive” so he needs more government handouts. (I would have told him to stick a crowbar in his wallet, and buy some more stock to make this work.)

      It’s the noisy nay-sayers who are winding the Danielle Smith squawking box. The only good thing is that, as reactionaries get desperate, they get worse. The coming election may—I hope will—be a turning point. We’ll see if Albertans will choose to move forward, or double down on stupidity.

    • Lee and Mike, thanks for all your comments. I just finished reading the Breakenridge article which complains that Trudeau is “politicking” over a just transition.

      I didn’t understand why the words “just transition” bothered people so much until I read Mike’s comment about the tie-in to the “great reset.” (makes more sense now Mike). I agree that the word “transition” scares the bejeezus out of them for the reasons both of you had laid out.

      According to political scientist Jared Wesley the feds don’t need Smith to support the plan, they can distribute these funds directly to the Albertans who need it (although you’d wonder why they’d bother given all our whining). Wesley also points out that the sovereignty act couldn’t block the use of the federal spending power on individuals and corporations.

      In the end all this running around with our hair on fire is just another example of Smith and the UCP tuning up their base for the May 2023 election. They can’t win on policy, so they have to resort to rage-farming.

  11. Mike J Danysh says:

    Memo to Rachel Notley, Justin Trudeau and Jonathon Wilkinson: if Danielle Smith and the UCP hate being “just” and doing a “transition,” let’s pick a better name.

    Alberta needs a Smart Transition.

    • Mike, the federal natural resources minster referred to it as “sustainable” transition or something similar. Seems to me it doesn’t matter what the feds call it. Smith and the UCP will continue to freak out.

      The thing that drives me crazy is the plan (as Jerrymacgp points out above) is a career transition plan for oil and gas workers who become unemployed as the industry responds to market forces. It is NOT a plan to shut the sector down.

      If Smith and the UCP want to gripe about something real they should focus on federal legislation that arguably encroaches on the province’s jurisdiction over its natural resources.

      Oh wait, Kenney already tried that. Alberta lost the “carbon tax” case at the Supreme Court of Canada and there’s a good chance it will lose its challenge to the federal Impact Assessment Act as well. The Supreme Court will hear that case in March. Things will get very interesting here in Alberta if the Court renders its decision before May 29, 2023. If it rules against Alberta I suspect Barry Cooper will go Popeye on us, (“That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!) and pressure Smith to put a separation referendum on the ballot.

      Fun times ahead.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Hi Susan. I think Minister Wilkinson was talking about “sustainable jobs,” which is somewhat less of a loaded term than (shudder) “Just Transition.” As you say, it won’t matter to Smith and the UCP. If it ain’t oil, they’re gonna boil.

        I wonder if the UCP are scared of being shown up by a Fed government that actually Does Something for laid-off workers. I still haven’t heard if Jason Kenney’s half-hearted transition plan is even quarter-funded, or one-eighth used.

        I actually hope you’re right that Barry Cooper, or someone, will force Smith’s hand. For now, they’re afraid to use the Sovereignty Act. They might get some traction with a lawsuit using “they can’t make us cut production” for an excuse. The rest of their foolishness is at best grandstanding for the Base; at worst, it’s delusional.

        Meanwhile, Smith has started her election campaign by running against Justin Trudeau. That won’t earn her any votes she doesn’t already have. Smith’s offensively defensive tone sounds like a bully who wilts when someone pushes back. Her latest presser was heavy on “Don’t tell me what to do!” and “Don’t make me press this button!” If there was anything constructive in it, I haven’t heard what it was.

        I hope Notley et al are clever enough to capitalize on that offensively-defensive mindset. That’s why I think using “Smart Transition” for a made-in-Alberta solution has a better chance of being well received. Plus, it’s not tied to the WEF and the “great reset” boogeymen (yet).

  12. Carlos says:

    I was trying to reply to a Susan’s reply and I know that it rarely works for me so I will post this as a new message

    ‘In the end all this running around with our hair on fire is just another example of Smith and the UCP tuning up their base for the May 2023 election. They can’t win on policy, so they have to resort to rage-farming.’

    This is a great sentence and I agree 100% – these people cannot govern Alberta competently and it is very obvious that Daniele Smith is ready to sacrifice good jobs by not helping develop a renewal energy that is fundamental for our future regardless of the backwardness of the UCP.

    In fact we are lucky that these new industries are so Successful and cheaper than coal or fuel. So what is it that Danielle Smith does not understand? She is just playing to her base of extreme right wingers. Why the premier cannot understand the obvious? We can have both industries going and we are trying to move those from oil and gas that lose their jobs to transition, or if Danielle Smith has a problem with transition, we can call them reemployed to the new industries. This is not right or left politics, this is obvious and if Danielle Smith is not ready to govern no one should vote on this crap. This is absolutely demented as far as I am concerned.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Carlos, it’s clear by now that Smith is utterly a creature of the oil industry. Remember, her last job, before Queen of the UCP, was industry lobbyist. Her pet project was the “incentive program” of royalty rebates to oil companies that cleaned up old wells. In short, paying oil companies to do what environmental regulations require them to do. Now, Queen Dannie is implementing Dannie-the-shill’s payoff scam.

      Even worse, Smith is only the latest–and worst–of a long line of captured politicians. I believe the problem is not the major players, Syncrude et al. They accepted years ago (specifically, 2015) that carbon pricing is necessary. It’s the little guys—owners of small and medium size companies–who are balking. Smith is using their playbook.

      Smith and Savage are using the tried-and-true tactics of “viewing with alarm,” “viewing the matter darkly” and various straw-man arguments (e.g. “They want to shut down oil tomorrow!”). None of it makes sense, and none will convince anyone who doesn’t already believe it. Sadly, about one-third of the province does believe it.

      But there’s good news, too. Renewables are growing, despite the UCP. They may not help, but at least they’re not hindering (openly). Wind and solar power are now well established, and growing. Here’s some recent good news:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/road-ahead-solar-wind-power-advantage-1.5769515
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/what-on-earth-solar-power-alberta-1.6695287
      There are a couple more examples in my reply to Dave, above.

      • Carlos says:

        I fully agree with you Mike
        Yes we are lucky that the market is now on the side of renewables. They all want to be the oil martyrs but it will not be long when we will all be questioning how we got so hooked on oil and the pollution we have created.

        Climate Change is a big issue but we have not even started addressing the rest of it which in my opinion will be way more difficult to deal with – the spread of chemicals and drugs in our water and air that we are consuming daily.

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