ps controlling the cost of electricity with caps on the prices we will be paying big bucks for electricity for no damn reason that I can determine. The coal fired plants were being phased out slowly and the speedy withdrawal of these plants with the use of billions of dollars of public money is the dumbest of all the dumb things that the NDPCs have done. Why waste public dollars to speed up decommissioning of the coal fired plants, increase our bills and thereby burnish the reputation of the oil and gas industry globally? Why do we have to subsidize this media campaign? Why do we also have to "loan" the oil and gas industry $235 million dollars with $30 million coming from all Canadians to pay the interest on this so called loan that will probably be forgiven and forgotten about as soon as we hire the Wildrose folks in the next election? Why would any citizen consider the NDPCs to be doing a good job? They are rank amateurs who have copied the PCs in every way and are worse than the PCs. Fumbling. Self interested. Not interested in the public interest. Indifferent to the little guy and little gal despite all the baloney about being the peoples' party. There is no way that any Albertan will go through this fiasco twice.
Graham Thomson: Rachel Notley might yet make political silk purse from Trump's environmental sow's ear
Published on: June 3, 2017 | Last Updated: June 3, 2017 9:43 AM MDT
Graham Thomson: Trump's Paris pullout puts pressure on Alberta politics
Edmonton Journal political affairs columnist Graham Thomson speaks about the varying effects that US President Donald Trump's pullout from the Paris climate change agreement could have in Alberta's political circles.
When President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change this week, I’m pretty sure he didn’t give a moment’s thought to the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast.
Not that Trump is even aware of its existence or, if he were, would he care.
But his decision to thumb his nose at global efforts to combat man-made climate change promises to create more problems for the already troubled project on at least two fronts.
The incoming NDP-Green coalition government in British Columbia will no doubt feel energized to fight even harder against the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion.
And in Alberta, critics of the Rachel Notley government will argue even harder for the premier to scrap her Climate Leadership plan — with its carbon tax — so that Alberta’s policies are more in line with those in the U.S. (a country that is both our largest energy customer and competitor).
Even before Trump’s actions, Notley was caught in a vice between left-wing B.C. politicians (who think she’s not doing enough on climate change) and right-wing Alberta politicians (who think she’s doing too much).
Trump is inadvertently helping tighten the vise a little bit more.
But that might yet work to Notley’s advantage.
She is not changing Alberta’s climate policies, either to appease politicians across the Rockies or placate politicians across the aisle.
By taking the middle road — by standing up to “extreme” positions from the left and right — Notley can position herself as the reasonable politician trying to balance the economy with the environment.
It’s a position being taken by leaders not only worldwide, but also across the U.S., where governors, mayors and business figures have condemned Trump’s move as they pledge to continue their own fight against climate change.
Notley is already winning some applause from conservative observers for her “Mark my words, that pipeline will be built” comments Tuesday.
If you didn’t know those defiant comments were from Alberta’s first NDP premier, you’d swear they were from a Progressive Conservative premier of the past, a Peter Lougheed, maybe, or even, gasp, a Ralph Klein.
As for her conservative critics in the legislature, they had better be careful how closely they parrot the Trump administration on climate change.
On Friday, American journalists pressed Trump’s officials on whether the president still thinks man-made climate change is a “hoax,” as he has tweeted in the past.
The officials danced around the issue, refusing to give an answer, while trying to recast the question in terms of the economy rather than the environment.
Their problem, of course, is that if Trump’s opposition to the Paris agreement is in fact based upon a belief that man-made climate change is a fraud, he would become an even larger laughing-stock globally, as if that was possible.
It would be an argument so loony as to be indefensible to anyone outside the tinfoil hat brigade.
Similar reasoning seems to dribble out of the Wildrose caucus from time to time.
Even though leader Brian Jean has in the past declared, “Man-made climate change is real and we need to tackle it head-on,” some of his caucus mates have let loose a drivel of ill-informed climate-change denial comments that would make Trump proud.
Notley, of course, hopes that never stops.
She’d like members of the Wildrose and the PCs, as they consider merging themselves into the United Conservative Party, to continue making comments that paint themselves as extreme and unreasonable.
In a fundraising speech Thursday night, she reached out to “progressive” conservatives who “are feeling like they no longer have a political home.”
“I ask you to take another look at our government, our party and our record,” she said.
Trump’s walk away from the Paris agreement might very well make life more difficult for Notley on the pipeline front.
But if her opponents at home and in B.C. overplay their hand, she might yet be able to work it to her political advantage.