Saturday, June 3, 2017

Graham Thomson: Rachel Notley might yet make political silk purse from Trump's environmental sow's ear---Oh give me a break

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.
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…
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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.

Julie Ali · 
Now that the NDP and Green Party are in control of BC I doubt that Ms. Notley will get approval for pipelines.
She has no climate leadership plan in my opinion. How can a greenwashing GST dressed up as a Carbon Tax which returns the tax to most Albertans change behaviour of ciitzens? And if behavoiur doesn't change well then consumption is the same isn't it? So what does this GST do? Well it provides some revenue that the NDP folks will use for other greenwashing projects that would not be economically feasible otherwise.

Meanwhile electricity generation by coal fired power plants will be phased out ASAP. This will increase electricity prices for all citizens. I don't see why we had to go this route when these plants were being phased out already. Was the speedy phase out to beef up the weak Climate Leadership Plan?

This plan seems to be designed to make the oil and gas industry appealing to the global market and ensure the federal government agreement on pipelines. It's a failed Climate Leadership Plan in my opinion.

Swing voters like myself who voted for the NDP won't vote for this party that has lost it's values and is in the wilderness much like the PCs are.

The faliures of the PCs and the NDPCs only leaves the Wildrose Party as a place to park our votes.
It's too bad.
The NDP folks had one chance to make a difference and change the culture of the GOA and they simply lost their way.
LikeReplyJust now
Stella Benny
We shouldn't dissuade other energy sources of course. The global population should increase to 9 billion by 2030, so oil resources may only last another 50-70 years unless other viable exploration.

Although I still don't understand why venomous anti-oil, gas or coal!? Utilize this non-renewable resource now to help subsidize projects/grants for universities to discover new technologies. (Which actually currently occurs.) Oil companies also want environmental diversities and enhanced technologies. Oil companies are still energy companies...think of that, regardless of non-renewables or renewables. Shell company for example has a green energy research division, investing in wind power.

Some new advancements that are quite interesting is Spherical Sun Power generators; or harnessing more Oceanic Tidal energy (marine hydrokinetics.)

So I guess my last thoughts are; don't bust the oil companies. They also have good intentions, continued productivity, and keep profitable.
LikeReply211 hrs
Bill Williams
Donald Wiwad we have people to turn off the oil and gasoline supply to BC, get your bicycles out loser
LikeReply11 hrs
Stop Climate Change Denial at CBC
Jeff Hedrich wrote: "If it is indeed true that green power will provide substantially more jobs than traditional sources, then it is indeed true that the cost of green energy will be substantially higher than traditional sources."

Rightwingers scream and howl for a pipeline that creates 90 permanent jobs in 2 provinces, but whine and complain about a renewable energy industry that promises thousands of jobs -- with less harm to the planet we live on. There's no pleasing them.

The true full costs of renewables (no energy is green) will be substantially LOWER than fossil fuels, because they don't cost us our future. While renewables certainly have impacts, they have zero emissions during operation. No spills or pollution during operation. Their contribution to climate change and ocean acidification is minimal.

Fossil fuel producers and consumers externalize many environmental and health costs. They use the sky as a free dump. Price energy systems properly, and let the market decide.
LikeReply11 hrs
Sean Michael · 
Keith: The temporal shifting of tax deductions doesn’t count as a subsidy? It’s a measure used to help resource industries get off the ground – why couldn’t this also be applied to the green energy sector?

Your assessment of what’s reasonable and what’s not is simply an opinion, Keith. The fact that a single oil company will make billions in profits every year (except for the deepest point of a recession) would say that their royalty structure is by no means unfair. And heavy regulations – you mean measures to protect the workforce and the environment? That’s the price of doing business in th...See More
LikeReply110 hrs
Sean Michael · 
Stella: The reason for the growing anti oil/gas/coal sentiment is because of the increasing concern for their environmental impact. Not sure if you’ve heard of this thing called climate change, but it’s kind of a big deal.

The problem with the oil companies is that they’re mandated to maximize profits over all other concerns. So while a company like Shell may have a green energy division, the fact is they’d continue to push oil as long as it’s profitable regardless of the impact is has on our planet. The do not in any way, shape, or form have “good intentions”. They have a legally binding man...See More
LikeReply110 hrs
Stella Benny
Sean- in Canada (which is where I'm discussing in relation to Trans Mountain pipeline) has extensive environmental regulations and environmental safety measures. All oil companies have HSE protocols. You may have heard the term that 'health, safety & economy!?!?' No it's 'health, safety & environment.' Environment.

You shouldn't punish oil companies within Canada when they are on board with creating/extracting as eco-friendly resource as possible.

Another note: we have zero control over other countries. So chastising our own viable resource which prevents nothing in other countries is a waste of time.
LikeReply210 hrs
Sean Michael · 
Stella: Canada is per capita one of the worst emitters among first world nations.

Alberta currently has a multi billion dollar abandoned well problem that those "well intentioned" companies have dumped the cost of remediation onto the tax payer through governmental negligence.

Companies in Canada are not on board with creating an eco friendly resource sector. That is absolute garbage.
LikeReply19 hrs
Stella Benny
Sean: please don't be trite. 'Per capita worst emitter...' Canada is only 150 years old...this Canada Day will be a huge celebration, which I will thoroughly enjoy! Do you expect me to believe the production of petroleum products in Canada are worse than other countries? Canada cumulative GHG emissions is 2% into the atmosphere. How is that based on population? Why should it be based on population? Does the atmosphere change size with country population?

You seem to rationalize your defence of being environmental- absolute; yet you obviously benefit. Do helicopter's use solar panels? How about driving to golf? Carry your clubs on your bicycle? It's all dandy to be an eco warrior until you don't have access anymore.
LikeReply19 hrs
Glenn Jones
Stop Climate Change Denial at CBC - how many construction jobs? By there very nature, construction jobs are not permanent. Your argument is along the lines of an 8 year old's understanding of "work" and "jobs".
LikeReply9 hrs
Sean Michael · 
See the above link. Yes, Canada’s per capita emission are abysmal. We’re ranked as 15/17 first world nations.

How is that based on population?? Do you understand what per capita means? You take the sum of annual carbon emissions and divide it by the number of people. Per capita measurements are used to compare countries with differing population sizes. If you didn’t use per capita emissions, a country with billion people but an almost negligible carbon output would perform worse than a country with a thousand people who are the worst polluters in history. It’s comparing apples to apples.

I...See More
LikeReply19 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Stella Benny I'd like to see the oil companies do the work of reclamation of the tailings ponds as well as pay for their own orphan well program. This is work that has been ongoing for decades in Alberta with no reclamation of worth to date of the tailings ponds as well underfunding of the orphan well program.
Why are taxpayers paying for a loan of $235 million to the industry that has billions of dollars in assets? Why are we making this loan interest free with the $30 million provided by the federal government.
We subsidize the oil and gas sector enough and we should not be paying for them to do their jobs in the orphan well program.

I understand that the oil and gas industry is a major player in Alberta but they had 44 years under the PCs and 2 now under the NDPCs and we're still not making progress. Time for big oil to be responsible and take care of the pollution it creates.

As well responsible development means respect for landowners. Jessica Ernst has had to take the industry to court because the GOA fails landowners. Diana Daunheimer is similarly involved in litigation for pollution of her family's property. It's not enough to say "don't bust the oil companies"; they're got to keep their part of the bargain of responsible development.
LikeReply6 mins
Stella Benny
Sean, oil companies have made immense positive progressions when it comes to the environment. Plus sanctioned by huge fines within Canada.

The only way there's zero impact to this planet is if we literally eradicate ourselves. Do you believe hectare wind farms, hydro dams or solar panel manufacturing facilities don't have impacts environmentally?

Plus I stand by my stance; 'per capita' is a useless comparison when once again the atmosphere is finite.

Honestly turning to insults is a sign of weakness, but insult away since you're obviously so superior. Plus it doesn't create an open debate.
LikeReply18 hrs
Sean Michael · 
You call me an eco warrior but get offended when I say you sound like and oil shill? Lol, k. I'm fine to debate without insults but if you're going to start with them, don't be surprised when they're reciprocated.

The progress that oil companies have made still doesn't negate the impact they still have Stella. Doesn't matter how far they've come if they're still damaging the environment.

No one is saying we will have zero impact, Stella, but we need to have a sustainable level of impact if we want our children and future generations to prosper. Our current levels of impact are simply not su...See More
LikeReply18 hrs
Stella Benny

so let's use your argument. 'GHG's track pollution usage.' Currently Canadian population growth rate is .74%. Canada undisputedly is a first world nation, so where is the base line? If we make Canada 'petroleum savvy' the base line then we have to recognize that other countries will pursue these same luxuries, hence produce even more pollution then us. If based upon population growth...three examples alphabetically:
Afghanistan - 2.34%
Albania - .31%
Algeria - 1.77%
That's what I would be curious about.

Our air pollution output rates in comparison to other country air pollution outpu...See More
LikeReply7 hrs
Sean Michael · 
I don't know what you're trying to accomplish with the population growth hypothetical? We're not talking about future emission levels, we're talking about Canada's emissions levels right now, in the present. Speculating about which countries will exceed our own levels in the future is meaningless and does nothing to address the problem of our own emission levels right now.

Air pollution =/= GHG emissions so particulate PPM levels are an entirely different issue. Again, not sure why you're bringing that up or what is has to do with the discussion at hand?

It doesn't matter that Canada's emiss...See More
LikeReply16 hrs
Stella Benny
Well if you don't want to speculate about the future; then don't deny at the present moment the human civilization is dependent on fossil fuels. If you don't have the propensity to understand, then I can't help you.

To completely have distain for fossil fuels is to repudiate your own reliance upon the spoils of the oil industry. Your hands are just as dirty.
LikeReply15 hrs
Sean Michael · 
I've said multiple times throughout this conversation that I agree we need oil in the short to medium term. I've never once denied that we're dependent on oil, Stella. Perhaps you need to sharpen those reading comprehension skills.

And this is not about who's hands are dirty or trying to claim to moral high ground. Society as a whole has gotten ourselves into this situation and it's going to take our collective efforts to remediate it.

This is about accepting that there is a problem, and coming together to try and find a balance between the needs of the present and the needs of the future.

I don't have a disdain for fossil fuels as much as I have a disdain for denial of the gravity of our reality and the resistance to change that's holding us back. Fossil fuels helped mould our society into what it is, but human greed and ignorance is what's preventing us moving on to a more sustainable future.
LikeReply5 hrs
Stella Benny
Like how you used the word effort: meaning how I've been stating oil companies in Canada are making conceded efforts towards environmentalism and branching into green energy. Sean, did you forget that I wrote about Shell or do you randomly choose what suits your fanciful ideology.

It's not human greed and ignorance that's a prevention; it's the available technology and financial accessibility to the masses.

Ah ah ah...your terms, no future speculation. What do we have available now- renewables that will not maintain our current societal demands.

Truly I find anti-oil environmentalists are epitome of back-stabbers: 'eat the cake, love the cake, get fat off the cake, then tell everyone how much it sucks!' Lol!!

Anyway I really must go. Been fun- stay optimistic and you might be pleasantly surprised. Civil engineer- builder of the world. Yada yada...

BTW: nothing is stopping you from abolishing petroleum products from your daily life.
LikeReply14 hrs
Sean Michael · 
Listen, I know you're a fake profile just here to promote an oil agenda, but you've completely missed the point of almost every one of my comments.

I don't mind debating trolls and shills, but if you're just going to ignore everything I say then I'm done with this farce.
LikeReply3 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Stella Benny I have yet to see the progress made by the oil companies in Alberta with reference to remediation of the tailings ponds. We have no timely reclamation of these polluted landscapes.
As well the AER is the front office of big oil and provides no effective oversight of this area.
It is troubling that no one is interested in the failures of the AER to get the industry to remediate the tailings ponds before the end of this century.
Even the recent rejection of the Suncor tailings pond remediation pond was quickly retracted:

CALGARY — Alberta's energy watchdog has agreed to reconsider a plan by Suncor Energy to clean up its tailings ponds so as to take into account new technology the oilsands giant plans to use.

The Alberta Energy Regulator in March denied the Calgary-based company's plan for its Millennium mine. But the regulator said in a letter to a Suncor vice-president this week that it has reviewed the company's request for reconsideration and decided that it would be appropriate in this case.
LikeReply2 mins

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