Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Links

The groundhog didn't see his shadow today which means the Harper government is guaranteed to last at least six more weeks. Here's today's link roundup.


1. Vote Out Anders Part 82: A judicial hearing is investigating claims that The Conservative Party broke the rules in rushing Anders acclamation through.

2. Paying for those Attack Ads: Fundraising numbers from 2006 out and the Tories showed themselves to be a vastly better machine than the Liberal Party at raising dough yet again.

3. Oilsands: A couple people are going apeshit over Mark Holland's comments about oilsands development. What Holland is saying sounds less confrontational than John Baird's comments from two weeks ago and TDH goes into some detail about the practical problems with the system in place.

4. IT1: Adam Radwanski has an interesting post up on the income trust investigation.

5. The Green Paper: The UN has released their climate change report.

14 Comments:

  • Hm, now that is very interesting - I confess I missed these oilsands comments by Rob Anders when they were made.

    I don't know why the Tories put so much weight behind that Anders nomination. He is an embarrassment to that party, I think.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:33 PM  

  • Er, those oilsands comments by John Baird, rather.

    Duh.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:33 PM  

  • THere is a little bit of difference between subsidies and nationalization.

    Baird talked subsidies, Holland talked about taking them over.

    Big difference.

    Cheers,
    lance

    By Blogger lance, at 8:08 PM  

  • Baird talked about reducing tax incentives, not (non-existent) subsidies.

    And to respond to TDH, since he doesn't allow comments (emphasis mine):

    It is a fact that Alberta itself is not maximizing its own profit potential from oil sand extraction. According to the Pembina Institute's new report entitled Thinking Like an Owner, despite "record oil prices, record oil sands production and record profits for oil companies, the royalty return to Albertans for each barrel of oil sands oil declined by 32% between 1996 and 2005." Albertans received $3.39 in royalties for each barrel of oil sands oil in 1996 and only $2.29 in 2005.

    Typical statist thinking. "The people only benefit if the government gets the money!"

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 2:37 AM  

  • IH, I read the post of which you speak. I remeber thinking that there is no way to even dream of common ground with people who think like this. Those of us who have actually operated on our own for over twenty years know the only people actually benefit from something is when the government doesn't get the money. Of course, TDH being a communications guy doesn't see it this way, as Liberal communications types have certainly benefited when Liberal governments get the money; the people? Not so much.

    The conspiracy theory aspect of his royalty argument is the most entertaining part. Stuck on stupid doesn't begin to explain the innumerate idiodicy which dribbles off his keyboard. He calls cost overruns "convenient". His implication is that oilsands operators enjoy constuction contractors overcharging them because every dollar they lose to such overcharging saves them 0.25 dollars in royalties. To quote the Guiness commercial: "brilliant"!

    Is it any wonder that governments' continually dream up new and stupider ways to waste money? Someone like TDH will help them win an election and then become a senior economic advsisor as a reward and then apply critical thinking of this kind to the job.

    By Blogger Grithater, at 8:48 AM  

  • I think the Liberal Party should be more careful making statement about the oilsands.

    Mark Holland's comments (as well as Baird's) border on ignorance of the oilsands issues.

    Albertans just gave Calgary and big oil a big kick in the pants with the rejection of Dinning. The last thing we need is big mouth central Canadian MP's from either party making it Alberta against the rest of the country again.

    Albertans are restless and will deal with the oilsands issues, the 1% royalty, the export of raw bitumen, the lack of infrastructure, etc. themselves. Alberta is on the verge of a Quiet Revolution...if the federal Liberals want to breakthrough in Alberta, they should mostly shut-up, and not drive ordinary Albertans back into the clutches of big oil and Calgary.

    The oilsands are Alberta's problem/blessing. Let Albertans deal with it.

    By Blogger godot10, at 1:12 PM  

  • TDH's brilliance is dimmed considerably with the line about "pumping" the oil out of the oilsands. Obviously he knows SFA of what he speaks, as the oilsands are MINED.

    duh

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:58 PM  

  • Holland didn't say anything about nationalizing or "taking over" the oilsands. He said that you couldn't have a 500% growth in the oilsands without any form of environmental regulations - that seems reasonable enough to me.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:28 PM  

  • //TDH's brilliance is dimmed considerably with the line about "pumping" the oil out of the oilsands. Obviously he knows SFA of what he speaks, as the oilsands are MINED.//

    Err...some is mined...some is drilled and pumped. Most of the oilsands resource is actually not mineable.

    The non-mined recovery (insitu recovery) uses processes such as SAGD (steam-assisted-gravity-drainage). Some smaller companies such as Petrobank are attempting trialing innnovative processes such as the THAI process, which involve insitu combustion.

    The level of ignorance about the oilsands is enormous.

    Before yahoos, including political yahoos, comment on it, they should learn something about it.

    By Blogger godot10, at 4:29 PM  

  • Quebec is not maximizing the profit potential of is hydroelectricity because the Quebec government through Hydro Quebec sells it as below North American market rates to its citizens. Quebecers have become wasteful electricity hogs.

    If Quebecers were charged market rates for electricity, it is estimated that the electricity saved could result in a $5 billion dollar windfall for Quebec (fiscal imbalance solved) if that electricity were sold to Ontario and the United States, and that exported hydro could displace a lot of old coal power plant generation.

    Alberta is going to change the royalty regime for the oilsands. It was put in place when oil was $10-15 US per barrel, when the economics of the oilsands was vastly different.

    The record of the oilsands industry on the environment is much better than Ontario's automobile industry. The oilsands industry poses environmental challenges because it has grown by an order of magnitude from 1990 to 2015. But it has been getting signficantly more energy efficient per barrel of production over that time.

    Contrast that to the Ontario automobile industry were the feds and the Ontario government just handed hundreds of millions of dollars to GM to build a muscle car in Oshawa (the new Camaro).
    Contrast that to the declining fuel economy standards of automobiles sold over the last 15 years.

    Alberta doesn't lose if the oilsands slows down because the value of the oil is just going to go up, and the value of the royalty collected in the future will be higher because oil prices and gasoline prices will just be higher. Constraining supply only makes oil prices go higher.

    The better tax would be gasoline taxes which would accrue directly to the federal government, if you want to capture taxes efficiently from oil and "penalize" Alberta. Because gasoline taxes constrain demand, which lower oil prices, which lower the royalties Alberta would collect.

    Alberta should be challenged to come up with an environmental strategy for the oilsands, and if the Kyoto targets are not the right targets, challenge Alberta to come up with hard caps that it can live with...or how to get from intensity based targets to hard caps.

    The incompetence on the Kyoto file for the last 10 years by Chretien and Martin meant Alberta could dwell too long on intensity based targets without a plan from going from intensity based targets to hard caps. Challenge Alberta to come up with that plan.

    Royal Dutch Shell and Total are big players in the sandpit. BP wants to get back in. If Alberta comes up with a real plan to get to hard caps over time, the Europeans will play ball.

    By Blogger godot10, at 5:11 PM  

  • I consider myself suitably chastened re mining vs pumping.

    But Holland is still an idiot IMHO.

    By Blogger Candace, at 5:17 PM  

  • Its silly to say the royalty rate isn't appropriate given that it was put into place when the price per barrel of oil was much lower than it was today, and given the huge capital investment required to develop the resource to the tune of billions of dollars. I supose Liberals aren't particularly familair with the notion of "encouraging the growth of business".

    Royalty rates are likely to go up in the future simply because times have changed and we're looking at a larger profit being made as a result of it. But rather than offering Albertans advice Eastern Liberals should mind their own business as at the moment their isn't a province that's fiscally in better shape than Alberta. Hence we aren't in need of meddlesome outsiders.

    By Blogger Chris, at 3:51 AM  

  • Elizabeth May and David Suzuki have condemned the building of the Irving oil refinery in Saint John.Does Dion stand with them? Does Dion think Kyoto only applies to Conservative held ridings? If Dion doesn't join in the condemnation he looks like a hypocrite. If he does, he makes enemies with every Liberal in N.B.
    If a political pipsqueek like Dion thinks he is going to take on the Irvings without losing seven Liberal seats in NB, he's dreaming.If he doesn't stand up to the Irvings, he loses the whole liberal-left vote to the NDP and Greens in the Maritmes.
    Mr. Holier-than-thou is about to find out the cost of raising the stakes so high.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:26 PM  

  • I can't waith to see Dominic LeTrough spin his way out of that one.

    By Blogger Grithater, at 1:07 PM  

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