A Green Alberta
1. Stelmach pointed to Alberta's $15 a ton levy on companies that exceed the province's intensity based targets as a positive step he's taken, 4 minutes before trashing the concept of using taxes to reduce emissions.
2. Stelmach boldly proclaimed "we're the only provinces seeing real reductions [in greenhouse gases]". Now, if I had a lot of time on my hands, I'd make up a bunch of nifty tables showing the province by province change in GHG rates over the past few years to point out what a load of shift this is. But I don't have a lot of time on my hands so instead I'll simply point out that Stelmach's own environmental plan doesn't call for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for another 12 year. I know, I know, his "real reductions" are against what emissions might have risen otherwise but if homicides go up 5% no one goes around saying "we've seen a real reduction in the murder rate" just because it might have gone up 10% had more police officers not been hired.
To be fair, Ed's recent 4 billion dollar funding announcement for carbon sequestration and public transit is a step in the right direction from the guy who derisively said the ALP's environmental plan would cost the economy a billion dollars. But there's still a lot more that needs to be done.
On the same topic, Alberta Views (h/t) has a good article on the green movement in Alberta. The most interesting part is the section with Preston Manning. Firstly, someone in the media should track Preston down and ask him what he thinks of the green shift and carbon taxes (he has called Gordon Campbell "courageous" for doing it in BC) because this quote sure sounds like he'd be supportive, at least in an Andrew Coyne/Jack Mintz theoretical sort of way:
"Conservatives, philosophically, this ought to be their contribution to the environmental debate," [Manning] says. "Conservatives profess to believe in market mechanisms and they profess to understand them. Well, if that's the case, why don't they lead?"
Secondly, with all his talk about democratic reform, low voter turn-out rates, and the environment, this is definitely a guy anyone interested in renewing the ALP or creating a new party in Alberta should be talking to for advice. Manning's decision to skip the PC leadership race in 2006 was a real disservice to Albertans and I don't doubt for a second that he has a lot of good ideas that a centrist party hoping to form government would be wise to adopt.