Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Week in Alberta - Blue Grits

Very interesting, both because of the message and the messenger:

Signalling a major shift in the party's energy policy, the Alberta Liberals unveiled Monday several proposals for revamping the sluggish oil and gas sector, including lowering royalties in some cases.

Calgary Grit MLA Dave Taylor, the party's energy critic, said the province's main industry is hurting, especially companies involved in natural gas.

While weak commodity prices have converged with a significant expansion of shale gas production in the United States, the Stelmach government's constant royalty changes have added to an uncertain climate for producers and investors, Taylor contended.

"The oil and gas industry is the backbone of our economy," Taylor said in Calgary, as he released the party's new oil and gas policy.

Personally, I favour high royalties. I think the government should squeeze as much out of the oil companies as they can - after all, it's not like the oil is going anywhere if drilling slows.

But this is a great strategic move from the ALP. The biggest stigma the party faces is that it's "un-Albertan". And the perception that they're battling with the oil companies doesn't help - even last election, Stelmach revived the ghost of the NEP.

Beyond the message itself, I like that they're doing this early - with the Wildrose Alliance surging, Alberta politics has entered an unusually turbulent two year pre-writ period. Now's the time to position yourself, not during the election.

The use of Taylor to deliver this message is also an interesting, and welcome, decision. Yes, you want to put your leader front-and-centre, but there's nothing wrong with using designated hitters for certain issues/constituencies - consider Taylor the Liberals' response to Ted Morton.


-Another defection from the PCs to the Wildrosers

-Someone by the name of Flanagan writes about Alberta's political culture. I don't know who he is, I've never seen him in Alberta, but the article does make for an interesting read.

-Rick Mercer rides a roller coaster with Danielle Smith

-Daveberta on Smith's free ride with the media


  • You know, I can almost smell the fear on David Swann from here. There is nothing worse than being seen as a completely irrelevant Opposition, as a neophyte third party comes up from behind and violently storms the political world.

    That being said, this is a good move on the Alberta Liberal's part. Same with the NDP's recent "town hall" meetings on healthcare. I suspect that a Liberal vote that holds will play an interesting role in 2012.

    By Blogger Kyle H., at 11:58 a.m.  

  • I got momentarily excited when I read "Calgary Grit, MLA".

    By Blogger Josh, at 1:12 p.m.  

  • Volkov - Even though the Liberals always get dismissed as irrelevant, they still do have a 25% vote share in the province. I'm not saying they win, but in a competitive election, they will matter.

    And, not to get too far ahead of ourselves, if Alberta does get its first ever minority government next election, the size and composition of the ALP caucus will be important.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:14 p.m.  

  • The biggest stigma the party faces is that it's "un-Albertan".

    Perpetuated even by themselves ... I still remember the letter that came with memberships that said the Liberal party is an alternative to Albertans. Literally that means Liberals aren't Albertans!

    Proof-readers! With all the pro-Liberal students, you'd think we could find a few. :)

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:29 p.m.  

  • Now I know why the Alberta Cons want to change the Licence plates .... all of them say "Wild Rose Country"

    This is the first political party to say that they do not believe in Global Warming/Climate Change ... GREAT for them ... the first Federal Party that agrees with the Wild Rose Party will get my vote, which will it be, a LIEberal or Non Democradic Party or the Cons. (Not holding my breath though.)

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 2:52 p.m.  

  • "Clown Party" - your name says it all.

    Please, tell me, Clown - why don't you agree with 95% of climatologists? Is it because you're a rebel, or distrust science? Really, I want to know one good reason why you do not accept the theory of climate change. Just one. Go!

    By Blogger Kyle H., at 3:28 p.m.  

  • Have the Alberta Liberals booked a phone booth yet so they can hold their annual convention?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 p.m.  

  • Hey, for those who remember the 70's, the Ontario Liberals used to run to the right of the Bill Davis PCs. There are more blue grits out there than you may think.

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 6:16 p.m.  

  • "I want to know one good reason why you do not accept the theory of climate change. Just one. Go!"

    Emphases on THEORY. Just follow the money, it has nothing to do with Climate Change/Global Warming. It has been getting cooler over the past years in case you didnot notice. I am all for fighting pollution but carbon is essential for life, In case you did not know every time you breath you exhale carbon whhich the trees absorb.

    One of my reasons:

    "In Canada the number of stations dropped from 600 to 35 in 2009. The percentage of stations in the lower elevations (below 300 feet) tripled and those at higher elevations above 3000 feet were reduced in half. Canada’s semi-permanent depicted warmth comes from interpolating from more southerly locations to fill northerly vacant grid boxes, even as a pure average of the available stations shows a COOLING. Just 1 thermometer remains for everything north of latitude 65N – that station is Eureka. Eureka according to Wikipedia has been described as “The Garden Spot of the Arctic” due to the flora and fauna abundant around the Eureka area, more so than anywhere else in the High Arctic. Winters are frigid but summers are slightly warmer than at other places in the Canadian Arctic.

    In case you missed that: "Just 1 thermometer remains for everything north of latitude 65N – that station is Eureka."

    How is that for a starter, They might as well have one for the rest of Canada - they would probably pick Vancouver (since they do not know what cold is.)

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 7:53 p.m.  

  • Emphases on THEORY.

    I stopped reading right here. You clearly don't know what a theory is. You're probably one of the same people that believes evolution is false because its only a theory.

    Lets set the record straight: a theory is an idea that has been proven with evidence, peer-reviewed, and accepted as the standing facts/mechanics until another theory, which explains even more, comes along.

    For instance: gravity is still a theory, yet we all know it exists. The expanding universe is still a theory, yet we know it occurs. Music theory, is still a theory, yet we know it exists.

    And when people start off a refutation with "emphasis on THEORY," you know, right off the bat, that they have no idea what they're talking about.

    By Blogger Kyle H., at 9:14 p.m.  

  • OK the whole climate change thing is a bit off topic, but anyways... This whole royalty thing comes off as disengenous to say the least.

    The Liberals still have Taft's video blog calling for a 20% increase in royalties and now they're saying they "shouldn't have remained silent about the increase." Well they weren't silent, they were calling for an even bigger take.

    The only thing I think this strategy does is move votes to the NDs. I certainly don't see them gaining any new centre-right voters with this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:10 p.m.  

  • Volkov

    As I can see you do not like to look at evidence because it proves you might be wrong.

    You went off on a tangent and not look at the answer to your question of proof.

    "... until another theory, which explains even more, comes along."

    That is what is happening today - Climate Changers have been cooking the books to get grants and spread their religion of Global Warming - of which you appear to be a member. Who controlled peer-reviewed, - the Global Warmest - and did not permit those who opposed their view to get printed.

    If you can divert your eyes to the truth, which you seem to avoid, consider the following:

    The latest IPCC fiasco looks even more damaging. In the 2007 IPCC report that Mr. Weaver said revealed climate change to be a barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles, it turns out one of those missiles -- a predicted melting of the Himalayan ice fields by 2035 -- was a fraud. Not an accidental fraud, but a deliberately planted piece of science fiction. The IPCC author who planted that false Himalayan meltdown said the other day "we" did it because "we thought ... it will impact policy makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action."

    That is two reasons, now what is your reason for believing in Global Warming/Climate Change? If they lied about the Himalayan meltdown how can you trust anything they say?

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 1:18 a.m.  

  • Good post and interesting comments!

    (by the way, clown party, your point about carbon being tree food and therefore good for the earth doesn't make sense if the number of trees isn't increasing along with the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    Trees can't just absorb an unlimited amount of carbon each - if we cut down trees AND increase our carbon emmissions, it won't matter that trees absorb carbon. Just like if spaghetti and giant meatballs started falling from the sky - it's food for people, so it should be good for people! except if more falls than we can actually eat, eventually giant meatballs falling from the sky will result in negative consequences for mankind.)

    By Anonymous amanda_k, at 12:29 p.m.  

  • Not to mention that a heck of a lot of that CO2 is in the oceans making them more acidic and killing things; or way way up in the atmosphere, where there are no trees at all.

    By Blogger Holly Stick, at 1:45 p.m.  

  • I need some help here. I went to university for 10 years and obtained degrees in Philosophy and Law, but I acknowledge that I never took any classes in Economics or Business, so maybe that's my short-coming.

    I've been trying to understand what seems to me to be the contradictions in the propaganda from the free market proponents and the reality of their positions.

    See, as I understand this "free market" thing, if I own something, and I want to sell it, than I will sell it at the highest price the market will bear; if I try to sell it at a higher price than the market will bear, potential purchasers will not purchase it.

    So when it comes to the natural resources in Alberta, we the citizens "own" the resources, and the oil and gas industry are the (potential) purchasers. Now we do want to sell it to them (because there's nobody else to buy it), but we also want to get the best price we can.

    Now again, the way this whole theory (and it too is a theory) is explained is that "Well, the market sets the price. If the same thing can be obtained from some other vendor at a lower price, then that's the vendor that will get the sales."

    But the Royalty Review and the Alberta Auditor General both have indicated that ours is already by far the "lowest price" around, and that it could be increased significantly yet still be the lowest price around.

    So when it's recommended that we do that, and the Government appears to be somewhat sympathetic to that notion, the oil and gas industry (the purchasers) goes ballistic.

    Now I can understand them going ballistic from the perspective of any purchaser (I'm not going to pay any more than I absolutely have to pay), but to put in the context of it somehow being anathema to the free market system just does not logically follow.

    It seems to me that it's entirely in accord with the free market system.

    Unless, as I say, the apparent deficiencies in my education prevent me from truly understanding the subtle nuances of the free market system.

    One final comment before reiterating my initial question. I have read the work of John Kenneth Galbraith, John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith, and pretty all of the European and British philosophers from the 1500s onward (much of which is actually pertinent), but I confess, I haven't actually read anything by Milton Friedman.

    Perhaps that's the deficiency.

    Can somebody please explain (in terms I can understand)?

    By Anonymous Brad, at 9:20 p.m.  

  • I agree with Volkov, CP clearly does not understand science.
    I would say that CP is unfortunately one of many in Alberta and Canada that don't understand science and how it works. Its not just climate change and evolution that they reject. They reject science based medicine and accept alternative medicine. If alternative medicine actually worked and could be scientifically proved it would drop the "alternative". We need a serious discussion on climate change and how to mitigate the problem. I think we also need a major overhaul on science education in this province but the ignorance is staggering. People don't know the difference between climate and weather, local and global data, and so much more.
    Alberta obviously needs the oil sands for along time and the world still needs oil for decades to come but Alberta needs to stiffen the environmental regulations on the oilsands - not just the C02 but the tailings, and water consumption. How can we solve these problems if one side just denies and closes it ears and eyes to the problem?

    By Anonymous Jim, at 10:35 p.m.  

  • Jim,
    I can see why you (as a typical LIEberal) agrees with Volkov, if you are afraid to look at the facts you change the subject. Volkov appears not to look at what I presented to “give one proof” against the religion of Global Warming/Climate Change - afraid that I might be right.

    Too bad you do the same thing. You do not even look at evidence that I presented and went off on rabbit trails away from what I was talking about.

    First of all I am not "they." True science does not use consensuses - they use facts (and the Global Warming data is skewed to fit a computer model - not science.)

    Then you go completely off topic. Where in above posts did I ever mention the subject of:

    "They reject science based medicine and accept alternative medicine." Where do I even mention medicine? Where do I even suggest that I accept alternative medicine? That was not the subject of discussion. It is just like LIEberals avoiding Ad-scam.

    "We need a serious discussion on climate change and how to mitigate the problem." First thing that one has to agree upon is the data, and your God Al Gore and Dr. Fruitfly do not use science (raw data) but fear mongering. In Britain, before the "Incontinent Truth" is shown publically a disclaimer is read to state that there are at least eight mistakes (including the hockey stick graph.)

    "Alberta needs to stiffen the environmental regulations on the oil sands - not just the C02 but the tailings, and water consumption." Now this is talking pollution - which I agree that should and is been looked at by oil industry. They are building a pipeline to take polluted emissions and direct them into the ground which will help production from old wells. The water consumption is not as great as before because of newer technology and the tailings are looked at presently. (Of course you fail to mention that tar literally is on the surface and has been there long before 1492.) By-the-way Alberta has stiffened the environmental “carbon emissions” and already set standards (and fines) – only province in Canada to do so. (Ontario power generating plants produce more “carbon emissions” than the tar (oil) sands.) The best would be nuclear power plants – if they are so dangerous why not shut down the ones in Ontario? There is very little emissions from this source of power.

    “How can we solve these problems if one side just denies and closes it ears and eyes to the problem?”

    That is the problem; you refuse to look at other positions on subject, even though there is skewed data on your side. Until you even acknowledge that I am wrong with what I present, you (and I) will never change our views. For instance I dare you to read the following from somebody that has studied sae levels:

    After reading the whole thing, lets debate (if you know how.) Until then, you can go on believing your religion of Global Warming, and as those who were in control of data and peer-preview are exposed as hoaxers. I guess the above link makes another “Proof” of Global Warming/Climate Change proven wrong.

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 6:24 a.m.  

  • This is more proof that the THEORY of Global Warming/Climate Change is falling apart, that the followers of this religion cling to. Too bad you refuse to open your eyes. The sad part is that the children have been taught that all this fear mongering is a fact - as Dr. Fruitfly pushes. Fighting pollution is what we should be concerned about, not following a religion of lies.

    "Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall said: “It’s one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science.” He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study’s conclusion."
    One of the comments, I am sure you will not like:

    “Are all of these withdrawals and revelations occurring now because of the strength of the vast fossil fuel funded skeptic industry..”

    You, like most followers have been kept in the dark about the mission funding. Open your Own Eyes an Look For Yourself, Think For Yourself.

    At the bottom of this page:

    From the Climate Research Units own web site you will find a partial list of companies that fund the CRU. It includes:

    British Petroleum, ‘Oil, LNG’
    Broom’s Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre, ‘Food to Ethanol’
    The United States Department of Energy, ‘Nuclear’
    UK Nirex Ltd. ‘Nuclear’
    Sultanate of Oman, ‘LNG’
    Shell Oil, ‘Oil, LNG’
    Tate and Lyle. ‘Food to Ethanol’
    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, ‘Nuclear’
    KFA Germany, ‘Nuclear’
    World Wildlife Fund, ‘Political Advocates’
    Greenpeace International, ‘Political Advocates’

    You might what to check out what these and the other funding companies actually do.

    So can you climate scientologists please stop with the skeptics in the pockets of Big Oil thing, it’s getting old. These companies have been funding the CRU for years and years. British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell were in there right at the start in 1974.
    Don't let the facts bother you though, I still think you will use the "oil" companies support of deniers to continue overlooking the facts that they support the religion of Global Warming - for profit.

    I guess this is another proof that you do not want to accept.

    By Anonymous Clown Party, at 12:17 p.m.  

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