Friday, February 02, 2007

If The Rhetoric Is True..

Conservative MP James Rajotte was on the CBC, and basically argued that the rest of Canada is out to get Alberta. The Liberals are picking on the tar sands, over-stating those emissions, while conveniently ignoring other sources. Rajotte kept referring to Ontario's coal fired generation, which is unquestionably a major problem. Rajotte also went to great pains to explain all the advances in technology that made the tar sands exploration increasingly environmentally friendly. Carbon capture was the central technology that rendered the alarmist rhetoric about 3 or 4 fold increases in production mute.

Rajotte's spin that new technologies will mitigate the rise in emissions is the preferred defense of the oil and gas sector. Let's take Mr. Rajotte, Ralph Klein and others at their word. If the rhetoric is realistic, why not tie any development to meeting these assurances? If these people are truthful, then they should have no problem endorsing a scenario where no development is allowed unless a company can quantify how these new technologies will reach the goal. In other words, to the likes of Mr. Rajotte, put up or shut up. If new development will be environmentally friendly, then why is the government fast-tracking the process and bypassing environmental reviews? Surely, if the reasoning is truly honest, the industry should welcome the scrutiny.

I'm getting tired of the "out to get Alberta" bull that we keep hearing. The fact of the matter, Alberta contributes more GHG than Ontario, despite a fourth of the population. The fact of the matter, the vast majority of recent rises in emissions are directly tied to the oil and gas sector in Alberta. This is truth, not some tribal vendetta that finds easy scapegoats. In addition, pointing to the problems in Alberta, doesn't absolve Ontario's failures. Every sector, every region needs scrutiny, but you can't ignore the elephant in the room.

With regard to Ontario, the provincial government needs to take some drastic measures on the consumption side. I would fully favor a system that allocates electrical need based on living quarters. Varying rates, based on usage thresholds, that act as a deterrent to excess. Such a system would heighten awareness, force people to look at electricity as a limited commodity and instill some responsibility. The government should also create a different billing system, and possible limitations on home sizes, to discourage building homes that are patently obscene. The government needs to legislate limits, and anything that falls beyond should be penalized on a rising scale, with the revenue used on renewable energy sources.

8 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

Actually most Albertans are quite open to dealing with the environment. The Neo-cons love to use the Liberal bogeyman going after Alberta since it helps promote fear against the Liberals and allows them to maintain their iron grip on the province. The National Energy Program did devastate the province and bringing it up is enough to keep the province solidly conservative.

That being said I don't believe we have to shut down the oil sands, but we should extract the oil responsibly. In addition all the wealth the oil has brought should be used to help diversify Alberta's economy since once the oil runs out Alberta won't be so well off. In fact with a strong economy, now is the time to create new industries and this would mean people from the oil sector could move elsewhere and still have good paying jobs.

Finally I should note only Ted Morton in the last Alberta PC race proposed doing nothing about rising GHGs. Both Ed Stelmach and Jim Dinning called for restrictions on the growth of the oil sands and efforts to reduce Greenhouse gases.

I suspect James Rajotte probably realizes some Edmonton seats could go Liberal so using the Liberal bogeyman to help keep Edmonton from going Liberal since Edmonton is not a staunch conservative city like the rest of the province is.

Steve V said...

"The Neo-cons love to use the Liberal bogeyman going after Alberta since it helps promote fear against the Liberals and allows them to maintain their iron grip on the province."

Rajotte was talking about pitting one region against another, but that is exactly what these narrow ideologues engage in.

burlivespipe said...

However, and it is one we have to start trumpetting loudly, it was a federal liberal gov't that invested millions - billions - to help the tarsands projects get off their feet. Investment and technology was a main pillar of Chretien's years, along with gaining a stranglehold on our finances. We need to remind people that a lot of tough decisions were made, but Canada -- and especially Alberta -- benefited economically from these platforms.
Now, with people like Ft Mac's mayor and council crying for a slowing of production, I think there is a serious concern in that province by many of the ecological damage that is being done in the great race to suck up the black soup. That the Cons are trying to stir up the 'fear factor' is kind of amusing, but we have to be aware that it is playing to a wary audience. We need to get in there and bang the drum, show them that despite media blowhards like C-ADler and Jackson that there is no canadian Hugo Chavez. But there is a Canadian Benedict Arnold, and that is Harpor, who would turn his back on Albertans and force some responsible development standards on B-O. Who we all know bought and paid for his first leadership win. And I'd love to see how many B-O executives and employees who are garnishing the max to the Cons, whether they want to or not.

Steve V said...

burl

That is a good point. It was those dasdardly Liberals that gave the oil companies a pass to invest.

Anonymous said...

Guys,

Its even simpler than that.

Muzzle the screaming soap box addicts (e.g. mark Holand).

Tomm

Anonymous said...

It's not rocket science. Harper governs by the polls (now that's leadership for you). Other than Alberta he is losing ground and therefore, has to make the west believe their being left out.

Just watch the polls and you'll know what he'll do next.

He's to blatantly transparent when it comes to governing, but not transparent when he makes over a 100 patronage appointments, doesn't implement parts of the Accountability Act so he can do his double standard thing.

I don't get it. Albertans keep whining about how everybody hates them (just like kids) when in fact most people don't spend their daily lives event thinking about them.

When alternatives are used what's going to happen to their economy then - they should be thinking about. A change in energy sources is inevitable.

Miles Lunn said...

Rajotte was talking about pitting one region against another, but that is exactly what these narrow ideologues engage in.

It is partly that, but neo-cons at least one to have one region solidly in their grip. If they don't use the Liberal bogeyman, they won't even have Alberta on side. After all they want deny the Liberals the ability to call themselves a national party since even though the Tories are weak in most other provinces, there are pockets of conservatism in every province except PEI so they will win at least one seat in every other province. And getting shut out of Alberta is far more serious than getting shut out of PEI. The Tories want to make sure the Liberals don't even win a single seat in Alberta since they can then start calling themselves a truly national party again, something the Tories don't want.

Steve V said...

Good point! It is also used by Conservatives to mask their own handicaps, whenever they mess up, just go the Liberal well. When my sources of MSM came out of Calgary, I was amazed to watch Klein use that to great effect, and was even more surprised how easily people ate up his ignorant, really dangerous rhetoric.