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Showing posts from August, 2015

The Art of Politics... And Pipelines

Originally published in a Resource Works' email newsletter on the morning of August 27th, 2015. Sign up to receive email newsletters on the main page of their website: http://www.resourceworks.com/ 

Thank you, comedian Groucho Marx, for this definition: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

There are 54 days to go until federal voting day on Oct. 19, plenty of time for political leaders to do all of the above—and to change their minds, or finally make them up—on key energy issues.


So far, only the Conservatives and Greens have spoken clearly on the big pipeline issues: Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan, Energy East and Keystone XL. In a nutshell: Conservatives yes, Greens no.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau are both against the Northern Gateway line through BC, period.

But they have taken no such definitive position (yet) on the other proposed pipelines. Both say they pro…

Magic Pixie Dust = An Energy Source Without Consequence...

By: Licia Corbella 

Article originally published by the Calgary Herald on May 14th, 2014, and can be found here: http://calgaryherald.com/opinion/corbella-join-fairy-godmother-as-she-makes-our-oil-vanish 


As Alberta celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of oil in this province, there are many people across Canada and around the world who have made it clear that they wish that day had never happened. So I thought it would be fun to play fairy godmother to those people and grant them their wish. Wave magic wand and poof! Wish granted. That black mark on Canada’s reputation has never existed. Oil was never discovered in Alberta on May 14, 1914, and therefore the rest of the country doesn’t have an oil industry either, since it was very much Alberta’s vision that spurred most of the other regions to get into the game — albeit much later than Alberta. Immediately, 1.38 million barrels a day of conventional crude and 1.94 million barrels per day of oilsands bitumen is suddenly no lo…

When Oil becomes an election issue, it is rarely good news

By: David Yager, National Leader Oilfeild Services, MNP

Article originally published in MNP's Oilfield Service News - August 18th, 2015

When oil becomes an election issue it is rarely good news. After Joe Clark’s minority PC government was defeated in 1979 over gasoline taxes in a budget, the subsequent Liberal administration introduced the National Energy Program. In 2008, Ed Stelmach’s Alberta PCs campaigned on the New Royalty Framework and won big. Alberta’s new NDP government promised higher corporate taxes and a royalty review if elected. The taxes became law July 1 and royalties will hopefully be clear soon.

Historically, the issue has been revenue; producers are excessively profitable, consumers should pay less and government must collect more. Taxes and royalties have gone up and down but, eventually, industry has been left with sufficient cashflow to maintain and grow the business. However, on multiple occasions, levies were raised first then cut later only because of devast…

Notley to save the planet... Who needs the oilsands when you have the PST?

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By: Kenneth P. Green, Senior Director Natural Resources Studies, The Fraser Institute

Article originally published as a special to the Financial Post on August 18th, 2015. Can be found here:http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/how-the-alberta-government-is-trying-to-downgrade-the-oil-sands 

Notley plans to transition Alberta away from oil, toward a knowledge-based economy


The government of Alberta has released itsClimate Leadership Discussion Document, which is supposed to inform citizens about climate change and prepare them for a public opinion survey on the subject. Every Albertan should read the Document closely. It makes it abundantly clear that despite all the nice words that the Notley government has been throwing around in meetings with oil company executives and oil and gas investors, the oilsands have very little place in her administration’s vision of Alberta’s future.  On page 7 of the document, we learn that "Alberta has much more to offer Canada and the world tha…

Climate change policy in Alberta will need a balanced approach

August 14, 2015

Published as a news release by CAPP on August 14, 2015. Original version can be found here: http://www.capp.ca/media/news-releases/alberta-climate-change-policy-needs-balanced-approach 

Oil and natural gas producers will continue to work with the Alberta government to tackle climate change with balanced and realistic solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while spurring investment and growth of the province’s top job-creating industry, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said today.
“Climate change is a complex challenge with no easy solutions for Alberta, where oil and gas is such an integral part of everyday life in every corner of the province that drives jobs, government revenues and the economic prosperity of Albertans,” said CAPP president and chief executive officer Tim McMillan.
“The Alberta government wants to do more to address climate change – but it wants to grow the oil and gas industry, too. I believe we can find a balanced approach …

Fort Mac - Catching up on itself...

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By: David Yager, National Leader Oilfield Services

Originally published in MNP's Oilfield Service News, titled "Fort McMurray Housing Under Pressure - August 4th, 2015

The housing market in Fort McMurray is experiencing a correction after several years of steady growth. An August 2 Globe and Mail article reported house prices and rents are falling and vacancy rates are rising. A four bedroom house that once rented for $3,200 a month is now available for $2,700. The unemployment rate in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake regions has doubled to 8.2%. In April, the vacancy rate for one-bedroom dwellings jumped to 21% compared to 5.8% a year ago. The average price of houses sold was $544,000 this year, down 9% from $597,626 in 2014. 

But not all the news is bad. For people accustomed to long waits and poor service for almost everything in Fort McMurray, the slowdown has some positive effects. Passenger traffic at the new airport is down 11.8% for the first six months of 2015 from the same p…

Five Things You Need to Know About Canada’s October Election and Why You Should Care About the Outcome

By: EnergyNow Media 
Originally posted on August 3rd on EnergyNow, and it can be found here: http://energynow.ca/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-canadas-october-election-and-why-you-should-care-about-the-outcome/ 
(Bloomberg) — Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 19 for the 42nd time in the country’s history. Prime Minister Stephen Harper faces the fight of his political life, with his Conservatives deadlocked in the polls against the left-leaning New Democrats and the centrist Liberals. Here are five reasons you should care about the outcome: The Incumbent On the world stage, Harper champions budget austerity within the Group of Seven, often pitted against the U.S., and is one of the fiercest critics among western leaders of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Opponents say Harper’s fractious relationship with President Barack Obama has hindered the approval of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline project, with environmentalists accusing him of moving Canada in the wrong direction. A vi…

Oil: The good, the bad, and the ugly

By: David Yager, National Leader Oilfield Services

Originally published in MNP's Oilfield Service News - August 10th, 2015

Things will get better because they can’t get worse. We’re at or near the bottom. Better times ahead.

But you’d never know that based on oil prices or the news. WTI closed Friday August 7 at US$43.75 a barrel, slightly above the 2015 low of US$43.39 set March 17 and a price unseen for more than six years, since the dark days of 2009. The commentary is universally bearish. Everyone from analysts to oil company CEOs are saying what you see is what you get for the foreseeable future. Comparisons to the great price collapse of 1986 and the 15-year nuclear winter that followed are again making headlines. It’s not awful; it’s worse.

Numerous challenges exist. Every day there’s yet another reason why oil prices will never increase or economic conditions improve. Iran. China. Greece. Global inventories. OPEC overproduction. Rising North American rig counts. Carbon taxes. …

Is The Slumping Oilpatch Dragging Canada Into Recession? That is Only Part of the Story

By: David Yager, National Leader Oilfield Services, MNP

Article originally published on August 5th for EnergyNow. and it can be found here: http://energynow.ca/is-the-slumping-oilpatch-dragging-canada-into-recession-david-yager-mnp-llp/ 

The Globe and Mail headline August 1 declared, “Canada in ‘mild recession’ after economy shrinks five months in a row.” In May Canada’s GDP shrank by another 0.2%, continuing a pattern that began in January.  While the slump in the oilpatch is well known, the biggest single decline was in manufacturing, which contracted by 1.7% compared to only 0.7% for mining and oil and gas extraction. Two consecutive quarters of economic shrinkage is the technical definition of a recession. But with the October 19 federal election officially underway as of August 2, it is unlikely the federal government will admit this is the case. With the Canadian dollar hitting multi-year lows and the lowest prices in years for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel (notwithstanding tax inc…

Part 1: Why we still need fossil fuels - Part 2: Being smart about shifting from fossil fuels

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This post contains two parts, both written Bjorn Lomborg.

The first part is an article originally published on August 22, 2014 for Forbes, it can be found here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bjornlomborg/2014/08/22/saving-lives-with-fossil-fuels/

The second part is an article originally published on July 7, 2015 for Forbes. it can be found here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bjornlomborg/2015/07/07/global-energy-targets-for-the-next-15-years/2/ 

Bjorn Lomborg is a professor at the Copenhagen Business School, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center (a non-profit think tank), and author of the best-selling book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. 

POOR COUNTRIES NEED FOSSIL FUELS FOR ELECTRICITY AND COOKING TO SAVE LIVES

What is the biggest global environment problem? Many believe it is global warming, after all, the issue gets the lion’s share of headlines and accounts for much of the hell-in-a-hand-basket environmental news we come across. But, as I previously wrote on this blog, 2.9 billion …