Let­ters to the Edi­tor

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS -

ad­vo­cates al­ways feel­ing puz­zled.

When I search out fig­ures re­lated to how much Canada ac­tu­ally con­trib­utes to global Green­house Gas emis­sions, the num­bers range from 1.65% to a high of 1.95%. Mean­ing, our con­tri­bu­tion to global emis­sions is neg­li­gi­ble. If we could re­duce our emis­sions to, say 1.5%, which would not only be sig­nif­i­cant, but prob­a­bly im­pos­si­ble, the world wouldn't no­tice. And don't for­get, we live in a north­ern cli­mate where we need fur­naces six months of the year. We leave me oc­cupy a large ge­o­graph­i­cal area with lim­ited mass tran­sit so we have a greater need to drive au­to­mo­biles. It is the big pol­luters such as the United States, Rus­sia, and China who can re­ally do some­thing.

Canada al­ready has some of the strictest emis­sions reg­u­la­tions in the world. Coun­tries like China might sign a cli­mate change agree­ment, but their gov­ern­ments are not fool­ish enough to do any­thing that will harm their re­spec­tive economies. And of in­ter­est, un­der the Paris Cli­mate Ac­cord, China can in­crease its emis­sions un­til 2030 and de­vel­op­ing na­tions may never have to com­ply.

The writer also says we have an op­por­tu­nity to be a leader in al­ter­na­tive en­ergy. I would like to point out that wind tur­bines only work when there is wind. So­lar pan­els only work when the sun is shin­ing. There al­ways has to be a fuel-fired gen­er­at­ing plant as a backup. This is re­dun­dancy and added cost. Since nat­u­ral gas is clean burn­ing, why not just have the nat­u­ral gas gen­er­at­ing fa­cil­ity? More­over, wind tur­bines kill birds and bats, which are im­por­tant to our ecosys­tem. In ad­di­tion, wind and so­lar farms use up a lot of valu­able real es­tate. Th­ese al­ter­na­tive en­ergy projects al­ways re­quire mas­sive govern­ment sub­si­dies.

Look at the mess in On­tario, where many peo­ple can­not af­ford to pay the elec­tric­ity bills. On Jan­uary 31, I lis­tened in on Premier Not­ley's tele­phone town hall meet­ing. Some­one called in to thank her for not in­tro­duc­ing a sales tax. I thought to my­self, "What do you think the car­bon tax is? It's a sales tax by an­other name". While our pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments are load­ing us down with car­bon taxes, the US is re­duc­ing tax­a­tion and eas­ing emis­sions reg­u­la­tions. Our cur­rent politi­cians don't seem to un­der­stand that in ad­di­tion to bur­den­ing the ci­ti­zens, they are mak­ing our econ­omy un­com­pet­i­tive. The April 2018 par­lia­men­tary Bud­get Of­fi­cer's Re­port es­ti­mates that by 2022 when the full $50 per tonne tax is in place, it will take 10 bil­lion dol­lars out of the econ­omy. They are tax­ing us for hav­ing to buy es­sen­tial en­ergy for our homes and fam­i­lies. The Lib­er­als are un­able to tell us how much the car­bon tax will re­duce emis­sions. That is be­cause the tax is noth­ing more than an­other rev­enue source for cash-strapped gov­ern­ments.

Many say that big busi­ness should be taxed more, but the re­al­ity is that big busi­ness can and will move to a more com­pet­i­tive juris­dic­tion. They may be able to tax the ci­ti­zens to death but not big cor­po­ra­tions.

Premier Not­ley told us that in ex­change for a car­bon tax, we would get pipe­lines. We now have an­other tax but no En­ergy East, North­ern Gate­way or Trans Moun­tain pipe­lines. We hear plenty of talk from pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments, but min­i­mal ac­tion. I sus­pect the truth is that they are all op­posed to the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line. Last week the Fed­eral Govern­ment Pur­chased the Trans Moun­tain Pipe­line. We don't want tax­payer money in­vested in this project. Kin­der Mor­gan doesn't need our money. They just need the law en­forced so they can get on with the work. I know a gen­tle­man who is a long time Conoco Philips su­per­vi­sor. He told me that, in De­cem­ber of 2016, they had a video con­fer­ence with a com­pany vice-pres­i­dent from Hous­ton, TX. This VP stated that Canada was no longer a good place to in­vest. Rea­sons given in­clude in­creas­ing tax­a­tion (i.e. the car­bon tax), in­suf­fi­cient pipe­lines and no guar­an­tee that there will ever be pipe­lines. They would in­vest their cap­i­tal where con­di­tions are more favourable. He pointed out that the US was en­ergy de­vel­op­ment friendly. They could ex­pect to ex­plore, pro­duce and get their prod­uct to mar­ket. The oil in­dus­try is a big contributo­r to our econ­omy.

When the car­bon foot­print of a pipe­line is so small, how is it bet­ter to im­port oil trans­ported in su­per­tankers across the ocean? This is cur­rently hap­pen­ing at the Irv­ing re­finer­ies on the east coast. Sounds like a large car­bon foot­print to me. What about David Suzuki? He owns mul­ti­ple homes and jets around the world. He tells us to re­duce our car­bon foot­print but look at his ex­am­ple. I find it in­ter­est­ing that he picks on Al­berta's oil in­dus­try. Why doesn't Dr. Suzuki try that in places like Saudi Ara­bia or Rus­sia, where they re­ally do have dirty oil and see what hap­pens?

Maybe the politi­cians don't hear what the oil com­pa­nies are say­ing.

The Trans Moun­tain de­ba­cle is scream­ing to the world that a few rad­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists can sub­vert the law with im- punity. Would any­one want to in­vest in this cli­mate of un­cer­tainty? And also note, that the BC govern­ment doesn't want the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line, but they have ap­proved con­struc­tion of an LNG fa­cil­ity at Kiti­mat with a new 900-kilo­me­tre pipe­line from north­east BC to sup­ply feed­stock. Isn't this going to in­crease coastal tanker traf­fic? They also dump raw sewage into the ocean and have been do­ing it for­ever.

Ja­son Ken­ney has promised, that when elected premier of Al­berta, he will set up a war room to quickly re­spond and, "re­but ev­ery lie told by the green left about our world­class en­ergy in­dus­try." He vowed to fight to get Ot­tawa to strip char­i­ta­ble sta­tus from "bo­gus char­i­ties" such as the David Suzuki Foun­da­tion. Fur­ther, he said that a UCP govern­ment would cre­ate a spe­cial leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee to probe the sources of for­eign money fund­ing any groups work­ing against Al­berta's in­ter­ests. Let's face it, folks. Some­body is mak­ing a lot of money off Al­berta oil that is dis­counted $20/bar­rel be­cause we only have one cus­tomer (the USA) due to in­abil­ity to ac­cess over­seas mar­kets.

Fi­nally, I would rec­om­mend read­ing books like Bruno Wiskel's The Sky is Not Fall­ing: Putting Cli­mate Change on Trial. Let's avoid the hype and ed­u­cate our­selves. There is more to this is­sue than the rad­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists would have us be­lieve. Sin­cerely, Wil­liam Baird

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