Hello Chestermere! Do you ever think of all the things you use in a day that are made out of petro-chemicals? It is truly amazing when you think of your daily life, and the impact that these products have on your quality of life. The very computer I am typing this article on was created by using petro-chemicals not only in its materials, but also in the process used to mold the plastics in the screen, the key board, and the stand. Oh yes, the chair I am sitting on is also made out of plastics. Propane becomes propylene and is then transformed into polypropylene. Ethane to ethylene to polyethylene. Detergents and synthetic fibers, which most of us wear now a days come from petro-chemicals. I mean I personally do not know how I would live without Lycra… Seriously! Yoga wear, the mats, the studio floor, the hair elastics, your favorite running shoes, the back pack you hike with, the diapers you put on your baby, your toothbrush, are all created wholly or partly from petro-chemicals. It is astonishing when you think of it, and thought provoking when you consider what life would look like without these items we have come to depend on. The question is then, how do we reconcile our desire to do better for our environment, and continue living this blessed life we are so lucky to have not only because of family and friends but because of the creature comforts we have come to expect. Could you live without your TV? What about your iPad, or cell phone? Definitely. What I mean is that you could survive. But how about heating your home and driving your car at an affordable price? What about fresh vegetables in the winter? They don’t walk here. The point is that we must protect our environment and continue to produce, and market our energy resources. The energy industry in Alberta is at the forefront of regulatory and environmental standards that protect our water, our air and our way of life. The people who work in our energy industry live here too. They are innovative, and look for ways to improve their environmental footprint at every opportunity. There have been mistakes but there have also been extra-ordinary achievements in technology that will take us forward. We have been accused of having a poor environmental record by our government. We have been told that our government will set the stage for us to be “genuinely proud”. I don’t know about you, but I already am! Alberta has been compared with 9 other oil producing jurisdictions and we are the second most stringent next to Australia. We are even further ahead than Norway for ongoing reclamation and remediation when it comes to comprehensive laws surrounding the environment. Does that mean we should not attempt to do better? Of course not. We want to be the best, but we should not sacrifice the energy industry and all the other indirect businesses that support our prosperity. The government needs show leadership in standing up for Albertans. The government should not have to be told this. Be strong and proud Alberta!
As always, we love to hear from you.
Leela Sharon Aheer, MLA