Hello Chestermere! I first would like to apologize for not attending some of the great events held this past week in our lovely little city. I was looking forward to the Butterfly Gala, but unfortunately I was in a serious rear ender on the QE2. I had my gown ready and was so pumped to attend this amazing function, but my body was just not having it. So I am writing this article from my bed as I heal. I would like to express my deep gratitude to the emergency doctors and nurses at both Strathmore Emergency Services and Foothills as well as the lovely paramedics that were on shift that night. Our front-line people are incredible, thoughtful and kind and what was truly amazing was not just the incredible care I received, but also seeing and hearing how they dealt with the many cases that come through their doors. They speak with kindness and treat all individuals with such compassion.
So, to pipelines! Did you see that the environmental activist group Lead Now cancelled their protest in Edmonton when they found out there was a counter protest and a positive rally in support of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, giving the facts versus the fear mongering that we have been subjected to. It is time to stand up proudly, and loudly for our responsible resource stewardship! As I write this, understand that New Brunswick has a refinery and guess whose oil they are refining. Not our home-grown product…nope…Saudi Oil. No assessment of upstream and downstream emissions there, folks. I wonder how that plays into our Premier’s and Prime Minister’s Climate Action Plans that supposedly were going to get us the social license we supposedly needed to get our products to tidewater. Are we going to allow our governments to destroy our prosperity? Where is our domestic energy policy? Where is the energy literacy? Why are we importing oil? If Energy East had not died the death of a thousand delays, we would be able to move up to 1.1 million barrels per day of Alberta crude to Eastern Canadian refineries. Billions of dollars a year would be staying in Canada and supporting Canadians’ jobs and the services they need. But that dream died with these new governments and they can take on the full responsibility for losing this access within our own country. These governments should be ashamed. Opponents of Energy East wanted to put a stop to oil sands production, and to continue the vilification of our responsible resource development. The anti-petroleum movements are growing, folks, as seen in B.C earlier this week. There are issues of violence against our RCMP, court orders, injunctions, and attacks on our prosperity by the very people the Alberta NDP hired to work on the Oil Sands Advisory Group. Both Tzeporah Berman and Karen Mahon have been arrested. Just as a quick reminder, Berman was paid almost $23,000 to “advise” the Premier and at the same time advocated against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. She compared our Oil Sands to Mordor and supports the B.C NDP in trying to kill the Trans Mountain project. I would also like to share with you some of the language used by our provincial government while overseas in Paris at the COP 21 when our Environment Minister was first elected. She said
“This will be the first time Alberta will be able to hold its head high,” said Shannon Phillips, who will attend the conference as Alberta’s environment minister.”
This statement made in 2015 was no surprise then, and was followed by comments by our Premier that we are “embarrassing cousins” followed by my personal favourites – “climate deniers” by the Minister of Environment and “Sewer Rats” by our Health Minister. Name calling is really the only defense of the provincial government these days, and it is symptomatic of a Government whose failed policies, attacks on its own people, and seeming distaste for the province it represents is its only legacy. Did you know that Canada is responsible for less than 2% of the worlds total emissions? Did you know that our Oil Sands account for just under 8% of Canada’s Greenhouse emissions, and that is about 0.14% (yes, that’s right, .0014) in the global picture? Those statistics are from the United Nations in 2013. I am curious to find out how these environmentalists made their way to their protests. What were they wearing? Were they wearing clothes made in Canada that contain no petroleum products in them? Do they colour their hair, wear makeup? Do they use a cellphone, or tablets or computers to send out their fear mongering? Do they use any plastic at all? They certainly had no problem hitting the water in plastic kayaks. There are so many initiatives that our industries are pursuing to become more efficient, to use less water and to restore the environment to its original beauty once the resources have been extracted. We are far from perfect, but as the need for carbon-based fossil fuels increases, the way to improve our environmental footprint is more Canadian products, not less. We are the cleanest and greenest. The United States produces a different type of product, and yes some of them are less carbon intensive, however to meet Paris targets, and Canada knows this, they decided to sign on knowing full well that to reach those targets would dramatically decrease economic activity to the point of economic collapse. The label of dirty oil persists, and our governments have done nothing to change that. We should be unbelievably proud of what we produce. We are proud producers of Alberta Beef and other agricultural products, Alberta Lumber and other forestry products, and we are the producers of Alberta Oil, the world’s most ethical oil. Meanwhile BCs capital Victoria dumps its sewage into the oceans and Quebec dumps sewage into its rivers. They buy foreign oil from countries that have no respect for the environment or human rights and they have the audacity to try to landlock our resources. They claim to be supporting First Nations yet dozens of First Nations support pipelines. In fact one of them is now suing the Federal Government over the tanker ban. If you think I am frustrated by the tone of this article, you are correct. What are the solutions? More Alberta Oil, respect the rule of law, bring prosperity to our citizens, reward good environmental and efficient changes in the industry, and allow the market to decide. We are a resilient and an amazing province. Do not stand down folks! It is time to be vocal. As always we love to hear from you.