October 20th, 2020

Alberta’s economic vision is directed at the past


By Letter to the Editor on April 3, 2020.

Our province is quickly moving toward a fossil fuel-spawned financial catastrophe.

Our provincial government has no vision. It’s doing what it’s always done, look backwards. There is a global tectonic shift away from fossil fuels. No amount of provincial government interference or taxpayer money is going to change that fact.

Fossil fuels play in a global pricing market beyond our control. Downward financial trends by investors, institutions and foreign governments show the smart money is going elsewhere. And, where the money goes, so goes the industry. Humanity is susceptible to what is known as “normalcy-bias.” We become used to something being the same day after day. Because there has always been an oil boom after previous oil busts, we expect that there will once again be another boom. That’s not about to happen this time around!

The European Union has recently committed one trillion euros to a totally renewable energy electricity future. Many countries, states and cities around the world are moving to ban/restrict the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and do so within the next 15 years. Every major auto manufacturer has electric vehicles coming in their lineups and are axing ICE models. Electric vehicle sales are increasing exponentially, and the purchases of ICE vehicles are declining. As a result, oil and gas consumption are on the decline. Predictions suggest the consumption of vehicular fuels will be reduced by 30-40 per cent by 2030 and the price of oil will be $25/barrel by 2021. Whether one likes it or not, this is what’s happening and neither the Alberta government nor the oilpatch can change it.

We cannot spend our way out of our present financial mess by putting more money into the fossil-fuel industry. If the provincial government is successful in pulling Albertans’ pension funds from the Canada Pension Plan to a new Alberta Pension Fund, what do you think it will do with it? It will be spent supporting a dying industry and Albertans will be guaranteed a bankrupt province and no pensions.

A new perspective is imperative. The one-trick pony that Alberta has been riding for decades is tired and has run its best race. We need diversification – now! As much as we would like to take comfort from familiarity, we cannot afford it. It’s time to do our own research and educate ourselves.

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Dale Johnson

Lethbridge

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Fescue

Exactly, Mr. Johnson. It reminds me of an article a few months back on the resources course by SAEG.

https://lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridge-news/2019/11/21/tale-of-the-resource-curse/

We need our economy to move on.

johnny57

Well Dale the one-trick-pony sooner or later will get back on its feet and when it does that pony needs to be ready to run like the wind when the pendulum swings back! And it always swings back!

zulu1

Let’s envision a future without hydrocarbons . You can forget anything resembling modern life. It would be a back to the caves society. Alberta has been blessed with some of the world’s largest hydrocarbon resources, and only idiots would leave such resources in the ground. At a national level government income would be severely impacted , lowering standards of living across Canada.
In all probability , Canada will require hydrocarbons for decades to come, there is no magic bullet to replace hydrocarbons quickly , so let us be realistic..

Fescue

It’s funny you should talk about what is realistic, as the scientific community is saying that continuing to burn fossil fuels at the rates we currently do is completely unrealisitic – that is, without undermining the very basis of the economy (and human civilization as we know it).

Furthermore, there is a point where it becomes uneconomic to continue to produce oil and gas. Like spending billions of public dollars to prop up an industry that is noncompetitive; or like not taking into account the costs to the public for a deteriorating natural world that provides for human existence. At a certain point, a point I would suggest that we are at, it will cost us more to produce oil and gas than the value it provides us.

In other words, the status quo is unrealistic. So, let’s be realistic and start our energy transition.

zulu1

Utterly wrong to call the Canadian energy industry “non competitive”. It is one of the most innovative, competitive industries out there. Interesting to note that you did not wish to comment on how Canada would replace the lost revenue or replace the myriad range of products manufactured from hydrocarbons. As I said, back to the stone age for people like you, After you !!

Fescue

Only about 10% of oil and gas is used to make things. The rest is burned as fuel. So, we won’t run out of strawsand polyester suits any time soon.

We exploit oil that takes too much energy to extract and refine. This is what makes it uncompetitive compared to, say, Saudi oil.

We should be reminding ourselves that an economy is based on meeting our needs. Our current economy is based on massive waste, which has led to our environmental challenges today. We can live as well without wasting energy.

phlushie

yes fescue, lets walk, bicycle, or horse back to the local grocer and hope that the ox train from b.c. has arrived with the fish. we understand that it left vancouver 2.5 months ago. i hope the fish have not spoiled.

phlushie

oh, telegraph says ox train just left pincer creek, expect it in lethbridge in 7 to 10 days god willing.

Fescue

So, phlushie, you’re saying there is no waste in our system?