Rachel Notley, the Alberta premier, is getting desperate.
She is within six months of having to call an election.
I think she sees the writing on the wall.
This is forcing her to come up with some desperate ideas to get re-elected or at least leave with a credible legacy.
Since she can’t get a pipeline built during her tenure she came up with the idea of buying thousands of rail cars and trains to pull the cars for moving oil.
As well, she is asking for proposals to build a refinery to market some of our surplus oil.
The upside of this idea is that it would provide thousands of jobs.
In my opinion, a refinery at this time is a non-starter.
This isn’t really a new idea by the NDP.
Is there a business case for another refinery at this time? I think not or it would have already happened.
Of course being a socialist, her idea of a proposal would involve government intervention of some kind, like a government incentive grant or partial ownership.
As usual, she has not thought through the logistics of what she is asking for.
We’re talking about an investment of 10 to 15 billion dollars.
This would take years of planning and regulatory approvals, something that would not and could not happen in the next six months.
Who does she think would be prepared to provide the financing needed for a project of this magnitude?
You would think if she hasn’t learned anything else in the last 3 1/2 years that she would have figured out that money doesn’t grow on trees or maybe she thinks borrowed money is money growing on trees.
She has the same basic problem with her railcar idea.
While it would not be a project of the same magnitude, it would still require significant financing and there would be a logistical problem of running many more trains on existing rail tracks.
Sooner or later there will be some pipeline capacity built and by that time the rail cars would not be needed.
Right now there are somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 barrels of oil being moved daily by rail.
I think that most of that is going to the USA.
In my mind, it is moving in the wrong direction.
Last week at the Canadian First Ministers Conference, the premier of Quebec, Francois Legault, said it was socially unacceptable for Alberta’s ‘dirty oil’ to move through Quebec.
However, it is socially acceptable to transfer over 13 billion dollars to their coffers, most of which is generated by Alberta’s ‘dirty oil’.
Legault has demonstrated ignorance and hypocrisy with his comments about dirty energy.
Jason Kenney was recently quoted as saying in an Edmonton Sun editorial, “It is not acceptable for a province to block our resources while benefiting massively from the wealth they generate”.
If Quebec does not like our oil going through their province in a pipeline then Notley should make sure it goes through the province in the rail cars we have now instead of going to the USA.
Quebec may prevent us from exporting oil by pipeline for now but they can’t stop us from shipping it through the province by rail.
I think Rachel Notley is now finally beginning to figure out what makes Alberta tick.
Her ultra-socialist concepts just do not work. Her accidental election win in 2015 has caused Alberta to lose over $100 billion in investment and almost that much in deficit financing.
She still thinks she won that election because the people liked her socialist policies.
People did not vote for her, they voted against the old, corrupt PC government that Jason Kenney and his people appear to be resurrecting.
However, even with that happening, Notley’s ‘Hail Mary’ pass still will not get her re-elected.
by Herman Schwenk