Smoke and mirrors

The second week of January has been an interesting week from a news point of view, what with Trump’s  news conference, Jane Fonda’s impromptu visit and BC Premier Christy Clarks surprise approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
I am not going to comment on the Trump news conference at this time but I find the issues surrounding the Fonda episode very interesting.
What I want to explore is Rachel Notley’s role in this business. Much as I dislike her government and her politics you have to give her credit for being a shrewd politician.
She took full advantage of the timing of Fonda’s news conference and Clark’s pipeline announcement.
Alberta seems to be an easy target for these Hollywood celebrities. So far we have had a platoon of them, in addition to Jane Fonda there was James Cameron, Leo DiCaprio and Neil Young just to name a few.
They do a quick flyover of the oil sands mining operations and then declare it as the world’s worst environmental disaster and the leading cause of climate change [think global warming].
They do not take the trouble to do some real research on the area, like doing a guided tour to learn what is being done to mitigate any environmental damage.
For example they could take a look at the innovative reclamation work that is being done after the mining is concluded in an area.
They might be surprised to find that the area supports animal and plant life just the way it did before mining commenced.
These people utter statements that are totally out of context. Fort McMurray is responsible for less than .01 per cent of world C02 emissions.
Rachel Notley was right to slap Fonda down for not knowing about the NDP’s Climate Change Plan and being totally insensitive to the wildfire disaster that Fort McMurray suffered last spring, which had nothing to do with the oil sands.
Notley was sharp enough to take full advantage of the BC Premier’s pipeline announcement and send Jane Fonda back to Hollywood with her tail between her legs.
There is no doubt that she gained a lot of brownie points with the media and Alberta residents over that episode.
I happen to think that there is much more to her climate change strategy than meets the eye. It appears to me that her support of pipelines and the oilsands is not as legitimate as it would first appear.
There are some things that just don’t add up.  For example if she is so supportive of the oil sands and Fort McMurray why does she keep Karen Mahon, a national director of Stand.earth, who has publicly stated that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be stopped by any means necessary, on her hand picked Oil Sands Advisory Group?
Mahon is not the only extreme environmentalist on that group, there are others.
It has occurred to me that she is playing a very clever game of smoke and mirrors.
She says the reason that the Kinder Morgan pipeline got approved by Christy Clark and Justin Trudeau is due to her Climate Leadership Plan, a plan that includes her expensive carbon tax.
I would suggest otherwise. I think it is quite the opposite. The reason she has been giving lip service support to those pipelines is to garner public support for her Climate Leadership Plan and the carbon tax.
The BC and Federal governments would have approved those pipelines regardless of what was done environmentally here in Alberta because the political conditions for approving them had been met.
Rachel Notley finds it politically advantages to verbally support the pipeline. There is little chance of the pipeline being built while she is in power anyway.

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