HOW MUCH ARE WE PAYING THE OIL AND GAS CORPORATIONS TO TAKE OUR RESOURCES

As a Canadian citizen, I’m asking how much are we paying for (enslaved to) the oil and gas corporations?  And why are we paying all these subsidies to/for the corporations?

Some people put fossil fuel subsidies at about $3.3 billion per year. (e)(s)  Plus, an additional “$2.89 billion into financing fossil fuels production”. (x)  Some of this is paid for by provincial governments and some by the federal government.  I suspect the cost to Canadians is much higher.   And that’s without including $5.3 billion in subsidies for LNG Canada’s new Kitimat megaproject (cc), or the $8 – $12 BILLION support provided by the Export Development Corporation to the oil and gas industry (k), the $5.4 billion Kinder Morgan pipeline or the billions for its expansion.

A few examples of subsidies:

Infrastructure – roads, bridges, drinking water, generation facilities, power lines, substations, etc.  

Government grants and contributions – the grant money will never be paid back to Canadians; for example: numerous research chairs, in fossil-fuel-related areas, at post-secondary institutions (j) “Numerous provincially-funded institutes and funding envelopes.”

A Future Alberta article (j) lists the following, presumably most, or all, are grants, and their purpose:  $61 million, $26 million, $75 million + $75 million, $10 million + $10 million, $50 million, $440 million, $70 million, $13.5 + 15.3 million, $10 million, $8.2 million, $2.4 million, $1.9 million, $1 million, $1 million, $1 million, $1 million, $1 million, $950,000, $322,000 and, as the article says, the list of subsidies goes on… $1 billion on a series of grants and loan guarantees to build two to five partial oil upgraders.” (o) In all, Alberta is providing more than $3 billion in support for crude oil and bitumen partial upgrading and petrochemical upgrading. (q)                          Rachel Notley also signed a $3.7-billion contract to lease 4,400 railway cars to carry oil by rail. (aa) “But United Conservative leader Jason Kenney… has vowed to cancel the oil-by-rail contracts”. (y)

The Alberta government is giving “more than $2.3 billion in assistance to companies in the oil and gas sector” to cut methane emissions. (ff)  The Government of Canada has a “similar methane reduction commitment”, although the article does not say the cost of the federal program.(ff)

$50 million is being given through the federal Clean Growth Program. (i) (mm)

Titanium Corp., which developed technology to extract valuable minerals from oilsands waste, received a $40-million grant last month to help with its work remediating oil-sands tailings. Canadian Natural Resources, an Alberta oil-and-gas producer, got $22.3 million in March to help buy a new steam turbine to power its facilities in the Athabasca oilsands. (ss)

Government loans or loan guarantees at favourable rates –  Many, or all, of the loans may disappear without payment.  And, there is rarely any mention of how ‘favourable’ the interest rates are on the loans so Canadians may also have to pay for the interest cost of lending the money.                   

$235 million in loans has been given for orphan well clean-up. (p) “about $1 billion in commercial financing incentives through Export Development Canada (EDC), $500 million over three years in Business Development Bank of Canada financing to support smaller, ‘higher risk but viable’ fossils stay in business, and almost all of it in loans. (i)  The EDC has loaned up to $14.1 billion to the largest tarsands/oilsands corporations from January 2010 to July 2019 (oo); these corporations are making huge profits.(z)

Resources sold by government at below-market rates – “Alberta has long been criticized for having royalty rates among the lowest in the world” (gg)(kk)(nn) but Alberta thinks their rates are fair. (jj)                                                    

Research and development funding – for example:  The Government of Canada is investing $1.5 billion in a Oceans Protection Plan (n) in response to Kinder Morgan  pipeline court case (r) + 61.5 million + 167.4 million to protect the whales (mostly from the tankers). (g)  A lot of research and development funding is for oil sands “development and innovation” and “greening” and also falls under grants. (bb) 

Government intervention in markets to lower prices

Measures which reduce taxes payable – such as accelerated capital cost allowance of $14.4 billion (this includes other businesses besides oil and gas), (u)(f) various tax credits , tax exemptions and rebates.  For example:  Investment tax credit (ITC), Scientific research and experimental development credit (SR&ED), Atlantic Investment tax credit; plus, Canadian Development Expense – $1.018 Billion, Canadian Exploration Expense – $148 million, Crown Royalty Reductions – $1.161 billion, Deep Drilling Credit – 127 million (s)  B.C’s deep well credit of $5 billion over the last 10 years (v)

Pipelines – The $5 billion Kinder Morgan pipeline; the twinning of the pipeline for unknown billions more.

“Alberta’s NDP government has entered a 20-year agreement with TransCanada to ship 50,000 barrels of oil per day down the Keystone XL pipeline, to the U.S. (w) This is because “TransCanada can’t even get shipper agreements to fill Keystone XL,” Rubin said. “Shipper’s agreements are like long-term supply contracts which you need to get before you finance a pipeline.”  Albertans will be required to pay for any shortfall in the shipments.

Cleanup of orphan wells – which will cost between $58 to $260+ BILLION and that cost is growing. (a)   Canadians have already paid at least $30 million towards the cleanup. (a)  “Kenny proposes to … ask the federal government — taxpayers — to provide ‘tax incentives and financial support’ for energy corporations facing cleanup costs”.  (c)

All the costs of running various government departments, boards, agencies, commissions and research facilities to service the oil and gas industry.   These costs would include $31 million to promote the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion; (dd) and, now Kenney has a war room in the department of energy to fund ads/propaganda on behalf of the oil and gas industry. (ee) $80-million will be spent on this war room “to defend Canada’s energy industry from criticism”.  (l)

Some people would include all, or part, of the cost of air/water/soil pollution, plus more frequent and intense extreme weather, climate change impacts of fires, floods, funeral bills/hospital visits from heat waves/air pollution/fires, droughts, building seawalls, loss of shoreline, weakened infrastructure, increase costs in industries from farming to energy production and other costs of climate change currently being shouldered by the regular people.

The federal government announced investments of $22 billion to build climate resistant infrastructure, including $2 billion for a Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund“. (qq)

Remember, the subsidies listed above are just a few examples of what the regular people are giving to the tarsands/oilsands/gas corporations.  All, while Alberta’s biggest oil companies are raking in billions in profit. (z)

The politicians haven’t even been tracking how much was going into subsidies, much less if it amounted to a net benefit for Canadians.  In 2017, ‘auditor general Michael Ferguson said he tried to test the progress being made on phasing out the subsidies but blasted the government for refusing to provide documents that would allow him to do so’. (t)  When “Canada’s Auditor General told the federal government that it had to start tracking its subsidies to the fossil fuel industries” (and that would be the Liberals very limited definition of a subsidy), the Liberals said “it may not be made public” (k), in other words it won’t be.  The same thing is happening in B.C.; As Ben Parfitt reports “in an ominous development, our government says we are not even entitled to know how much the government actually subsidizes individual energy companies. (ll)

In 2018/19 the Auditor General’s office at least got to audit the Department of Finance.  They found that “Department of Finance Canada’s assessments to identify inefficient tax subsidies for fossil fuels were incomplete, and that advice it provided to the Minister was not based on all relevant and reliable information”, “did not clearly define how a tax subsidy for fossil fuels would be inefficient”, and so on. (pp)  In short, it was pretty much a farce.

Firstly, that tells us they have something to hide, and secondly, this is not democracy.  In a democracy the public has a right to know who their money is going to, how much and for what purpose.  Thirdly, it says that if they have to hide the total of the subsidies we are paying  then we, the regular Canadians, are getting very little, or, I suspect, we are paying, from what little we have, the oil and gas companies to take our resources, line their pockets, pollute our environment, and make us suffer and die.

And Trudeau had just continued a long trend.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, saying taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be used to harm the planet.

He said: ‘Many people still think that to give fossil fuel subsidies is a way to improve living conditions of people.

‘Nothing (could be) more wrong. What we are doing is to use taxpayers’ money, which means our money, to boost hurricanes, to spread drought, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals, in one word: to destroy the world.’” (rr)

 

 

 

(a)  Alberta regulator privately estimates oilpatch’s financial liabilities are hundreds of billionsMike De Souza, Carolyn Jarvis, Emma McIntosh & David Bruser, 01 Nov 2018, National Observer
(b) Here’s How Canada’s Oil Sands Could Collapse by 2030 – Geoff Dembicki, 14 Aug 2017, VICE
(c)  Both Notley and Kenney Hiding from a $260-Billion Cleanup Problem – Andrew Nikiforuk, 01 Apr 2019, TheTyee.ca
(d)  How NOT to Fix Alberta’s Hurting Jobs Economy – Gil McGowan, 11 Apr 2019, TheTyee.ca
(e)  LASER TALKS:  Fossil Fuel Subsidies – 06 Feb 2018, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada
(f)   Fall fiscal update earmarks in excess of $17-billion in new spending over six years – Ethan Rotberg, 21 Nov 2018, Globalnews
(g)  Government of Canada takes further action to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales – Government of Canada
(h)  Environmental groups call subsidies to fossil fuel industry an ‘anti-carbon tax’ – Bob Weber, 15 Nov 2016, National Observer
(i)  Alberta Pans New 1.65B Fossil Lifeline from Ottawa –  Phil Heidenreich and Karen Bartko, 19 Dec 2018, GlobalNews
(j)  Government funding for oil sands R&D – date (after 06 Feb 2019), Future Alberta
(k) The $10-billion dollar elephant in the room – 08 Jun 2018, Above Ground
(l)  Alberta’s UCP reveal platform that would reduce spending, replace carbon tax with levy on large emitters – Justin Giovannetti, 30 Mar 2019, Globe and Mail
(m) New Study:  Fossil fuel subsidies undermine carbon pricing in Canada, Environmental Defence, 15 Nov 2016, Cision
(n) Inside Ottawa’s rush to dispute science before pipeline approvals – Carl Meyer, 16  Oct 2017, National Observer
(o)  1B upgrader plan aimed at getting Alberta off boom – Todd Coyne, 26 Feb 2018, CBC News
(p)  Orphan oil and gas wells adopted by rookie Alberta energy company founder – Dan Healing, 25 Aug 2017, National Observer
(q)  Made-in-Alberta Plan Moves $2-billion Investment Forward – pmnationtalk, 23 Jan 2019, NationTalk
(r) On the Record:  Why the Court Overturned the Pipeline Approval – Tyee staff, 30 Aug 2018, TheTyee.ca
(s)  Unpacking Canada’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies – International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
(t)  Canada’s billions in fossil fuel subsidies to go under the microscope – Mia Rabson, 15 Jun 2018, National Observer
(u)  Highlights of Bill Morneau’s 2018 fiscal update – Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press, 21 Nov 2018, CBC News
(v)  How BC’s Gas Giveaway Fuels Alberta’s Oilsands – Ben Parfitt, 08 Aug 2018, TheTyee.ca
(w) Alberta’s Notley government signs on as Keystone XL customer – Tom Vernon, 18 Jan 2018, Global News
(x) Rebuilding Fort Mac, and Our Energy Economy –  Crawford Kilian, 09 May 2016, TheTyee.ca
(y) Cenovus swings to profitability but frets over Kenney’s oil-by-rail cancellation threat – Geoffrey Morgan, 24 Apr 2019, Financial Post
(z) How Alberta’s biggest oil companies are still raking in billions – Sharon J. Riley, 12 Jun 2019, The Narwhal
(aa) Alberta’s election platforms compared:  Where the NDP and UCP stand on everything from child care to carbon taxes –  Justin Giovannetti, 12 Apr 2019, The Globe and Mail
(bb) Can technology lower the carbon footprint of Canada’s oilsands? – James Wilt, 19 Mar 2018, National Observer
(cc) LNG Canada project called a ‘tax giveaway’ as B.C. Approves massive subsidies – Sarah Cox, 03 Oct 2018, The Narwhal\
(dd) Alberta has spent $31 million promoting Trans Mountain pipeline expansion –  Kevin Maimann, 31 Aug 2018, The Star
(ee) Kenney and Scheer vow to fight ‘lies’ of oil and gas opponents –  Drew Anderson, Helen Pike, 25 Oct 2018, CBC News
(ff) Alberta giving oil/gas producers $2.3 billion over 5 years to cut methane gas emissions – Jude Hislop, 25 Apr 2018, EnergiMedia
(gg) Are Albertans collecting a fair share of oilsands wealth? – James Wilt, 14 Aug 2018, The Narwhal
(hh) Alberta’s Problem Isn’t Pipelines:  It’s Bad Policy Decisions – Andrew Nikiforuk, 23 Nov 2018, TheTyee.ca
(ii) Revealed:  oil giants pay billions less tax in Canada than abroad – Martin Lukacs, 26 Oct 2017, The Guardian
(jj) Oilpatch-friendly royalty system takes effect in Alberta – Kyle Bakx, 03 Jan 2017, CBC News
(kk) Comparing royalty rates in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Texas and North Dakota – Tracy Johnson, 20 May 2016, CBC News
(ll) Ben Parfitt: British Columbians shortchanged billions from fossil fuel industry revenues – Ben Parfitt, 27 May 2018, Vancouver Sun
(mm) Oil and Gas Clean Tech Program – Natural Resources Canada, www.nrcan.gc.ca/
(nn) Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Holds Lessons for Canada – Susan Ormiston, 20 Mar  2015, CBC News
(oo)  Fuelling the Oil Sands – 15 Jul 2019, Above Ground
(pp) Report 3 – Tax Subsidies for Fossil Fuels – Department of Finance Canada – Heather Miller, Sylvie Marchand, Tristan Matthews, Suzanne Moorhead, 28 Feb 2019, Auditor General
(qq) Canada’s 7th National Communication and 3rd Biennial Report – Government of Canada, 2017
(rr) Greta Thunberg tells Vienna conference world leaders aren’t doing enough on climate change – Daily Mail, 2019-06-13
(ss) Liberals under fire after announcing more than $12M in Funding to Loblaw – Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press, 09 Apr 2019, CTV News

 

 

WHY ARE ALBERTANS PROMOTING THE TAR SANDS/OIL SANDS

What I don’t understand is why Albertans are subsidizing the tarsands/oilsands at all, much less with billions and billions of dollars. (j) Even “internal studies by a group of analysts within Shell known as the ‘scenarios’ team had concluded that global demand for oil might peak in as little as a decade—essentially tomorrow in an industry that plans in quarter-century increments”, so Shell is transitioning to the renewable economy. (b) And, to quote Geoff Dembicki’s article “Alberta can transition from oil and gas and have a strong economy” so why don’t Albertans transition to a low-carbon economy; why don’t they let the oil gas business decline. (j)
Some reasons for the governments/Albertans to subsidize/promote the oil/gas industry may appear to be obvious; they want the jobs and the money. But are they really gaining or losing their future (and ours).
Instead of putting the money of Canadians (from the federal and Alberta governments) into the future, the renewable industry, politicians are putting billions of Canadians dollars into the dinosaur, oil and gas industries. (i) Why? Some reasons may be (not in order of priority):

1. Politicians want to protect jobs. Alberta has 140,000 people employed in the oil and gas industry. That is a lot of people. But, ‘thousands of workers in the oil industry have already been displaced as industry moves to automate away their jobs. After the oil price crash in 2014, companies made job-eliminating ‘efficiencies’ a top priority — a trend they have assured their shareholders will continue’. (a)(b)(g)(h) Whereas the renewable is growing in employment.
There will also be a large number of baby boomers in the oil and gas industry retiring. So, why not train the younger generation in the renewable industry and leave the remaining middle-aged people in the oil and gas industry to continue working while the oil and gas industry transitions downward? No one loses their job.
Even a big oil and gas corporation like Shell says: “We know that the tarsands/oilsands will have to end, or at the very least, go into a decline, at some point. The only question is whether it will be in two or three decades, whether they will be a manageable transition downward or whether it will be a deep dive due to changing…… or other factors”. So, if you know this industry will go downhill but the renewable industry will go uphill, why would you invest in the dinosaur industry instead of the new economy? Where’s the logic?”
So, are the politicians backing the oil and gas industries on a false premise?
UN general secretary Sharan Burrow said that there are “no jobs on a dead planet”. “But then dead people, on a dead planet, don’t need to work.” (c)
2. By throwing billions of dollars to the oil and gas industries, the politicians get a lot of photo-ops and may look, to some Canadians, like they are actually doing something positive — they’re not; it’s a con.
3. The oil and gas companies are a few, large companies who, I suspect, put large amounts of money into the pockets of politicians, and provide lucrative after-politics jobs. I believe the renewable sector is many, but smaller, companies, less able or willing to provide the same “service”.
4. NAFTA. I do not think Canada can impede the oil and gas industries under NAFTA or NAFTA 2.0 but the federal and Albertan governments also do not have to support it with subsidies.
5. Didn’t Trudeau say that Canada would become a leader in the renewable sector? Did Washington say No, the U.S. would be the leader? Will the US/Chinese companies control the renewable sector in Canada?
6. The politicians and their one-percenter friends just want large numbers of people to die? After all, with the increasing use of robots, what do they need the normal people for? Better to get rid of them before they cause problems.
7. Is it a distraction from the fact that they have no other plan or vision. Although creating a plan to support the low-carbon economy (other than a few breadcrumbs) is, maybe, too obvious for self-serving politicians
8. The oil and gas industries, some making record profits (c), don’t have enough money and must beg from Canadians.
9. This is a plan by the politicians to raise the GDP so the deficit looks smaller. Putting out forest fires, rebuilding/repairs after fires/floods/high winds, funeral services from heat waves/pollution, etc. all add to the GDP.
10. They just lack the backbone to take on the oil and gas companies.
11. The politicians are in a hurry to drill as many wells as possible because they know that fossil fuel usage is going the way of the dodo bird. But why do it for next to nothing or less than nothing? I have to assume it’s for one of the reasons above or any equally obnoxious reason that I haven’t thought of.
12. The oil and gas industry/banks have major investments in the tarsands/oilsands and they want to squeeze every penny out of that investment, regardless of the cost to regular Canadians. Kevin Taft believes that “’global warming is a death sentence for the fossil fuel industry.’ To delay that sentence, Taft argues that the industry has spent untold millions to capture key democratic institutions including political parties, governments, regulators and universities “. (l)
13. Maybe Albertans like the idea of ending up with billions and billions of dollars of orphan well liabilities, along with polluted water, soil and air.
14. Does Alberta want to be a loser province? When the oil and gas industry declines, which are inevitable, will Alberta have a diversified economy to rely on and will they have missed the new economy? They have, I think, a perfect opportunity to transition to the new economy and they are throwing it away; an opportunity they may never get again. But Kenny, with the support of Albertans and the federal government, is throwing billions of dollars at the tarsands/oilsands while putting road blocks in the way of the new economy.

“British Columbians have seen first-hand the benefits climate leadership brings: international recognition, new clean technology jobs, investment in clean energy and technology, a low-carbon competitive advantage and a healthier environment.
Clean technology companies thrive when faced with the challenge of developing a sustainable business that cuts carbon pollution. Lessons and technology learned at home can then be exported at a profit, in a growing cleantech market now valued at an estimated $2 trillion.
As Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme said in a CBC interview earlier this year, ‘the future markets, the technologies, the energy systems will be low-carbon….Whether you’re building the next pipeline or not…the economy of Canada will not be centred around a fossil-fuel based extractive economy.”’ (d)
But, British Columbia has since taken a major step backward by approving, and subsidizing with billions of dollars, significant carbon emission LNG plants. (e)(f) And, of course, there will not be any future markets if we are all dead.

I’m sure there are some Albertans who want the tarsands/oilsands to transition to the renewable sector. But we rarely hear from them. I recently read about a few groups supporting the transition to the new economy – Student March for Climate, Climate Justice Edmonton (CJE) and Beaver Hills Warriors (m); plus, Iron and Earth, Energy Futures Lab, Oil Change International (j). I applaud these groups for caring about today (multiple fires burning, pollution, flooding, heat waves, etc.) and the (near) future when things will get worse. Usually, all we hear from is people like the ‘convoy’ group with their big trucks, burning lots of oil/gas, travelling across Canada, giving the people of Canada and the world the proverbial finger. (k) Basically, they are saying that they don’t give a damn if the people of Canada/the world suffer and die, as long as Albertans get to keep pumping oil. Amazingly, they don’t seem to understand, or care, that suffering and death will also happen to Albertans.
The premiers of Alberta like to paint the picture of Alberta vs British Columbia but this isn’t true; its Alberta vs the world.

As much as possible, I’ve decided not to buy products from Alberta. It just doesn’t make sense to support people who want to make me and the rest of the world, suffer and die. I have already eliminated Alberta food products because of my concern that they have been grown/fed/on toxic soil/grass. I was looking for a Canadian shampoo and came across one from Alberta but I wouldn’t buy it, and so on. However, I may make an exception if I find the product is from the new economy.

Some people say that other countries might not meet their Paris Agreement commitment so why should we. Because, we have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the world to meet our commitment, to do our part, we gave our word and it reflects on our reputation. And if we do our part then we are in a position to encourage others, or embarrass them, into doing their part.

At one point I thought that the effects of climate change wouldn’t really be felt in my lifetime but things are happening faster than anticipated. But it’s the children who will feel the brunt of our greed and narcissism. I don’t understand why parents and grandparents and other relatives/friends don’t get this or why they don’t care.

I am mind-boggled by, what I can only assume to be, the stupidity of the people in Alberta (not all). They want the oil industry; it’s like they are saying – give me a shovel, a backhoe, a whatever, and, as long as I’m being paid now, I will dig my own grave and that of my children and grandchildren (if any are born). Are they brainwashed by the oil industry/politicians, are the media reports just oil industry/political propaganda? But, there is a thing these days called the internet to get a balance of information. Albertans should be out protesting, demanding that the jobs transition to a low-carbon economy – NOW.

I am truly sad and perplexed that Albertans care so little about us and themselves.

 

 

(a) Alberta Is Playing a Dangerous Game with Pipeline Ad Campaign – Mitchell Anderson, 24 Jan 2019, TheTyee.ca
(b) Inside Oil Giant Shell’s Race to Remake Itself For a Low-Price World – Jeffery Ball, 24 Jan 2015, Fortune – pg. 4
(c) How Alberta’s biggest oil companies are still raking in billions – Sharon J. Riley, 12 Jun 2019, The Narwhal
(d) Three Big Questions About British Columbia’s Climate Plan, Merran Smith, 19 Aug, 2016, Climate Energy Canada
(e) BC’s shiny new climate plan: A look under the hood – Policy Note, Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), 17 Dec 2018, Times Colonist
(f) LNG Canada: Short-term politics trumps long-term climate responsibility: Policy Note – Marc Lee, 04 Oct 2018, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
(g) Suncor Energy says driverless trucks will eliminate a net 400 jobs in the oilsands – Dan Healing, 31 Jan 2018, National Observer
(h) Oil’s Boom-and-Bust Cycle May Be Over. Here’s Why – 01 Mar 2018, Harvard Business Review
(i) How Much Are We Paying the Oil and Gas Corporations to Take Our Resources – http://hospitalsandprivacyandpolitics.noblogs.org
(j) Alberta Can Transition from Oil and Gas and Have a Strong Economy. Here’s How – Geoff Dembicki, 31 Jul 2019, TheTyee.ca
(k) United We Roll protest: Truck convoy arrives at Parliament Hill – Taylor Blewett, 21 Feb. 2019, Ottawa Citizen
(l) Canada’s Petro Paralysis, Diagnosed – Chris Tollefson, 2019-01-28, TheTyee.ca
(m) If Alberta Is The Front Line of Climate Change, Young People Are In The Trenches – Melanie Woods, 17 Aug 2019, HuffPost Canada

ALBERTA SAYS THEY HAVE DONE THEIR PART – HAVE THEY?

Rachel Notley, previous premier of Alberta, released a climate change policy plan and said that Alberta had done its part to gain social licence for a pipeline expansion with the associated tarsands/oilsands expansion.
The plan included “five key pillars:
1) Carbon will be priced economy-wide at $30/tonne by 2018.
2) Coal-fired power plants will be phased out by 2030.
3) Oilsands emissions will be capped at 100 megatonnes (Mt) per year (recent Environment Canada figures predicted a 2020 output of 103 Mt from the sector), which amounts to allowing current construction to go ahead, but that’s it. That means to expand production beyond current projects, per barrel emissions will need to be reduced.
4) Methane emissions from oil and gas operations will be cut by 45 per cent in 2025.
5) 30 per cent of all electricity will be generated by renewables by 2030.”

“Prime Minister Trudeau says Alberta’s 100 million tonne “absolute cap on oilsands emissions” was a key factor in approving Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion” which will pipe oil from Alberta to B.C.’s coast for export. (b) He is also using this same cap as a reason to “exempt some oilsands projects from environmental assessments”. (c)

So, What has Alberta done?
(1) The carbon price has been removed by new Alberta premier Jason Kenney and Alberta has taken the federal government to court over the federal climate plan. (d) Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reductions (TIER) fund “would target large industrial emitters, requiring them to reduce their emissions intensity — notably, this is different from their total emissions, as it is dependent on economic output — compared to their own recent annual averages”. (i) I suspect this is mostly window-dressing.
(2) “Coal-fired electrical plants which need to close by 2030 under federal law would be allowed to remain open indefinitely if federal rules change. The UCP would require coal facilities after 2030 to be as clean as the most efficient gas-fired plants.” (j)
(3) The 100 Mt limit is “43% above 2015 levels”, so room to expand and pollute. (e) According to a National Observer article the 100 Mt. Limit has very large loopholes. The Electricity co-generation is exempt, the primary oil production is exempt, Upgraders are exempt, all emissions in Saskatchewan are exempt, enhanced recovery is exempt, and experimental schemes are exempt. (h) There are, as yet, no regulations regarding who gets to pollute and who doesn’t when they hit the l00 mt limit. (d) So, as Ian Hussey, research manager at the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta says “Alberta’s oilsands’s emissions cap is not operating in practice”. (i) In other words, so far, it’s just words on paper, a scam “Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act legislating the 100 megatonne emissions cap” is the law` (d) but when the 100 Mt limit has been reached, the “law” can be ignored or changed in a heartbeat. And the emissions numbers can also be “creatively” determined so they stay below 100 Mt.; scientific studies “show that AB oil & gas industry emissions are grossly under-reported”. (d) So, at this point, the “law” is just words on paper. Kenney has said he will remove the cap (j) and has said that he will “rapidly accelerate the approval of new drilling”. (c) But he really has no reason to remove the cap until it reaches the limit. In the meantime it’s a great con to get the pipeline approval and exemptions.
(4) methane gas emission – According to the Pembina Institute if Alberta follows the “federal methane regulations enacted earlier this year by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), they would only reduce methane gas emissions by 36%, not the 45% stated in their climate plan”. (f)
(5) Kenney has said he will “no longer provide subsidies to uneconomic wind and solar power generation”. (f) “Alberta too should get out of the subsidy business to ‘keep the door wide open’ for increasing wind and solar energy projects where they’re affordable.” (g); fine but then quit subsidizing the oil and gas industry because apparently they are not really affordable. (l) The oil and gas subsidies, I suspect, make it harder for renewable projects to be affordable when it’s competing on an uneven playing field. But, maybe that’s intentional.

So, what has Canada really gotten in return for the approval to expand the pipeline: NOTHING
Worse:
(1) We won’t be able to meet our Paris Agreement commitments, and unknown numbers of species, including us, will suffer and many will die
(2) The $4.5 billion cost of the Kinder Morgan pipeline PLUS the unknown billions more for an expansion
(3) Canada’s reputation. Trudeau said “Canada is back my friends”. (k) I thought that we would leaders in carbon emissions reduction and the new economy, exporting our knowledge and technology. Instead, we will be seen as the farcical hypocrites that we are.

And yet, despite the fact that we are getting nothing in return, Trudeau has recently approved the expansion of the pipeline (m). So, when “Prime Minister Trudeau says Alberta’s 100 million tonne “absolute cap on oilsands emissions” was a key factor in approving Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion” (c) and that the pipeline was necessary to get Alberta into the carbon tax program, he lied, he was conning us; it was just the cover story to get the pipeline expansion built.

Do I think the other parties would do better? NO.

(a) Alberta Climate Announcement Puts End to Infinite Growth of Oilsands – James Wilt, 23 Nov 2015, The Narwhal
(b) ‘Hard cap’ for oilsands climate pollution has loopholes the size of Nova Scotia – Barry Saxifrage, 20 Mar 2018, National Observer
(c) Ottawa will exempt some oilsands projects from environmental assessments – if Alberta keeps its emissions cap – John Paul Tasker, 02 May 2019, CBC News
(d) Alberta’s election platforms compared: Where the NDP and UCP stand on everything from child care to carbon taxes – Justin Giovannetti, 12 Apr 2019, The Globe and Mail
(e) Three years after promising to cap oilsands pollution, Notley government still needs more time – Carl Meyer, 14 Dec 2018, National Observer
(f) Alberta’s methane regulations will fail to meet provincial reduction target – 13 Dec 2018, Pembina Institute
(g) Kenny’s pledge to end wind and solar subsidies would ‘roll back the clock,’ says energy expert – Helen Pike, 22 Feb 2019, CBC News
(h) ‘Hard cap’ for oilsands climate pollution has loopholes the size of Nova Scotia – Barry Saxifrage, 20 Mar 2018, National Observer
(i) Eight environmental issues at stake in the Alberta election (that are not pipelines) – Sharon J. Riley, 10 Apr 2019, The Narwhal
(j) Alberta’s UCP reveal platform that would reduce spending, replace carbon tax with levy on large emitters – Justin Giovannetti, 30 Mar 2019, Globe and Mail
(k) In Paris, Trudeau ‘Here to Help’ but Quiet on New Emissions Targets – Geoff Dembicki, 01 Dec 2015, TheTyee.ca
(l) How Much Are We Paying the Oil and Gas Corporations to Take Our Resources – http://hospitalsandprivacyandpolitics.noblogs.org
(m) Eight Hard Questions for the PM of Pipelines and Climate Emergency – Michael Harris, 19 Jun 2019, TheTyee.ca