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View Diary: Big oil getting desperate: Making oil with nuclear energy (163 comments)

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  •  Think about ol' Socialist Canada (none)
    This post is gong to be buried too deep for anyone to read it, I think.  If anyone out there is still thinking about this problem, let me add another element.  The oil sands are in Alberta. Alberta is kind of like Canada's texas,  except imagine that just about all of the republicans in the States lived in Texas.  Now that the Oil Sands are becoming profitable, Canada faces a unique problem.  We have no conservative party that can possibly win an election, and yet we have an entire province of religious-right conservatives that just became rich beyond their wildest dreams.  When you consider the difficulty Canada has had with provinces wanting to separate, this becomes a serious problem.  
    On the other hand, Alberta has the most oil in the world after Saudi Arabia, but Canada's real wealth is water, and that is not something Alberta has.  Anyways, no one is going to read this, but I think I'll post something a little more involved later.
    •  A view from Calgary, Alberta (none)
      Yes, Alberta seems to be the (unfortunate) home to a lot of religious nutbars, with power and money and press access, but don't let the news fool you. The religion here is Capitali$m.

      And yes, the province has a recent history of very vocal, hard-headed and ham-fisted approach to poliitics, by a party of conservatives that can't win elections down east. But don't let that fool you either. Conservatives, once ruled this country and they are threatening to do it again. Their corporate donors out West are going to have more money to buy an election one of these days, especially when the Liberals seem to be in disarray. All it takes is the right combination of incentives nationally (increasing money to transit, reducing gas taxes), the "ginning up" of the elite class (lowering taxes), and a heathly does of fear, to have the populace roll over to the Conservative side.

      Provincially, the future windfall in the Oil & Gas sector is projected to be $60 BILLION dollars in revenues, from rising prices. Yes, Alberta has threatened seperation in the past, but I don't think it would do so, unless the Federal Government steps in take the $60 Billion away by imposing price fixing for consumers, as it has threatened.

      Back to the topic at hand, I don't know if Albertans would support a Nuclear reactor near the  Fort McMurray Oil Sands or higher in the Alberta north. I imagine the pressure would come from some of the head offices here in Calgary, but there doesn't seem to be much talk of it locally or provincially that I have heard of.

      Anyway, let me end by saying that I have worked in the Oil & Gas industry for the last three years in the Data Aquistion side of a Geological Survey firm, and I've seen more money and more growth being poured into the Oil & Gas sector than I can imagine anywhere, in any industry, in Canada at one time. It's the new (black) Gold Rush!

      •  I agree... mostly (none)
        Really, we're in for an interesting period.  Whether or not the oil sands make huge amounts of money over the long run, whether they fuel any speratist sentiment in alberta, the whole question could vanish before too long.  You're right on a couple issues, I think.  One, it's all capitalism.  That's the nature of our system.  When the liberals were putting together their kyoto plan they very carefully excluded almost any real sacrifice from the oil and gas sector.  He did it understanding exactly the impact that these industries will have on the Canadian economy in the next say, hundred years or so.  Not just in Alberta, but all across Canada where large reserves of Natural gas are being found.
        One quick objection, as a fellow Canadian.  This is a strange point, and one I've been intending to flesh out for awhile in my own diary.  At the moment, there isn't any chance for the conservatives to rise again. It's not a money question, since the liberals have enough of a lead in that area to start imposing punishing restrictions on themselves.  It's also not an issue of the weathy accepting tax cuts.  The vast mojority of the wealthy in this country, even major business owners, are now supporting the Liberal party (as are the unions).  This is a strange but scary point.  On one hand, the liberals have done an absolutley astounding job managing the Canadian economy over the last fifteen years.  I'm not a liberal, and I resent both the cuts they made to social programs, and the fact that they hoarded year after year of budget surplus to provide themselves with a government saving budget (which they announced earlier this year), but it's hard for anyone to deny that their policies have in large part made Canada one of the wealthies and most economically stable countries in the world.  
        But they've been in power for fifteen years.  Even for a good government, that's much too long.
        The problem is that the Reform Party and the P.C. decided to merge, believing that they could create conservative majority with a party that embraced all aspects of the right, much like the Republican party in the States.  While it looked good on paper, it was an abysmal, horrible failure.  
        Firstly, the conservative movement in Canada hasn't had a strong leader since Mulroney, and he;s widely regarded to have been one of the worst presidents in Canadian history.  More importantly, as soon as the paties merged, the far right (reform) conservatives, which control the majority of the seats, took complete and unyeilding control of the party.   While that might be enough to consolidate control in Alberta, it gives them the same problem the reform party always had:  outside alberta no one would vote for them.  They assumed that conservatives would continue to vote for the party simply for partisan reasons, which didn't happen.  As the Liberal party has drifted (economically) farther right to balance the budget and maintain their surpluses, they've taken a position that is now much closer to the old P.C. than the conservatives, and as a result most of their voters.
        If the P.C. were around today, they would be in power right now.  This would be a good thing.  it might be a good thing if the Conservatives win the next election, although it won't happen.  The Liberal Party of Canada has run 80% of the Governments in Canada. The Conservative parties up here exist solely to take power when the liberals really screw up, then create a big mess over four years that the Liberals will be voted back in to clean up.  As it is, the Conservative Reform Alliance Party (or C.R.A.P) connot now, or ever win an election.  This, unfortunatly, has the disadvantage of profoundly isolating the west and Quebec, while making the rest of us feel like jack-asses for voting for a party that's stealing from us because we're afraid the alternative is that much worse (which it is, except that even if they won, they'd be a castrated minority, i.e. they would have no possilbe coalition partners).  
        I, of course, will be voting NDP, but you can see, I hope, why I think this is a big problem for the country in General.

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