Thursday, November 29, 2007

Alberta uses clubs to silence protests.

Closure in this case equates to a physical beating of land owners!

Stelmach Government Uses Closure on Bill 46
Edmonton – The Stelmach government is using closure to choke off debate on its contentious
Bill 46, which takes away rights of landowners.

“This government has resorted to the most undemocratic means to ram through this
undemocratic piece of legislation,” says Alberta Liberal Opposition House Leader Laurie

“This is just another example of this government trampling on the rights of ordinary Albertans,”
says Blakeman. “When Ed Stelmach was chosen as Premier, he promised to be open and
accountable. This makes a mockery of his promise.”

Government House Leader David Hancock served notice in the Legislature that when Bill 46
returns to the House next Monday, debate will be limited to just one hour before the secondreading vote will be called.

The government is also expected to use House rules to limit debate during clause-by-clause
study in committee and on third and final reading.

Blakeman says the Alberta Liberal Opposition has had only four hours to debate the bill so far.
She says the government’s tactics could limit debate to only another five hours.

The government is proposing 22 amendments to the Bill. The Official Opposition has proposed
more than 40 amendments.

Per notes from Liberal Caucus

The protests were not about building power lines. The protests are about giving their land up to people to build power lines on to export electricity without fair renumeration to thoes people who own the land.

Even while this is going on, the Government is doubling the power capacity of the lines south of Calgary to the US border.

Conservatives lie when they say these lines are not for export of electricity!

Get out and vote this time and get rid of these crooks!

John Clark

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Harper and his crew admit their pending defeat.

Harper is in real trouble so he is beating the war drums on crime and punishment. This is an old political trick and, it usually works! The conservatives know we live in fear for our personal well being at every level under his Government so he turns loose the hawks.

Sad but true, there are very few doves in the sky when the media hungry hawks are flying.

John Clark

Alberta ready to give away still more royalty cash.

Stelmach ready to “tweak” away still more royalty.

His last bit of tweaking was reducing our 25% down to 19%!

His numbers are all over the place. Time lines mixed with color charts and dream schemes.

I really don’t believe Albertans will see one red cent of the propaganda dollars if this batch of Oil Yes Men is voted in again!

John Clark

Monday, November 26, 2007

Alberta Electricity a rip off - 4 cents to 12 cents!

Rural Electricity goes from 4 cents to 12 cents

Rural Alberta agrees with urban Alberta that electricity in Alberta is a rip off for no reason other than profit taking.

The Bruderheim-REA has taken the time to document just how bad the Conservatives rip off is and shows in detail what our future will look like under the Conservatives and, it is not good!

ATCO prices in their service areas are much higher than this!

These people are in the Electricity supply business. A very good read of right wing discontent.

The Bruderheim REA amalgamated with Battle River REA as of January 1, 2007. The Bruderheim REA is therefore no longer a legal entity.

John Clark

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pipeline Planned from High Level to McMurray Tar Sands

TransCanada pipelines are planning a pipeline from High Level Alberta into Fort McMurray tar sands.

Although the pipelines have not had the press and exercise the power lines have it is a safe bet Albertan’s will be asked to pay for the line on their utility bill!

I wonder why Trans Canada Pipeline never tell you who is paying for the line when they make their announcements?


Flaherty takes his lead from Stelmach

Taking his lead from Stelmach’s subsidy to oilfield profits, Flaherty is considering tax breaks to the Manufacturing sector.

The breaks he can give through taxes are miniscule compared to the outright program to replace profits.

Unremarkable, there is no word from either Conservative group that they will cover the high heating or fuel bills brought about by the same problems. Let market forces prevail has no meaning to them when the market is working against their tight group of friends.

John Clark

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Alberta Oil Sands important details

Oil sands deposits contain approximately 1.7 trillion barrels of bitumen.

Approximately 10 % or 174 billion barrels are proven reserves that can be recovered using current technology.

Current economic limit for oil sand surface mining is approximately 80 m. which makes up 20 % of the proven reserves.

Current oil sand production is approximately 1 million barrels per day, 1/2 is from surface mining.

1 million barrels per day at 100.00 per bbl us is 100 million dollars per day US.

1% start up rate returns 1 million dollars per day into royalty funds.
25% agreed production returns 25 million dollars per day in royalties.

19% Stelmach adjusted rate brings in 19 million dollars per day royalties.

Stelmach has moved 6 million dollars per day from Alberta Taxpayers into the hands of the Oil Companies while he is telling us he has found the “middle road” turning even more revenue into oil company’s profits.

For this kind of change, is it any wonder the Conservatives won't go to the polls until after the Canadian dollar hits 85 cents, where it belongs?

John Clark

Re think the old NEP!

Where is the hurt?  It is in the  pack of lies handed down by Conservatives and financed by the US dominated oil companies!

The royalty on the tar sands is taken in US dollars. This has been the case since the conception as it was agreed oil would be priced at New York prices, the lowest of the price boards and, is in US$

When the Canadian dollar went up the royalty paid into Alberta was reduced by more than 20% because, our dollar was worth 20% more. The difference between our production costs (royalty) and our market costs shrunk, a straight loss to us.

This Government not being concerned about our losses of revenue instead lowered the royalty rate taken to 19% US$. The extra percentage was taken by the oil companies. This is one reason why the oil stocks were not affected by the high dollar syndrome that has bothered other stocks and dividends.

Syncrude upgraded their plant to include the Firestorm technology which increased output. They argued they should be able to get the 1% start up rates on this and have it listed as a “new” project. The rules as they stood showed this was not a new project but, was an enhanced operating cost of a fully producing project. Hence the 25% (Now 19%) was the rate that should be in place.

Klein went fishing with Syncrude and the “Firestorm” dropped off the media maps. What went down on that fishing trip we will never know for sure. Other projects are incorporating this production into their systems. At who’s expense?

The Conservatives true to their operating plans of destabilizing before privatizing (who would go along with privatizing something if it is working well?) have been deliberately curtailing growth of the Heritage Trust fund by pulling the profits made from investment out of the fund. What trust fund can exist if it is not allowed to reinvest the profits?

What we do know for sure is this Government continues to deal in secrecy and not for the benefit of Albertans. Following their mantra of “minimum taxation” they deliberately confuse royalty revenue with taxes. They have cost this province more money than the old and dated federal National Energy Program. Our enemies are not in Ottawa!

I have said before and I will say again it would be hard to distinguish this Governments actions from that of organized crime.

John Clark

Monday, November 19, 2007

To answer some questions

To answer some of the questions:

With the dollar at par with the US for the short term, any number of slight of hand graphs and ideas are available to the Government.

The Conventional Oil graph is in Canadian Funds. This is a first. You will recall conventional oil groups asking for “the same deal the tar sands are getting”. Stelmach has responded by putting their royalty into Canadian Dollars away from the traditional US which the contracts were originated on.

This means the money we will receive after the election is 25 – 30% less than the current when the Canadian Dollar moves back to where it should be, at about 85 cents US.

Stelmach will be able to say I published the figures etc.

The charts produced by the Government are chewing gum for the mind, totally out of contest from the reality such as it is. Not meant to be reconciled, only to cause speculation. . Straight line what if projections based on nothing.

Combined with the 19% they are presently charging because it is part of the giant concessions he has made to the oil companies.

The bottom line is you and I have absolutely no idea what the final figures are going to be. Look to the history. We will come up short again, very short.

Time to get an honest Government.

John Clark

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Alberta Auditor General invited to investigate royalty

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB
T5L 2Y7

November 17, 2007
Fred J. Dunn, FCA, ICD.D. - Auditor General
Office of the Auditor General
8th floor, 9925 - 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J8

Dear Sir:

As was reported extensively by the media (Edmonton Journal) this Government has reduced the contacted 25% royalty on mature tar sands projects down to 19%. This happened at a time when the Canadian Dollar was rising in value.

As with many companies dealing across the border, manufacturing, lumber, agriculture and newsprint, oil producers a crisis of sorts was created more so for some, than others.

Higher Canadian dollars meant higher costs in manufacture or production being paid for by a reduced value based on the lowered value of the agreed tender, the US dollar.

It appears this Government, ever sensitive to the wishes of the Petroleum consortium decided to reduce the royalty to allow more revenue to stay on the corporate side of the books at the sacrifice of taxpayer revenues.

Because the costs of start up are born by the taxpayer by agreement and the costs of production are by large paid for by the taxpayer this move in royalty adjustment could only improve the stock position of these corporations. I have never before heard of a Government cutting taxpayer’s revenue income to enhance the stock market of specific companies. This must surly be illegal!

Considering most if not all of the Government members have shares in the various petroleum companies either held directly or known to exist in their “blind” trusts it must also be a conflict in interest.

I beg you to use the power and influence of your office to investigate further this crass situation.

Yours very truly

John Clark

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Conservative Malaise

I have been asked why I am so hard on Conservatives and would I treat other Governments the same.

I respond:
Conservatives have some reasonable ideas, some I like very much. The problem comes in the execution of these plans.

Contracts are more times than not opened behind closed doors and the details of the winning contracts are not made public. In short, they channel all the construction and companies to their private group of friends. Internally these are called “friends”

None of their schemes allow for a fair return to the tax payer or the provincial treasury. This is prevalent in 3P0 projects. The “lowest” bidder gets the project and if they fall short in building the project in any way the taxpayer picks it up. There is no performance guarantees put in place. In the duration profits are taken and because the length of time is so great, many extending over 25 years, who keeps track? Why are all the bids not made public?

Conservatives are long on “Let the market prevail” but very short on this idea when it comes to the provincial resource being sold. The market in these cases is bent beyond recognition. Who can’t make money when they buy the store for 5 cents on the dollar of value and assume 60 years of infrastructure in a few seconds?

In brief, Conservatives have a big problem in keeping their fingers out of the till.

John Clark

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Conservatives caught in lies?

Taft hard on the job! A chance for Alberta.
(right click and save to computer to read)

A good review and project on the oil sands

A good amount of research has been put into this article and it covers a broad range of implications from a different angle than I view it. Worth while reading!

john Clark

Alberta royality review is a phony.

Alberta oil review charts need a careful read! This document is written so it can be represented as almost anything at a later date.

Oil Royality Rates comparison are taken in Canadian Dollars at a premium with the US dollar. When the Canadian dollar drops to .85 cents as it should be, these numbers will all drop 20% from where. They are.

For a realistic view of the numbers drop the projections down 2 lines!

If in his dealings with the oil companies he reverts to Canadian Dollars away from the USD as has been our standard we stand to loose billions, even on the short term.

When has this Government ever done anything for the population of this province? What they have done is enriched corporation without regard to the cost to individuals then, tell individuals they are getting a good deal not because of any reason but because they say so.

John Clark

Vehicle years taken differently in Canada and US

What are you buying when you buy a US vehicle?

Canadian VIN numbers and year make is taken from the body of the vehicle.

US VIN numbers and body year is taken from the frame or under carriage.

Undercarriage and frames are built usually 1 year before the bodies.

A vehicle sold in the US as a 2007 model is actually a 2006 model when registered under a Canadian system.

This is more a paper/insurance thing than it is a mechanical issue thing.

John Clark

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alberta Electricty manipulated - again.

The Conservatives are up to their old games again. Destabilize by what ever means to give them the foundation for what ever change they propose.

Case in point:
It has been reported to the Calgary MLAs are talking about a series of on going brownouts in Alberta in the near future.

Appreciate brownouts don’t happen, they are caused. By accident, two generation stations may close at the same time for upgrade throwing the grid into a brownout condition.

The Conservatives know there is going to be brownouts they then know what to do to avoid them!

Why would these be deliberately triggered?

Their power line construction on the south corridor has been defeated by the public. They need this power line to export power.

By creating brownouts they will be in a position to make the case claiming it is because of the lack of power lines.

Fording Coal is nearly complete their environmental assessment for the building of a power generation plant near Brooks. This plant will be twice the size of Wabamum. The power it will generate will go to Calgary. It may well be complete by the time the power line is built.

AESO claim to have plans of reporting in place that will avoid any brownouts because of plant upgrades or maintenance. If this is true and the brownouts appear as predicted by the MLAs, I would say there is room for legal challenge for any costs accumulated because of a contrived power shortage.

If you have not watched the CBC production “Wise Guys in the Room” I would suggest you find a copy.

Brownouts will make a case for the power supply companies to raise your electrical rates even though their costs remain the same or are lower. They have no accountability unless you hold the city councils responsible and start lighting up their phones.

By the time this Government is trough, there will only be three or four industries in this province that are not servicing the oil patch. In addition to this the health care structure is organized for immediate sale or hand off.

If these guys don’t get out of office in a hurry the province will be owned outright by no more than a half dozen of their selected friends.

John Clark

Friday, November 09, 2007

More power line rip off coming for Alberta Rate Payers

Does any one really think Alberta is going to come out 20% ahead? Not with this Government!

New plans filed with AESO for a 22 million dollar transmission line from McMurray for the use of North American Oilsands Leismer Facility near McMurray. Project to be built by ATCO. ATCO, headed by Mr. Laugheed who said recently Albertan's should not be expected to pay for all of the highway to McMurray.

This project is strictly to serve the oil companies.

Alberta taxpayers will be expected to pay 100% of this line under the Conservative Governments power line rules.

Beyond this, Stelmach's payment "in kind" trade for crude which is to be sold short or given free to the up graders will mean Albertan's are further in the hole after this deal than they were before it!

If this does not take all the change, it is worth while to note on thier propaganda charts the all the energy revenues with the exception of tar sands is posted in US dollars.

(The government has taken down their site with the .pdf forms showing their projections. This happened directly after I first pointed up the Canadian dollar figure in Tar Sands computations)

The tar sands has changed to Canadian dollars in this exercise of lies. By mid summer at the latest the Canadian Dollar is expected to be back at .85 cents, where it should be!

Couple this change in the exchange rate which will take place after the election with the rest of this circus and you will see there is nothing to be happy about; no win for the people of Alberta but a major loss. A giant Scam!

It would break a snakes back to follow this crew!

John Clark

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Saskatchewan turns out 74% of eligible voters!

The Saskatchewan Party wave that began a decade ago in rural Saskatchewan swept into the cities in Wednesday’s provincial election and pushed the New Democratic Party out of power after 16 years.

74 percent of the eligible voters turned out to vote is the real big news. This can happen in Alberta too.

John Clark

Northern shipping caught by early cold snap??

All is not what it seems in the northern marine world. Fort Good Hope did not get delivered. The reasons are a bit more complex but it could have been avoided.

The short story is that some one made a decision to keep one boat out of the water this year. This one boat did not have to be in the water all year, only for the last 10 days or so. In the past boats have been frozen in, in the north, the crews sent south to Hay River to man still another boat to finish the south end. Or, the boat could have been put on earlier in the year to accommodate the same thing.

The logistics are more complex than I have outlined but the process is the same. Management made a decision not to put the power in the water. That would be a profit and loss decision. The Government will pick up the entire tab and then some for the extra cost of flying and the extended crews to do this.

The weather makes an easy cop out.

John Clark

Monday, November 05, 2007

Alberta Carbon Credits?

Carbon Credits – A money maker?

When you get BC and Alberta both looking at a form of carbon credit or carbon exchange you have to know it is a scam.

Under the Kyoto protocol every obvious thing is not a carbon credit. It takes some very serious study to see if you are in or out of favor.

For instance if you cut a stand of trees you loose carbon credit. If you replant a forest in its place you do not get a carbon credit because you lost it by cutting it. It is a loss.

If a company in the US cuts the emissions on a Coal Generation unit or enters into a carbon dioxide sump program they may have an excess of carbon credits that they can sell to a company in Canada.

Money changes hands in this case moving from Canada south. It is one way a company has of moving funds around regulators. A transfer of cash is now an investment, not a transfer of profits.

On the other extreme is China which has one of the most advanced electrical generation and transmission systems in the world. China works under a heavy burden of pollution of the coal generation which it is about the change, going to hydro generation with the biggest hydro dam in the world. This should replace some coal generation.

The result is that China will very shortly have multi billions of dollars of carbon credits for sale. Companies in Alberta who change nothing will be able to produce a good picture on paper by buying credits from China.

Environment is on every ones mind. Some on how to protect it others on how to exploit it. Case in point Alberta’s electrical system.

A group of like minded Conservatives met in Lethbridge and decided the best way to curtail the use of power was to increase the price so people could not afford to use it. No consideration was given to distinguish between needed use and frivalent use.

With climate change pushing up our summer heat extremes, air conditioning I think is a necessity but, under the Alberta scheme you will cook rather than turn it on. On the other hand our mean temperatures in the winter are much lower than our competitors in the south. It costs us much more electricity to heat our homes. Competative or not, suck it up is the view.

You can look forward to both Epcor and Enmax pushing their rates ever higher with a view to curtailing your use while targeting the surplus power saved for export at still higher premiums.

Epcor is owned by the City of Edmonton and Enmax is owned by the City of Calgary. All profits are in effect indirect taxation.

Because they are separate companies the councilors can throw their aprons over their faces and say it is out of their control which is a lie.

Private Health Care in Alberta alive and well.

In answer to enquiries regarding health care privatization:

Yes, the health regions are private companies and run like private companies. You will find the Minister of Health will avoid entering into any conversation regarding a complaint about the system. He refers all to Capital Health or the appropriate division.

The so called prototypical hospitals that dot Alberta’s landscape from elections past are run by a hospital board. The way these arrangements are structured the hospital boards own the hospital. The Government keeps an eye on the funding totals.

The structure is set up so any hospital, any part of a hospital, any health region can be sold all or in part to who ever the Government decides on selling it to. The Health region is responsible for building new hospitals. That is not to say they cannot sell the same new multi billion hospital to still another private company for a dollar.

The rules in this kind of transaction ring familiar. The Health Region must get a “fair value” for Alberta.

John Clark

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Alberta - Half of available water going to Oil

Really superb article by Hanneke Brooymans, The Edmonton Journal
Quote in part:
"We have no idea what the effects of all these allocations might be," said Bill Donahue, an independent water research scientist who has worked with renowned ecologist David Schindler.

"What I think is most alarming is that the province has never had any plan for development in Alberta, and they continue to approve and promote very water-intensive industries, and again they have minimal understanding of their water supply.

They have no understanding of the effects of climate change and what they're going to be on the water supplies of Alberta."

Another factor is the consumptive use of the up graders. They will use the water to produce steam, some of which will evaporate from cooling towers. And about 20 to 25 per cent will be used to make hydrogen, said Peter Symons, a Petro-Canada spokesman.

If this figure is applied to the water licenses for all the up graders, up to 25 billion liters of river water a year could be used to produce hydrogen. That would be water that doesn't return to the river.

Petro-Canada has opted to use treated waste water from a regional treatment plant to lessen its overall environmental impact.

This offers an explanation to a lot of things. For instance, the amount of electrical power it will take to turn this amount of water into Hydrogen and Oxygen or Hydrogen. In some of the popular programs there is a large amount of Carbon Dioxide made. This is usually pumped down hole into underground or under water storage.

This of course leaves the door open for the Conservatives to offer further tax breaks to the Oil Companies as the “Carbon Credit Made In Alberta Plan” where apparently no money is to be paid out for buying carbon credits.

Under Kyoto, this type of carbon saving would not be allowed. The carbon is being taken from a “bound” source. That is the carbon is not loose in the atmosphere. In effect this process as far as carbon dioxide is concerned does nothing for the environment.

John Clark

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Alberta right wing parties appear to split the votes.

We have two new right wing parties showing up to win over the goose stepping hearts of Alberta.

The Alberta Alliance is further right wing than the present Blue Conservatives. They support all the Fraser Institute ideals of a fence around Alberta. These people in my mind represent the very worst kind of extreme there is. Private police forces, walk away from the Canada Pension Plan. A separate country if need be.

In brief they are a bunch of fundamentalists who want the power for themselves and, what ever harp they play or what ever drum they beat they will, to get that power.

The Wild Rose Party is another right wing goose stepping outfit. There is no such thing as social conservatives any more.

Both parties enjoy the support of the Stelmach Government. Anything that will split the vote is a good thing for them.

John Clark

Alberta muzzels protests!

Bill 46 which comes up for final reading this sitting and will be pushed through by Stelmach and his energy companies will eliminate the right to protest in regards to the power schemes and, will also impact by way of precedence the right to protest the privatization of water and the associated pipelines.
John Clark
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