Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Calgary Herald - The Conservative Ink Pot

Calgary Herald - The Conservative Ink Barrel
The Calgary Herald recently decided to take an excursion into allowing comment on their articles to appear on their web site. This came about when the Government was accused of not posting news items in media which allowed comments. It lasted no more than a month.

Now, if you criticize the Government by citing oil royalty, spending or mismanagement in general (there is lots of that)the comment stays up at best for an hour or so but more often does not make it past the moderator. Never to see publication.

Likewise the Edmonton Journal regular addition. The digital publication seems to be more forgiving. The CBC on the other hand is wide open and spirited.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carbon Sequester- Who pays and how?

Alberta Carbon Sequester program has been taking a lot of flack in the media these days, for all the wrong reasons. It has the potential to be the power line "who pays" issue all over again.

On the plus side carbon dioxide treated in this manner can be measured unlike the cap and trade thing that is so popular in shifting cash around the world.

Carbon must first be collected! This means coal burning generation plants will have to be re built or, significantly revamped! This is going to cost over a billion dollars and one has to ask who is going to pay and how much are we going to be asked to pay.

The act of collection requires a large containment. Nitrogen and air is pumped out of the container. Coal is heated in the containment, giving off methane and hydrogen. Oxygen is introduced into the container and a flash fire is created. Because it is an oxygen burn, nearly pure carbon dioxide is given off. There are variations in the mechanics of the process.
The heat generated is used to heat steam to power the generators. The carbon dioxide is collected and put into temporary storage awaiting shipment down line which brings us to the pipelines needed.

Pipelines are going to be needed to move the collected carbon dioxide from the coal burning plants to where it is to be used or disposed of. Yes, there is a difference. There is probably more than a billion dollars needed for pipelines when it is over. Who pays? How do we pay?

Much carbon dioxide will be pumped down hole into existing older oil strata where it will be used as a solvent to free up oil moving it to the surface. The carbon dioxide will not stay down hole in most cases but will come up to the surface again either with the oil or separately. This is what is happening at Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Putting carbon dioxide down hole is not the same as sequestering!

Deep below the Viking formation (where the old oil is to be found) is a saline water aquifer. It is unpotable, never to be used for human or animal consumption. It is loaded with mineral salts and generally very toxic substance. This aquifer is encased both top and bottom with bedrock. The oil companies have rejected the use of this aquifer for their drilling water citing it as being too expensive.

This saline aquifer (and others similar) is where the anticipated sequestering is to take place. At this depth carbon dioxide is super critical. It is a liquid which will blend with the underground saline water and will stay there presumably until it is absorbed into the bedrock again.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crown Assets to go at fire sale prices

This financial disaster we are working through is a Godsend to the ruling Conservatives. No bad days for these boys! Sell off crown assets below bargain basement prices all in the name of creating financial diversity. Sell them to insiders who are looking for safe haven for their money in these troubled times.

In the conservative mind any building or chattel owned by the government is a direct rip off from private industry. It ‘s the Conservative sworn duty to set this abolition right.
In the Conservative plan "selling an asset to a private-sector entity may generate more economic activity and deliver greater value to taxpayers." Is all they need to cut and slash this country to nothing.

As the game unfolds it could lead to the sale or privatization of several well-known Crown corporations, including Canada Post, Via Rail, the Royal Canadian Mint and the agency that oversees security at Canada's airports Finance, Indian and Northern Affairs, Natural Resources and Transport and Infrastructure. Not to mention the Canada Pension Fund.

Some of the Crown corporations that fall under the authority of those departments have been known to be on the block for some time, such as Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd more because the Conservatives find them troublesome than any intrinsic value they may hold.
Crown corporations under the authority of departments under review:
- Bank of Canada
- Canada Deposit Insurance Corp.
- Canada Development Investment Corp.
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
- PPP Canada Inc.*
Indian and Northern Affairs
- First Nations Statistical Institute**
Natural Resources
- Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
- Cape Breton Development Corp.
- Atlantic Pilotage Authority
- Blue Water Bridge Authority
- Canada Lands Company Ltd.
- Canada Post Corp.
- Canadian Air Transport Security Authority
- The Federal Bridge Corporation Ltd.
- Great Lakes Pilotage Authority
- Laurentian Pilotage Authority
- Marine Atlantic Inc.
- National Capital Commission
- Old Port of Montreal Corporation Inc.*
- Pacific Pilotage Authority
- Parc Downsview Park Inc.*
- Ridley Terminals Inc.
- Royal Canadian Mint
- Via Rail Canada Inc.
Source: Annual report to Parliament on Crown corporations.
*Wholly owned subsidiaries of Canada Lands.
** Non-operational as of July 31, 2008.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Alberta still holds option of payments in kind!

The last paragraph is very interesting. A play on words rather than a fact.

Alberta’s original deal on royalty was that it would be taken in US dollars based on NY prices for sweet crude. Collected in US dollars the royalty would be deposited with the exchange on the US dollars into income in the Alberta coffers.

Mel Knight would have us believe the original deal was in Canadian dollars and, it was not! He has changed it so our royalty is taken in Canadian dollars and the oil companies keep the exchange.

I would call that still another lie.

Alberta is looking at the option of “payment in kind” that is, taking crude oil in lieu of cash. The idea is that the crude oil is either going to be “given free and clear” to the upgraders when and if they come on line or “sold at a very reduced price” to the same upgraders.

No matter which way it is done, it means less and less money into Alberta Treasury coffers while this Government remains in power.

Considering the Canadian Dollar take on resources was put in for all our petro chemical products, the Conservatives have shifted upwards from20 billions of dollars into the petroleum pockets away from Alberta’s taxpayers in the past 2 years.

With that kind of slash and burn to the provinces revenues things are not going to be okay it is a shame however they choose to tax the unfortunate and seniors for their shortcomings in business management.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Economy-why did we crash?

by: Tyler Durden February 10, 2009
Tyler Durden
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LiveLeak has caught a scary moment of previously undisclosed insight by Paul Kanjorski where he reveals some facts that have not been captured by the media previously.

At 2 minutes and 20 seconds in the video below, Democratic Representative Kanjorski explains how the Federal Reserve told Congress members about a "tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars." According to Kanjorski, this electronic transfer occurred over the period of an hour or two. And it gets worse.

Kanjorski paraphrases the following disclosure by Bernanke and Paulson (emphasis added):
On Thursday (Sept 18), at 11 in the morning the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the U.S., to the tune of $550 billion was being drawn out in the matter of an hour or two.

The Treasury opened up its window to help and pumped a $105 billion in the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide.

We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn't be further panic out there.If they had not done that, their estimation was that by 2pm that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S., would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed... It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it...

We are no better off today than we were 3 months ago because we have a decrease in the equity positions of banks because other assets are going sour by the moment.

Interestingly, Kanjorski, and likely more and more Democrats, are starting to shift to the camp that more time is needed to make a correct decision this time (which may explain Geithner's decision to postpone the "bank-rescue" announcement by one day, to Tuesday), instead of rushing into another half-baked plan.

Very scary stuff.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Alberta to fund oil company mess cleanups

All of a sudden the messes left behind by oil drilling become an infrastructure problem?
Alberta to fund oil company mess cleanups.
On Thursday nights local CTV news, Mel Knight said: we will pay oil-rig workers to switch-out their duties and focus on cleaning-up (the thousands of) toxic well sites.

THERE IT IS... After years of denying there were toxic well sites, This government is paying for the clean-up costs.

John Clark
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