Friday, July 31, 2009

Alberta's image formed by Conservative lies.

Alberta History 2

How did the Conservatives manage to get away with so much for so long? For years the Alberta Conservatives beat their drums with the same old story (and still do); the bad guys from the east are going to eat us alive!

The National Energy Program was the best thing that ever happened to the Alberta Conservative. It allowed them to build a pyramid of lies and misrepresentations that lasts until  this day!

The National Energy Program "NEP" was brought in by the Trudeau Liberals in 1981. It was signed by Peter Laugheed Premier of Alberta at that time who had reviewed it thoroughly and agreed after protests, boycotts, and court challenges.

The NEP had 3 purposes:
1. Increase Canadian content in the oil industry by giving incentives to Canadian companies.
2. Keep the price of oil bellow the world price to protect consumers.
3. Tax oil exports to increase the federal share of the profits.

All of these would effect the revenue of the US Oil Companies who had put the Conservatives into power in Alberta.

At the time of the NEP Canada did not control its own oil! However after the NEP was in place for 2 years, control of the oil industry rose from 25% to 50%. It also left Canada more resilient to world events, more self-reliant, and getting a larger profit from the pie OPEC baked.

The real harm to the finance at the time was not the NEP however, it was a situation very similar to what we are going through now. The oil industry in the States and the World tanked at the same time and the NEP did not cause the world price of oil to fall. Trudeau was willing to renegotiate the NEP on multiple occasions as the price of oil fell.

Albertans were encouraged to invest in the new industry.  They invested their homes and levered their fledgling businesses and many; a great many lost it all!

The real problem took hold; inflation took hold and interest rates went through the roof; above 20% on mortgages! The cost of borrowing was close to 25% of the business income. Oil supply businesses went bankrupt. Unemployment shot up as business across the country (not just this Province) failed and all the while the Alberta Conservatives were burning up the media telling  Albertans  it was all the fault of the NEP.

During this time as the price of oil fell, Trudeau renegotiated the federal take on oil several times as the price of oil dropped to the floor, as did Lougheed.

Yes, the Alberta conservatives blamed it all, in total on the NEP and the Liberals. They did not bother to tell Albertans that in the 1930s, Ontario bailed out Alberta and kept the province from declaring bankruptcy!

This BS flew so well they spent another several years saying Quebec was getting a far better deal than Alberta and that difference was the cause of our problems. Ralph Klein especially would sing out hate and dissent against Quebec at every opportunity. The Physic of the Alberta population was not so different then as it is now. The person from the next village or city is considered a foreigner and Quebec is just the ogre someplace east that is waiting to do us in.

Albertans feel in their minds there is no choice in the political scheme. There is only Conservative even if the crew takes the bread off their table and drives them into poverty as is the case now.

So all the years have passed and the children still "know" the NEP and the Liberals did them in. All because of carefully orchestrated lies and misleading by the Alberta Conservatives who found they exercise so good they find it hard to stop.

Outright on going lies told time and time again has been the main stay for the Alberta Conservatives all told to the populace for whom they have absolutely no respect, laughing at their backward ways when in private.

Alberta Conservative History 1

Electrical power lines sold at a value of 1 cent on the dollar. The end of the Alberta Advantage.

The golden Alberta owned its own power lines. Municipalities received money for the power lines that went through their towns. Some towns had more power lines than others hence a better revenue base.

This started to change with the Conservatives decided to privatize the electrical industry in Alberta.

They told people it was unfair for one town to receive more money from power lines than the next town. To fix this and give every school an equipped computer room so the schools would be on the same footing, the Government would take control of all the power lines. In doing so All Albertans would be share ownership and responsibility for all power lines in the province.

Short funding of schools created a disparity in funding that seen all schools wanting for computer equipment. This was a fix that was welcomed by the voting parents around the province.

The Government then mandated the power generation companies could not own the transmission lines. If they owned them they would have to divest themselves of the lines or the generation facility.

All the generation wattage would be sold on public market. To this end the Government created Power Purchase Agreements. While this was going on so called brown outs of power circulated the province and, we were told privatizing the power was the way to fix it.

The idea is you could have the option to buy the generation from any of the power plants. Some power plants on coal were making money while others on Natural Gas were losing an arm and a leg. Parties bought the PPAs quickly for those profitable sites but, not the non profitable.

The Conservatives have always been in bed with the insurance companies. In this case the companies that were losing money were picked up by the Power Group of which Great West Life is a subsidiary. We know insurance companies do not invest to lose money so the question has to be asked “How much is Alberta paying the Power Corp to carry this paper?

Unnamed parties bought the PPA these were reported flipped by the new owners not once but up to three times, each time pocking more cash; each time driving up the cost of electricity. This was not so strange for uncaring Alberta voters as the Conservatives asked for bids, never divulged who bid or who the running up bidders were. On has to wonder why companies who vie for business in Alberta would even bother to bid!

Now, EPCORE and ENMAX own most of the power generation and count on the money they receive from these organizations run the city business. If the prices of electricity are curtailed, taxes will most certainly go up.

Now, with Albertan’s owning all the power lines equally we as consumers end up paying an unreasonable percentage of the new construction for the upgraders to name one.

The bottom line is the deal cost the Alberta Taxpayer 6 billions of dollars for which there is no return.

More segments to follow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Billions for Carbon Capture:Report 2

The graphic is great. It shows the Possibilities but does not show the projected traffic. More especially it shows that the gas can be metered as to where it is going and what it is being used for!

The majority of carbon dioxide is going down hole into existing oil fields to scarf oil and return it to the surface. Oil that is brought up like this is saturated with Carbon Dioxide and there is a large amount of carbon dioxide boils off the oil  escaping back into the atmosphere before after and during the recovery of oil. Carbon Dioxide tucked into the Saline Aquifer, stays there.

Not all of the lower aquifers are bad; saline saturated.  Some (a few) run pure drinkable water. As usual this Government fails to discern between the two.

In Saskatchewan, reports of carbon dioxide escaping ahead of the oil giving the sound of a jet engine and running for hours before the oil shows up is a repeated report.

In Montana they are starting a carbon capture into an underground natural dome which has no oil. In this case they are building a pipeline from the dome to the shale formation to use it to recover oil as they are doing in Weyburn.

It follows, companies take a carbon credit when it goes down the hole. There is no accounting of when it comes up again and no one has any intention of metering or public disclosure.

Recovery of costs for the Alberta scenario is based on the increased price of power when we are already paying the highest prices in north America. Or, by reducing oil royalty which, is the lowest in the world already being zero. 

We cannot afford any more Conservatives!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Carbon capture to cost Billions:Alberta Report

The present plan is for carbon to be collected at 3 sites, one of which is electrical generation. Once collected it is shipped down a pipeline (still to be built) into the mature oil field in the center of Alberta.

When injected there it will be used as a solvent to extract more oil from the strata. When this new oil comes to the surface it does so saturated with new carbon dioxide and is propelled to the surface by carbon dioxide which is released again into the atmosphere.

The present plan for this is for the taxpayer to pay for the construction of the new plants through user fees and through advanced electrical rates. On electrical rates we are presently paying the highest rates in North America.

Other funding will come from still further reduced royalty rates. Presently at 19% Canadian they are the lowest in the world already. BC and Saskatchewan are collecting 30% US dollars.

At the time of this edit, royalty in Alberta has dropped to zero!  The biggest resource rip off in the history of the modern world!

There will be no relief from this Government! Nor will there be any relief from the Wild Rose Association who by definition are more extreme than the present Conservatives and that is hard to take!

Time to wake up Alberta! I for one have had enough of Conservative and, I really cannot afford any more.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alberta worming out of upgraders

The Calgary Herald and Deborah Yeldin is the ink barrel for the Alberta Conservatives. Their article, Bitumen-processing rationale needs an upgrade can only be a direct quote from the Government. It was after all, the consensus of opinion when they started this BS to get elected.

Bitumen-processing rationale needs an upgrade
By Deborah Yedlin, Calgary HeraldJuly 22, 2009
The provincial government, despite advice to the contrary, is forging ahead with its bitumen-in-kind initiative as a way to increasing the amount of bitumen processed in Alberta. The latest step toward achieving this goal came in the form of a draft request for proposal soliciting comments from industry released Tuesday.

The intent, of course, is to kick-start the moribund upgrading projects that have been iced in recent months, thanks to high costs, lower prices and more capacity for upgrading and processing in the United States.

By being able to supply a stand-alone upgrader (can you say Northwest Upgrading?) through this policy, the government will make good on an election promise to see more value-added to Alberta's natural resources --in this case, bitumen.

But the entire idea remains misguided and ill-advised.

Let's start with the fact that if the economics made sense, there would be more upgrading going on in the province, not less. Access to the bitumen molecules is not the problem--there are other issues preventing this from happening.

Point 1: It's cheaper to modify and expand existing facilities instead of building them from scratch. And this is exactly what's been going on south of the border. Capacity has increased as a result of refineries reconfiguring themselves to handle the increasingly heavier barrels being produced in North America, as well as the fact there isn't as much crude flowing from Mexico and Venezuela and finding its way into the U. S. facilities. More capacity means lower processing fees, even with the cost of sending it south.

There's also the advantage of being closer to markets that gives the economics a boost.

The reality is if the market thought it could compete with that, more upgraders would be moving ahead in Alberta; but that's not the case.

"These decisions are usually made by the market," said David Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

"I understand the government's desire to increase investment in the province, but it needs to be mindful of the potential downside of market intervention."

And it's market intervention that is the second factor that should cause anyone in the energy business to be very worried; this includes pipelines as much as it does producers.

As things look right now, the initiative is aimed at companies whose operations are not integrated in Alberta. This potentially means companies the likes of En-Cana, with agreements to upgrade bitumen in the U. S., could be negatively affected by this policy.

It also could have an adverse impact on pipeline companies committed to building capacity to ship the bitumen into the U. S.

Either way, it's not good from a free market perspective; any time there is market intervention, the consequence is market distortion.

Nor do these undertakings necessarily play out the way they were initially intended.

Anyone with a bit of grey hair out there will remember all too well the outcome involving the last provincially owned upgrader; the jointly owned Lloydminster upgrader was ultimately sold to Husky--and not for a price that remotely covered the cost of construction and operating it up to that point.

The third factor to consider is that more upgrading in the province will increase greenhouse gas emissions. Given the direction in which climate change policy is headed, one has to question why the Alberta government would move in this direction.

Finally, there is the issue of managing the commodity price risk associated with the policy.

The economics of stand-alone upgraders -- those that depend on bitumen being supplied by other producers -- is difficult at the best of times. See aforementioned reference to Lloydminster.

Whether the facility makes money is dependent on what is known as the differential between light and heavy oil.

This differential--also known as the discount to which the price of a barrel trades relative to the benchmark light crude--varies according to refining capacity.

If there is lots of capacity, the differential--or the discount-- is low. This means the barrels are more expensive because they can be processed. Conversely, if there is a shortage of capacity, there are more raw barrels and therefore the price falls.

This inherent volatility means these are tough businesses to finance--especially on a standalone basis.

Finally, while it's noble to want to create jobs in the province, it has to be pointed out that the job-intensive aspect of an upgrader is during construction; the facility doesn't require a huge labour force to keep it running. Moreover, didn't the province just announce a 12-person panel aimed at determining how to diversify the economy? By pushing this upgrading agenda, it appears the government might not be as committed to economic diversification as it wants the electorate to believe; this is clearly the easier route.

Alberta's oilpatch has already had enough challenges in the past 18 months and the last thing it needs is more uncertainty as a result of ill-conceived initiatives solely for political gain. The possibility of market distortion as a result of this policy will be one more reason for outsiders to stay away from investing in Alberta. Given the current economic climate, it's the last thing we need.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Alberta forcing seniors out of the province.

The Alberta Conservatives are doing every thing in their power to force Seniors to move from this province. They have been harassed and targeted with cuts. This isn't a bad novel it is what is happening!

For you younger people, your inheritance will be nothing when this Government gets through with your parents.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Liquor becomes part of Stelmach's Public Relations

Cancel the input on the liquor tax? They never intended to go with it in the first place! This was a grandee scenario; an in-house play to give Stelmach a chance to appear in a positive light. That's what paying millions to a PR company can do for you!

Car Rentals - Alberta

Beware of leaving the province or coming to the province in a rental vehicle! Alberta's new law is untested. They have put a cap on damages that can be collected from rental vehicles.

If you rent in Saskatchewan and drive to Alberta does the Alberta cap reign supreme? Leaving you stuck with the difference?

If you travel to BC from Alberta does the cap stay in place for a passenger? This means you most certainly face personal law suits.

Alberta Conservatives now protecting car rental agencies.

adding vehicle rental companies to the list of businesses for which third party liability will be capped. Is a quote from the list of changes in the new Alberta Traffic safety act.

Why they decided to cap damages on these guys is beyond me- they see a payoff someplace.

Alberta opens the door to private health insurance

The Alberta Gazette leaves the notation "more changes- new document to be produced shortly)"
This is really bad for Albertans. When will you see Conservative for what it is and vote otherwise?

Contract or self-insurance plan allowed under section 26 of Act
20(1) Pursuant to section 26 of the Act, an insurer shall not enter into or issue a contract or initiate a self‑insurance plan covering indemnification for the cost of basic health services or extended health services provided within Alberta except as otherwise provided in this section.
(2) An insurer may enter into or issue a contract or initiate a self‑insurance plan under which a resident is indemnified for
(a) the cost of chiropractic services provided to the resident by a chiropractor in excess of the amount that is payable in respect of each service under the Chiropractic Benefits Regulation,
(b) the cost of podiatric services provided to the resident by a podiatrist in excess of the amount that is payable in respect of each service under the Podiatric Benefits Regulation,
(c) the cost of optometric services provided to the resident by an optometrist in excess of the amount that is payable under the Optometric Benefits Regulation, or
(d) the cost of extended health services provided to the resident where those services are outside the limits prescribed in the Extended Health Services Benefits Regulation.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2)(a), an insurer may enter into or issue a contract or initiate a self‑insurance plan under which a resident is indemnified for the cost of chiropractic services provided to the person pursuant to the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation (AR 122/2004).
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (2), nothing in this Regulation prevents an individual from receiving indemnity for the cost of extended health services where the individual was eligible to receive such indemnity through some other plan provided by a private insurance carrier before the individual or the individual’s dependants became eligible for extended benefits.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Alberta Heath Care prepared health coverage cuts!

Alberta is setting the stage to introduce health coverage cuts , Alberta has artificially increased the health care costs of Alberta Health by building multi million dollar hospitals that remain vacant and by flipping the name of the Capital Health Authority several times and paying the executives leaving the previous organization multi millions of dollars in severance packages while investing still more multi millions into new executives.

These are political expenses, not health care expenses.

The Capital Health authority produced a long list of services to delist from Alberta Health Care. To date, only the seniors portions have been somewhat introduced. The hammer will fall after the meeting captioned here.

Consider these guys have privatized all the hospitals and clinics while telling the world the electorate told them they didn't care if they were private or public only that they were public funded.

Well, now is the time to start turning off the public funding. You will be forced into Blue cross for coverage and, I would guess you will find new entries into that market. I don't think the broad list of dolts that make up this meeting are going to ask any questions, enough they got invited.
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