Friday, March 09, 2007

What's That Smell?

A new task force funded by the Canadian government and the province of Alberta will study ways to capture and store greenhouse gases emitted by the province's massive oil sands projects, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday. The task force will be headed by Steven Snyder, chief executive of TransAlta Corp., a Calgary-based power company that operates coal-fired plants in Alberta and elsewhere.

TransAlta the historical retirement home for ex Cabinet Ministers from the Alberta Government. Like Jim Dinning.

What's that smell? Nepotism? Nope just good old Alberta politics.

After all Steve Snyder knows how important the environment is, and how crucial CO2 sequestration is cause he told folks in Seattle about it five years ago!!! Just waiting for the government to tell them to do it. And to fund it.

Environmental issues today are greater than they've been in probably the history of the industry, and particularly in the Canadian context, with Kyoto at the forefront, but regardless of the CO2 issue, knocks, socks, water issues, in this industry are out there and bigger than ever. This is -- you know, the whole Kyoto argument has become a proxy for the environment, so it's raised environmental issues on everyone's mind. So whether, you know, the U.S., whether they sign Kyoto or not, I don't think it's the point. The point is, people are more conscious of the environment than they were, you know, asking for more action, and our industry's at the forefront of that. I mean, raising capital today, we all know that is more difficult than it was three years ago, so for a capital intensive business, that's pretty -- a pretty tough equation to be in. TransAlta Corporation Investors’ Days Presentation Seattle Seattle, Washington November 25, 2002
So If Steve and the boys at TransAlta were 'at the forefront five years ago how come we are only seeing them act now on CO2 sequestration and other environmental solutions. Just waiting with their hands out. Ottawa spends $155.9M to make Alberta oil industry more green

TransAlta is Alberta's first P3.

With ties to the provincial and federal governments and the Conservative party historically. During the Socred era and later with PC's a position on the Board was practically guaranteed if you were a well connected Calgary Cabinet Minister.

The forerunner of TransAlta Utilities, Calgary Power Company, was founded by banker W. Max Aitken in 1903. Aitken, who later became Lord Beaverbrook, reorganized a number of utilities as a subsidiary of his Royal Securities Company. He was joined in this venture by his friend and mentor R. B. Bennett, who served as Canadian Prime Minister from 1930 until 1935. Some business leaders felt that Aitken and Bennett were an unlikely team, since Bennett was known as an upstanding young man, while Aitken had earned a reputation as something of a renegade. Nonetheless, the pair joined several other prominent Canadian businessmen on Calgary Power's initial board of directors. Among these board members were: A. E. Cross, one of the founders of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede; Herbert S. Holt, a Montrealer who was later knighted; and C. B. Smith, president of Calgary Power's forerunner, Calgary Power and Transmission Company Limited. Aitken soon became Calgary Power's first president.

In 1947, two years after the war ended, Calgary Power moved its head office from Montreal--then the nation's largest city and prime business center--to Calgary, reorganized, and incorporated as Calgary Power Ltd. At that time, Calgary Power supplied the province of Alberta with 99 percent of its hydroelectric power. Also in 1947, Calgary Power built its Barrier Hydro Plant and used it to test the use of a newly developed remote-control operation system. The automation efforts worked well enough that Calgary Power soon converted all of its plants to the Barrier Plant system. A control center that could operate the company's entire system was built in Seebe in 1951. The company continued its string of innovations by testing 'mobile radio' communications in its line patrol trucks.

Although electricity had begun to spread to rural areas in the 1940s, only 5 percent of farmers in the province had electricity of any kind. The majority of farmers were hesitant to adapt until it became obvious that electric service could increase farm production as well as provide modern conveniences. The main problem for utilities in supplying farms was a financial one: at the time, it was estimated that it would cost $200 million--or twice the provincial debt--to expand service and supply all of the farms with electricity. This dilemma led to an unprecedented cooperative effort between Calgary Power, farmers, and the provincial government.

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , ,

No comments: