Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ed's Politics Of Fear

With a green plan that makes the Federal Conservative government Hot Air Plan look good, hard to do, Farmer Ed now resorts to the politics of fear claiming that any green plan other than his non plan would end up with mass unemployment of everyone in the oil business in Alberta.

Seriously. Every single person working in the oil patch would be laid off if Alberta attempted to reduce our carbon footprint.

And again he has no proof for his assertions that the sky would fall. Oops.

"Our plan is real, is achievable and some of the commitments made by some of the leaders of the other parties would destroy 335,000 jobs," Stelmach claimed. "There's 600,000 new Albertans in this province. You want to send them back home to other provinces, other countries?"

When pressed by reporters after the encounter, Stelmach could not cite a source for the figure, which he has repeated throughout the campaign, but said there are multiple reports that have reached the same conclusion. Last week, the Tories suggested that's every job in the oilpatch.

The contentious issue at hand is a Tory policy on greenhouse-gas emissions that would see the province begin curbing carbon emissions by 2020 and decrease the 14% from 2005 levels by 2050, about 6% and 30 years behind federal targets. It has been roundly criticized by environmental groups.

The Stelmach government unveiled a new climate change plan Thursday that allows Alberta's greenhouse gas emissions to rise until 2020, and puts the province on a collision course with Ottawa over whose strategy takes precedence.

The Alberta plan -- which falls well short of what's demanded by both the Kyoto Protocol and the federal government -- was welcomed by the oil and gas industry as a good first step. But it was immediately panned by environmental groups and opposition parties.

It's the politics of fear. Which is the politics of a loser, with a loser environmental policy that makes no demands on the industry but puts the onus on individual Albertan's.

In fact it is not his plan nor even an Alberta plan, it is big oil's plan.

At the centre of the oil and gas sector's proposal is a plan to capture and store about one million tonnes of carbon emissions a year from natural gas. That would account for about 17 per cent of the sector's total emissions.

The proposal is still subject to feasibility studies, the industry admits, and its officials would not say whether it could be in place by the 2020 deadline. They also warned that the plan will likely be costly.

David Pryce, vice-president of western operations for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said more reductions could be found through waste-heat recovery, fuel efficiency programs and the elimination of gas flaring.


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