Every time I think our Progressive Conservative government here in Alberta will finally figure out what is going on around them, they drop the ball. Our new, as yet untested (election-wise) premiere, Ed Stelmach, yesterday (January 24) announced his government’s plan to control greenhouse gases. But actually it’s not so much a plan to control greenhouse gases, as it is a plan to allow industry to continue with business as usual–putting off for twelve years any real reduction in greenhouse gases–long after the principals in this government will be in power.
That’s too bad. For as I’ve said many times in my Alberta Outdoorsmen column, Alberta is now in a window of opportunity to take the leadership in climate change technology. But that window won’t remain open long and it looks like Stelmach is doing all he can to close it.
Our tar sands development burns a lot of fossil fuel energy to produce a fossil fuel product–all producers of greenhouse gases. The rest of the world realizes this, and in the U.S. states such as California are already passing legislation to restrict the amount of “dirty fuel”, such as tar-sands oil produced without adequate greenhouse gas controls, used in their jurisdictions. Gosh, I guess those markets aren’t important to Alberta anymore. Oh, that’s right, China also has a stake in our tar-sands oil, and they don’t really care how it’s produced.
So, what’s wrong with that?