Ian Bruce and Karel Mayrand
Aerial view of the Suncor oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray Photograph by: MARK RALSTON , Calgary Herald

Albertans don’t need to be reminded that an economy built largely on oil extraction isn’t always smooth sailing. Amid 2009’s great recession, Alberta shed over 17,000 jobs, flatlining for most of 2010 before roaring back in 2011 with more than 100,000 new jobs. The job losses of 2015 — 19,600, according to Statistics Canada — are yet another bust in a boom-and-bust cycle that fractures communities.

Geoffrey Morgan and Yadullah Hussain

The Alberta government’s $3 million royalty review, which had the energy industry tied in knots for months, turned out to be an expensive lesson.

Shawn McCarthy

[Website editor's note: This article is a useful summary of  provincial emission-reduction policies, or rather the lack thereof.]

Provincial premiers boast leadership in the country’s effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but achieving their own lofty ambitions will require political courage and aggressive policies to drive fundamental changes in the way Canadians produce and consume energy.

Roger Annis

A leading columnist in Canada's Globe and Mail daily newspaper known in the past to voice concern about the global warming emergency has penned two columns recently in support of Alberta tar sands pipelines, including praising the efforts of the premier of Alberta to sell the construction of these project to an increasingly sceptical and wary public in Canada

Jeffrey Jones

On the surface, the Sturgeon refinery project has just about everything Albertans would hope for as their economy sputters.

It will create jobs by processing scads of gooey crude from the oil sands into diesel fuel. It has long-term bitumen supply agreements with the province and one of Canada's largest oil companies.
Its carbon emissions will be piped away for use in old oil reservoirs to help produce leftover crude rather than vented into the atmosphere. That fits well with the province's new climate framework.

Macdonald Stainsby
Tar Sands

A friend sent me an email note two days ago, with the intro line “The NGO’s finally did it!” which caused a moment of terrorized confusion. I didn’t realize it would relate to this, but for the first time ever last November, the province of Alberta has instituted a potential cap on tar sands development. However, this is not the achievement my colleague was referencing. It was more a statement of alarm than laudatory glee.

Dave Cooper

There are two ways to look at Canada's oil wealth, found mostly in Alberta's oilsands deposits. One is to be amazed that Alberta has more than 170 billion barrels of oil - an immense resource by any yardstick. The other is to question what it all means. Will it have an effect on the global supply of oil, is Canada going to be able to sell it in the future, and how does the rest of the world view Canada - and its oil? Game changer. Oil is found just about everywhere on the planet.

Roger Annis
Alberta derailment

Enclosed are three news articles that review the challenging prospects for Alberta’s tar sands producers. They face a daunting future as rival U.S. oil production surges and opposition grows to the three pipeline routes which they and their pipeline allies are struggling to construct–Keystone XL to the south, Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain to the west, and Energy East to the east.


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