About a year and a half ago I wrote that, whether you liked him or not, Donald Trump was the only elected political leader advancing Alberta’s interests. Hopefully that will change in this year’s Albertan and Canadian elections, but for now it’s an opinion that still holds up well with the recent news that Premier Notley has appointed yet another fox to help supervise the chicken coop, by adding Ed Whittingham to the board of directors of the AER.
Mr. Whittingham’s prior life as head of the Pembina Institute made him one of the Canadian figureheads of the foreign funded anti-oil movement that has worked diligently to keep Canadian oil stranded without market access. He even admitted to the fact that their campaign “sacrificed Canada”, and now he is in a position to make life harder for Alberta’s oil and gas industry for years to come. And when we complain we won’t be able to blame him, because after all, to paraphrase an old song, we knew he was a snake before we let him in.
Canada’s shameful inability to get a pipeline built to any one of our own coasts leaves us with just a single option: south. And there we do have some hope, eventually, for the recently delayed Line 3 and much longer delayed Keystone XL to enter service in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Although the permitting process and the courts are delaying both, they do have the unequivocal support of the current administration.
It’s interesting to think that I used the word “hope” in reference to the completion of those two pipelines, particularly Keystone XL. Because “hope” is a word so many people seem to associate with a certain past American President. The one who could have issued a permit for KXL as early as 2010, and certainly after the state department endorsed it in 2013, were it not for his need to throw a bone to his environmentalist base and its ideological opposition to oil development.Were he truly principled in his opposition to oil and gas development, President Obama could’ve done far more to restrict the growth in his own country’s production, which doubled under his watch, or to limit other foreign oil shipments. But he was more than content to reap the economic benefits of the US oil boom while tossing the Canadian industry under the bus to salve his base.
The damage he did to our economy hasn’t gone completely unnoticed in this publication or others, and yet just yesterday he spoke to an enraptured crowd here in Calgary. Many of those in attendance are even personally worse off as a direct result of his actions, but like a mythical siren luring sailors to their doom he seems able to entrance many people into cheering for the effective downfall of our city. It’s not a good look Calgary.