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Friday, January 25, 2008

alberta's green plan: what's the point?

After taking a look at the recently released Alberta Tory green plan, it's pretty clear that only a trained monkey (or the staunchest Tory partisan) would be running to the front lines to defend and promote it as the great green hope of the Province of Alberta. Here's what I've gathered from a look at the report released by Ed Stelmach yesterday:

1) Alberta will allow greenhouse gas emissions to rise until 2020 (for another 12 years).

2) Alberta will deliver a 14-per-cent cut in emissions over 2005 levels by 2050 (something for Ed Stelmach to celebrate at his 99th Birthday party!)

3) The Tories will create a council of government and industry officials to to study studies which have been studied by government and industry study groups before before, which they will use to create a new study.

4) Ed Stelmach's Tories like pretty pictures, because this document is 70% pretty pictures.

5) The announcement also mentioned future investment in wind and solar power, but failed to mention anything about the Tories recent love-in with Nuclear power and the controversial proposed Nuclear power facility in Peace River. Why was this left out?

6) And lastly, it says quite a bit about the Stelmach Tories' green plan when Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is taking a stronger stance on climate change...

Alberta's greenhouse gas targets lag far behind the federal government's commitment to cut emissions 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020, and 60 to 70 per cent by 2050.

Ottawa plans to stop the rise of greenhouse gas emissions within five years, whereas Alberta is looking at 12 years.

If you're going to the job seriously, why bother at all? Today's Edmonton Journal editorial said it all:

The government's vague announcement sets weak long-term targets, proposes little concrete action and calls for yet another industry-government council to figure out how to build a carbon-capture-and-storage network.

Alberta can and should be a leader in fighting climate change, instead, our Tory government has chosen quiet complacency and mediocrity. Maybe this is what happens after 36-years in power?


Anonymous said...

This is a serious issue that the PCs don't take very seriously. As someone from rural alberta I find it pretty insulting to my intelligence that Edward M Stelmach would try to pretend like he's the greenest guy on the block (which he is, but that's another meaning for green) when his government tried to pull the wool over the eyes of rural albertans by deverting much needed water to build a mega-shopping mall and horseracing track in Balzac. I agree that it's time for a change. Throw the bums out because they have been in power for too long!

Anonymous said...

Rule #1 Regardless of what is said on the environment, the lefties will ask for more. In a way its their job, in a way its tiresome to listen to.

Rule #2 involves taxes, you can guess the rest I would wager.

Anonymous said...

It's a pretty smart plan. 2020 and 2050 are obscure numbers that people won't remember.

Only a fool would expect that these guys would take hard hitting problems like the environment, climate change, and the future seriously.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Harper needs to come back to ALberta and give Ed Stelmach a slap across the head. He's give Conservatism a bad name.

BR said...

Yes, how absurd that a government would actually take the economy and the livelyhood of its citizens into account before making a policy decision.

I particularily enjoy how Kevin Taft and David Swann would prefer to put Albertans out of work, then drive up their cost of living.

Bring on the election.

Anonymous said...

I heard Rod Love on the radio a few years ago going on and on about how there was no global warming. I believe Ralph Klein is also a denier. What about Stelmach? Does he realise that anthropogenic global warming is really happening and is killing people or is he also in denial?

Anonymous said...

What vision! What leadership! What a demonstration of how good scinece and broad public concern can be integrated into policy-making! My heart pounds with pride that I am part of a province which has the courage to reduce its carbon emissions by a full 14% in a mere 42 years.

Actually, I am just plain sad and disgusted. But at least the oil companies are happy, so I guess the policy has acheived its real goal.

Anonymous said...

I am a diehard PC supporter and I believe that from a political strategy viewpoint, the Stelmach government had left themselves dangerously exposed on climate change. In my mind, climate change is the "third rail" of Alberta politics. The government's climate change strategy lacks any real imagination or new is a rehash of things that have been presented before. It reinforces a perception that the government has no plan, and the free media is playing it that way. Very poorly packaged and communicated by the government. It would have been far better from a strategic point of view not to present anything at all. This plan will be shot full of holes and could be a flash point in the election.

Anonymous said...

Calling this plan unambitious is polite. These guys don't have a clue.

Alberta can do much better.

Time for a change.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Stelmach said that the policy represents a “real plan” that doesn't contain “hot air.” However, aside from the commitments to create a carbon capture council and an undefined pledge to commit up to $500-million towards carbon capture initiatives, the plan provides almost no details on what actions will actually be taken by the government, such as financial assistance for the carbon dioxide pipeline development."

Ed Stelmach has NO PLAN.

Ed Stelmach is NOT A LEADER.

Anonymous said...

Fran Irwin in Medicine Hat comments: As Rob Renner (Ab PC Environment Minister) is my current MLA, I watched with particular interest when Rob was interviewed by Don Newman on "Politics" (CBC) the day of the announcement. His (Rob's) body language and tone of voice told it he tried to intone with a serious and calm voice the utter baloney of statistics prepared for him by the Public Affairs Bureau - all the while diverting his eyes to some off-camera object and visibly sweating. Rob started out claiming that Alberta's announcement was ambitious...and would result in 50% reduction of CO2s, 70% of which would come from sequestration. Newman pointed out that the report given journalists speaks of 14% real reduction by 2050...jokingly suggesting that, although he (Newman) was not a math whiz what Rob had said didn't make sense. Duh....Rob tried to explain that the 50% was based on the present status quo (huh?) and then threw in another gem from the Public Affairs Bureau's prepared talking points that this reduction by Alberta would equal the entire CO2 emissions of 3 European countries (Sweden, Norway and another?)...a statement obviously meant to impress, but logically says more about the current real success of CO2 curtailment by this countries than putting Alberta in any kind of positive light...if this measly 14% real reduction in 42 years equals the current output of three whole countries - Alberta's out of control CO2 emissions are astoundingly gluttonous! So Robbie went back to the old standby line that "Alberta is the only jurisdiction to take any action on the CO2 files" - referring of course to the $15 a tonne carbon tax, the license to pollute which if ignored results in a measly $175 Million penalty a year into a vague "techno account". To which Don Newman countered that the same claim of the "best enviro jurisdiction" was made by Gordon Campbell of BC the day before. A chuckle by Newman and Rob was finally set free from one of the most awful interviews by an Alberta Minister I have ever witnessed.

Anonymous said...

"a denier" If that doesn't just sum up the attitude the "agreers" and bobbleheads take, I don't know what does.

Anonymous said...

My favorite bits of this "plan" are all the times that Stelmach and Renner use the words "continue to be." As in, "Alberta will continue to be a leader bla bla bla."

They've said it so many times, maybe they're starting to believe it themselves.

Anonymous said...

First of all thanks to Dave for an awesome blog.

The PC are so out of touch with reality. Suncor abided by the Kyoto targets with no problem. There should be no problem why the rest of the oil patch can't. When the world is drowning their is going to be alot of blame to go around, Alberta is going to be target #1.