Ask the Alberta Legislature Expert – Ric McIver


Ask the Alberta Legislature Expert – Ric McIver

How will we make a living in 5 years?

If you listen to the NDP government you may wonder what the economy will be in 5 years. Job losses mount while several industries are under attack by government. The Environment Minister and Premier have promised to shut down coal burning electricity plants. They promise a “low carbon information based economy.” An increased tax has been added to Railway fuel. It all sounds good if you do not need to make a living.

Much of Alberta sits on coal. The Keephills 7 plant makes electricity with coal technology approaching how clean natural gas burns. Not quite as good but getting there. Would it not be wise to keep improving the technology and invest in further improvements while at the same time considering other fuels rather than locking billions of dollars of value away forever?

A low carbon economy is code for getting out of the oil and gas business. That also sounds good except that most of Alberta’s wealth comes from the energy industry. Maybe we should get a peek at the new “information based low carbon economy” before we toss out the current economy. When I asked the Premier in question period to describe the new economy she promises, she had no answer. The new economy is a fantasy for now so how do we switch to it?

The rail fuel tax will make it more expensive to get agriculture, forestry and energy products to market.  The PC caucus will keep asking the tough questions about our jobs and economy to protect Alberta.

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