New Anti-TMX Strategy: Remove Pipeline Insurance Coverage

First they said all the whales were going to die because of oil tankers, but then we looked at the marine traffic data and saw the increased tanker traffic was irrelevant compared to the total traffic (from ferries and other tankers and transports). 
 
Then they tried to tell us that Alberta oil was entirely uneconomic, that Asia didn’t want it, and oil companies would wind up with all these “stranded assets” because by golly any day now the world is going to stop using oil altogether. Of course, the idea of eco-radicals providing investment advice to protect oil producers from themselves is laughable.
 
Now they’re saying the TMX is just plain uninsurable, so the insurance companies would be making a bad financial decision to insure it. These people are idiots. The insurance industry is not going to abandon a Crown corp whale of a client for the sake of these morons’ and their ignorant opinions. 
— Read more at the Calgary Herald —

Ottawa Needs Alberta More Than Alberta Needs Ottawa

Alberta keeps federal finances afloat, according to a new study:

  • In a 2017 study, we measured Alberta’s net contribution to Canada’s economy during the most recent economic boom in the province. We showed that when it comes to overall economic growth, job creation, or business investment, Alberta made a substantial contribution to the health of the Canadian economy from 2004 to 2014.

  • Since 2014, Alberta has struggled and much has changed. However, Alberta continues to punch well above its weight in at least one critically important respect—its net contribution to federal government finances.

  • Even through the recent recession and uneven recovery, Alberta has remained, by far, the largest net contributor to federal finances.

  • Alberta’s net contribution to Confederation peaked in 2014 at $27.6 billion. Since then, due to economic weakness in the province, its net contribution shrunk somewhat, but was still $20.5 billion in 2017. In total, from 2014 to 2017, Alberta’s net contribution to Confederation ex-ceeded $92 billion.

  • Alberta’s large contribution has helped stabilize federal finances and prevent the federal government from running even larger deficits. In 2017, for example, in the absence of Alberta’s net contribution and if all else had remained equal, Canada’s deficit would have been over $39 billion—more than twice the $19 billion that was in fact the case.

  • Alberta’s economic health is a matter of national importance and its struggles in recent years have implications for all Canadians. In short, Canada cannot reach its full economic and fiscal potential unless Alberta is able to do the same.

— Continue reading the full study — 

Young People Have No Faith in Notley

We always hear about how young people tend to lean “left” and approve of more “socialistic” policies.

Unfortunately for Notley and her gang, this might not be true in Alberta.

Take a look at this table from a CBC survey. Let me know if you see anything interesting:

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That might be a bit hard to read, so let me just point out what I find interesting here.

The 18-24 year old crowd gives the Alberta NDP a pathetic 18% support on the question of which party will best be able to defend Alberta’s economic interests. That is encouraging even if our other Alberta political parties are quite bad.

Also interesting is that the only group shown here that appears to have more faith in the NDP than the UCP is the “post grad” crowd. Even then, they only beat out the UCP 42% to 38%.

For the NDP, that’s pretty sad because if they can’t count on overwhelming support from the over-educated, underpaid post-grads (who are often losers who work at universities and spend most of their lives whining for more government funding), who can they count on?

Notley Will Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder Morgan?

Notley’s stupid schemes just keep getting dumber and dumber…

Not only because Alberta’s treasury is empty…

But for anyone who thinks big pipelines are scary now, wait until the government owns them!

If Kinder Morgan can’t build the pipeline why should the Alberta taxpayer bail them out? Does that not simply put the taxpayer on the hook for major financial damage if Trans Notley Pipeline wallows in limbo forever?

The opposition facing Trans Mountain doesn’t go away if Notley buys the pipeline or loans them money.

What an outrageously bad idea.

Rather than half-baked schemes like buying the pipeline or banning BC wine imports through the provincial wholesale monopoly, perhaps Notley should turn her sights on Ottawa and ask why the province pays nearly $30 billion more into confederation than we get back each year when Ottawa and other provinces are blocking market access for one of our most important products?

 

 

Government Puts Salt on Fort Mac Wounds

With its politically motivated ‘anti-dumping’ laws and tariffs.

 

Future Alberta Will Be Different

The Alberta Advantage is gone, says David Yager.

Rising oil prices will help. And they will surely rise. It’s just nobody knows when, why and how much. But even if WTI returned to US$100 a barrel next year Alberta still won’t the same because every other oil producing jurisdiction will enjoy the same benefit but without Alberta’s new tax increases, carbon taxes, investment concerns, government policy uncertainty and the continuing lack of low-cost international market access through additional pipelines.

— Read more at Energy Now —

AIMCo Invests Alberta Tax Money in American Pipeline Companies

Today AIMCo announced that it is investing $500 million in an American company called Howard Energy Partners.

AIMCo is an Alberta crown corporation that manages money for government pensions and endowments. They have $90 billion under management. Virtually all of that money is derived from taxation.

What does Howard Energy Partners do?

Howard Energy Partners is an independent midstream energy company, owning and operating natural gas gathering and transportation pipelines, …

Alberta can’t get pipelines, in part because it is viciously opposed by US-backed opponents.

Meanwhile, the US continues building pipelines — lots of pipelines — and even has the pleasure of getting Alberta taxpayer money invested in its own pipeline companies.

Notley Defends Her Beer Tax

By pointing to her new corporate welfare program for some Alberta brewers

(You get subsidies if you are small and stay small — that’s obviously helpful for one’s growth strategy!)

Notley’s South African Welfare Firefighters

 

 

The Alberta government, through the CIFFC, contracted 300 of the cheapest firefighters they could possibly get.

Everyone made a big deal out of these cheerful South African firefighters, who sang and danced upon their arrival at the airport. Hooray! How cool is that?

No one has said much about the fact that these firefighters were hired as part of a South African government job creation program called “Working on Fire.” They may have only been hired shortly before their departure for Canada (they arrived on May 29).

Are they real firefighters? We can’t be sure.

Once here, the workers go on strike because of their wages, which are pathetic by the standards of a comfortable Albertan (about $4 an hour, or $50 per day). Now they might all be going home.

Premier Rachel Notley says they contracted to pay the firefighters $170 per day + food and lodgings.

So the South African government is exporting its welfare firefighters and taking $120 per day off the top for each one. They must think the Alberta government is a bunch of suckers.

 

Notley, who apparently thinks everyone should pay $15 minimum wage except when her government wants cheap African thralls to fight fires, says she is going to fix everything. She claims she will somehow ensure the South African firefighters get paid the appropriate Alberta wage (which is small fortune to them — each day will equal almost a month of the average firefighter wage back in their home country).

Since the firefighters are paid by the South African government, this means the Alberta government will have to give money to the South African government. It’s probably fair to think the South African government is still going to skim “a little” off the top.

The South African government tells us not to worry, because that $4 per hour wage is just an “allowance”, and their firefighters still get regular pay at home (average 2,400 rand, or about $205 per month). The welfare firefighters are double dipping!

We’ve heard of people applying the broken window fallacy to natural disasters: “This wildfire is pretty bad, but fixing things will boost our economy!” Even those people wouldn’t be so daft as to suggest it would boost another country’s economy.

Who would have thought that a wildfire in Fort McMurray would lead to foreign aid for South Africa, letting corrupt bureaucrats enrich themselves at the expense of the Alberta taxpayer?

— Read more at CBC.ca —

 

Should We Subsidize CO2?

Alberta’s NDP government passed its carbon tax law today.

Many agree that it is one of the stupidest taxes ever created, however even many arguments against the tax accept the basic premise that CO2 is a negative externality and “something must be done.”

But what if the premise underlying the tax — not to mention any other “climate change” policy — is wrong?

What if the social cost of carbon is negative — i.e. the net effects of carbon are positive?

A new paper by Dayaratna, McKitrick, and Kreutzer finds reason to believe this is justified by the empirical data:

Substituting an empirical ECS distribution from LC15 yields a mean 2020 SCC of $19.52, a drop of 48%. The same exercise for the FUND model yields a mean SCC estimate of $19.33 based on RB07 and $3.33 based on the LC15 parameters—an 83% decline. Furthermore the probability of a negative SCC (implying CO2 emissions are a positive externality) jumps dramatically using an empirical ECS distribution. Using the FUND model, under the RB07 parameterization at a 3% discount rate there is only about a ten percent chance of a negative SCC through 2050, but using the LC15 distribution, the probability of a negative SCC jumps to about 40%. Remarkably, replacing simulated climate sensitivity values with an empirical distribution calls into question whether CO2 is even a negative externality. The lower SCC values also cluster more closely together across difference discount rates, diminishing the importance of this parameter.

This all makes perfect sense, because there are non-climate effects of CO2 and they are extremely beneficial to the planet (plant growth, crop yield, human well-being). Furthermore, the climate effects of CO2 observed in the real world are far less damaging than what’s been predicted by the models of climate change propagandists — and these too are largely beneficial. On this, see Goklany’s Carbon Dioxide: The Good Newsfrom GWPF.

So using the logic of carbon tax advocates, since carbon provides us with overall benefits, we should subsidize carbon rather than tax it extra.

CONCLUSION

From the standpoint of economics and ethics, we should neither subsidize carbon nor tax it.

If you have a carbon tax, get rid of it. If you don’t have one but think you need one, forget it.

Carbon taxes are an abomination — they do nothing to improve the environment and exist only to plunder citizens so that politicians, central planners and cronies can enrich themselves.

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