Tag Archives: Tar Sands

Newt Will Destroy Alberta’s Economy

Desperate Republican no-hoper Newt Gingrich is currently promising that, if elected, he will reduce the price of gasoline to $2 per gallon. Maybe a terrific prospect for gas-guzzling American consumers feeling the pinch of rising oil prices, but not one without consequences…

To realize the promise of $2 per gallon gasoline would require a per barrel oil price of approximately $67. Most estimates, however, are that a market price of $75-$90 per barrel is required to make the heavy oil (bitumen, tar sands, or whatever you want to call it) strip-mined in northern Alberta a profitable venture. So, in other words, a Newt Gingrich regime delivering on its promise would effectively shut down the Oil Sands, thereby collapsing the Alberta economy and seriously damaging Canada’s bottom-line as a whole…

Of course, it’s ridiculous to imagine that the President of the United States can actually control the price of oil… Or is it? Well, according to Republicans (and their surrogate right-wing media outlets), President Obama is DIRECTLY responsible for ALL increases in gas prices at the pump. If that is true and if what Newt is promising is true… well, you do the math. Or, it could be that both of those things are complete bullshit.

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Filed under 2012 U.S. Election, Oil & Gas, Republican Party

Rebranding the Tar Sands

Reluctant as I normally am to say kind words about Ezra Levant, I have to admit that his campaign to re-brand the Alberta oil sands from what environmental activists in the United States had lately taken to calling “dirty oil” into “ethical oil” is nothing short of an absolutely brilliant marketing idea.

As presented, the argument is a powerful one… After all, who could dispute that Saudi Arabia is a thoroughly nasty, intolerant, repressive, autocratic regime? By polar contrast, Canada is, as Levant likes to say, “the boy scout of the world” – a veritable exemplar of modern, secular, pluralistic, liberal values, and so on.

I realize that it’s a simplistic formulation (compromised to a degree by the fact that Canada presently imports about half of oil for its own domestic consumption from offshore – the bulk of which comes from dictatorial OPEC nations whose “ethical” nature is dubious), but unless one is adamantly opposed to oil as an energy source regardless of origin, then branding our frozen bitumen sludge as the preferred “fair trade” choice of consumers is… genius!

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Filed under Energy