Friday, June 26, 2009
The government in the southwestern Canadian province of Alberta changed its gas royalty laws to encourage productivity, but volatility may prove unattractive. Mel Knight, the energy minister in the provincial government, said Alberta would extend royalty rates in order to encourage gas productivity and maintain static employment levels.
Knight's decision is the fifth time the provincial government has modified its rules in less than two years in a move that some analysts say could push investors away from an uncertain energy sector, the National Post newspaper reports.
Alberta trails other Canadian provinces in terms of investment potential, and Knight said fluidity in the royalty structures for the oil and gas sector was a reactionary effort."We will monitor the programs that we have in place," he said. "We'll see what effect it has had on the industry (and) how it works for them."
But Laura Lau, who manages energy funds with Toronto's Sentry Select Capital Corp., said predictability, not fluidity, creates attractive investment climates."You need a stable regime, and we don't have a stable fiscal regime. No other regime has changed so often," she said. "Not even Libya has changed five times."© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Very recently bulk LNG has docked on the East coast of the US. LNG arriving by boats is a lot cheaper than gas shipped by pipelines. In the right circumstance it can render gas pipelines obsolete. This is a new trend that is expected to increase very rapidly.
Russia is looking for new customers as Europe looks elsewhere for a supplier.
In addition to this horizontal drilling coupled with carbon dioxide injection is freeing up huge amounts of natural gas here and in the other shale formations.
This is a market glut in gas that is not going to go away any time soon. Why then do they pour over a billion dollars into it? Every cent they put into Gas now will go directly into company profits and the stock market.
Still on Alberta Energy: Trans Canada has got the go ahead for the Texas pipeline for crude. This is a good deal for us all. What I find strange is Trans Canada have been able to sell 1.3 billion dollars in shares in a few days. This, at after the Alberta Government says it will have to borrow 8 billion.
I have to ask; Did AIMCo buy a huge slot of Trans-Canada share offerings on the pipeline?
Alberta is celebrating the finish of the water privatization in Alberta. Whether or not it becomes a commodity they say. Like Health Care it is better in the hands of private enterprise than in the hands of Government. So says the Alberta Conservatives.
For over a generation, Conservatives have been after the Feds to change the NAFTA agreement to include water as a commodity. That change means water can be exported into the US. It also means that people in Alberta will be paying the same for water as is charged in California. If they get a majority in Ottawa, it will be a done deal.
Prices for water have increased in Alberta on all fronts. Check your utility bills. Towns and cities on the new program can charge what ever they want as it is now. Soon enough you will be paying rent on the pipelines. This will provide them the revenue increases which will probably go as everything else; to the insiders. Then you will be paying either still more rent on the pipelines or, you will be paying for the water. Either way, tough times or not, the Conservatives are going to rip coin for your pockets still again.
Every cent they pull from your pockets is used to further reduce oil royalty. That is what being a Conservative is all about.
Get a little smart and vote for another party to turn this province around! The Wildrose is not such a party; they are more extreme than the present Conservatives.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Editor's note: Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, was a political consultant for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 and was counselor to Clinton in the White House. He is an affiliated professor at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute and an adviser to the Service Employees International Union, which supports President Obama's health care plan.
Paul Begala says health care isn't getting attention it deserves -- and Obama administration is partly to blame.
(CNN) -- You probably have never heard of Robin Beaton, and that's what's wrong with the debate over health care reform.
Beaton, a retired nurse from Waxahachie, Texas, had health insurance -- or so she thought. She paid her premiums faithfully every month, but when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her health insurance company, Blue Cross, dumped her.
The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch.
Beaton testified before a House subcommittee this week. So did other Americans who thought they had insurance but got the shaft. As Karen Tumulty of Time magazine (who has been the journalistic conscience of health care coverage) wrote, other witnesses included:
"Peggy Raddatz, whose brother Otto Raddatz lost his insurance coverage right before he was scheduled to receive an expensive stem-cell transplant to treat his lymphoma. Why? Because Fortis Insurance Company discovered his doctor had found gall stones and an aneurysm on a CT scan -- conditions that had nothing to do with his cancer, that never bothered him and that he wasn't even aware of. And Jennifer Wittney Horton of Los Angeles, California, whose coverage was canceled because she had been taking a drug for irregular menstruation. Now, she can't get coverage anywhere else. 'Since my rescission, I have had to take jobs that I do not want, and put my career goals on hold to ensure that I can find health insurance,' she told the subcommittee."
The subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called the hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage.
Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud?
All three health insurance executives said no.
It was as dramatic as congressional testimony gets. Yet it got no airtime on the networks, nor, as far as I can tell, on cable news, although CNN.com did run a story. Time's Tumulty was all over it, as was Lisa Girion of The Lost Angeles Times. But the story did not make The New York Times.
Nor The Washington Post, which found space on the front page the morning after the hearing for a story on the cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, but not a story on the cancellation of health insurance for deathly ill Americans who've paid their premiums.
Stupak, and the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Henry Waxman, D-California, did their job. Why didn't the media do its? Why were the outrages uncovered by Stupak and Waxman un-covered by most of the media?
Maybe because the Obama White House drew the spotlight away from health care. They'd diverted the media to cover Obama's proposed reforms of the financial regulatory system.
On the last day of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, we had the media A-Team traveling with us. So I made it my business to sit next to David Gergen, then with U.S. News & World Report but a former top aide to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan (at that point -- little did I know he would soon be working for President Clinton). I had never seen a communications shop as effective as Reagan's, and I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to learn from a master. Gergen told me an anecdote I still remember vividly.
In the opening months of the Reagan presidency, it was the economy, stupid. America was mired in a recession, and President Reagan wanted to focus the nation's attention on his economic plan. But Secretary of State Al Haig had other ideas. The State Department had nothing to do with the economy, and Haig had ambitious plans. So, Gergen told me, Haig got a bunch of good press, advocating for intercepting Cuban gun runners (if memory serves).
You would think a staunch anti-Communist such as Reagan would have been happy. But, no. Reagan's chief of staff, James Baker, upbraided Haig for diverting media attention away from the primary goal: passing the president's economic plan.
I never forgot Gergen's story -- especially when the Clinton White House wandered off message as it tried to pursue fundamental reform of the health care system.
The economic plan eclipsed health care for much of Clinton's first year. As did NAFTA. And the crime bill, which included the Brady Bill and other gun control measures. And don't forget gays in the military. And a foreign policy crisis in Somalia -- and another in Haiti. And another in Russia.
Clinton gave his health care address to the Congress on September 23, 1993. October was supposed to be "Health Care Month" in the White House, but so many other issues got in the way that he had just one public event focused on health care in the entire month -- just one.
I understand that Obama's White House team has to juggle a lot of issues; I've been there. And I'm sure the Obama financial reforms have merit. But if the president wants to pass his ambitious health care reform, he's going to have to put other, worthy, ideas on the back burner and shine the media spotlight on the plight of people like Robin Beaton.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
You can read out future by watching the US debate on health care. The US politic refers to the Canadian Health care system as being "the Soviet System". Mr. Obama struggling to put the ground work down for universal coverage in the US is defensive when he tells the US the Alberta Health care is dysfunctional producing long line ups of waiting.
He takes no effort in explaining to the population that this is brought about by budget manipulations. Basically; create a problem through short funding and present the cure as privatization.
What Mr. Obama didn't have to say is in the US people loose all their health care coverage when they loose their jobs. What he didn't say is in the US the hospitals are quick to have to sign and notarize a lien on your property before you get access to treatment.
Public hospitals in the US are for "Indigent People who have no insurance and no chattel (house to mortgage)."
Ron Liepert is not the author of these destructive Conservative policies. He is the point man delivering them for the Conservative organization of which Harper is a part of.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
There are 2 million households in Alberta. AESO is telling us our power bills will go up 8 dollars per month to pay for the the new DC lines.
That is 16 million dollars per month going to the power companies and to the people who build and maintain the power lines. I would like to know how this 8.00 is split between the two.
192 million dollars per year out of our pockets. Over 10 years, 1.92 billion dollars.
According to these figures it will be over 40 years at 8.00 per month to pay this off but, by that time we will be paying forever!
Consider that last year TransAlta utilities had a bumper year with huge profits. They explained these profits as being the product of the high electric rates being paid in Western Canada.
This province cannot afford any more corporate welfare. We certainly cannot afford the Conservatives!
First off, the cost of the power line is no where near 8 billion dollars! The towers are smaller, and not nearly so high as the AC towers. On the plus side DC does away with most of the "noise" and "radiation" assocated with high tension power lines which are mostly AC current. It would be my personal choice for transmission.
In order to put power onto a DC transmission line it first must be converted to DC. This, is expensive and wheter or not the cost is in the domain of the power companies and should be treated as an investment is for the public to decide.
When the DC power is taken off the line into a city grid as an example, it must be converd back to AC. Again, expensive and, who should pay?
The conversion is done by very large transducers; the larger version of that apparatus that tunes your television and a great numer of other applications.
Power will have to be converted to AC again to export it to the US; still another expence which appears will be carried by the Alberta consumers.
This Government has not told the truth about anything since they got elected the first time! Surly even the hard core Conservatives must be weary of being duped.