BC citizens need a lesson in reality.

LET THE WESTERN IDIOTS FREEZE IN THE DARK!

Just as folks on the left suffer a mental deficit when it comes to understanding even the most simple of economic principles, they are utterly lost when it comes to the realities of energy generation.

The trend this last decade has been to demonize all forms of carbon based fuel (particularly that which comes from Alberta) despite there still being no realistic alternative to carbon based fuel at this time. A replacement for oil, gas and coal may indeed be right around the corner but we still need to survive as a society until that corner is breached.

The majority of myopic fools on BC’s lower mainland enjoy a standard of living among the highest on the entire planet. This standard of living would be utterly impossible without cheap and abundant sources of energy and it appears that citizens don’t get that. BC hipsters sip their gas heated lattes while bitching on social media through their smart phones (corporate made petroleum products) without thinking for even a second how they would live without carbon based fools.

Idiots keep vapidly going on about how electric vehicles will replace all cars any day now and will save us from a carbon dioxide created armageddon. Even if we assume that these vehicles are practical, affordable and readily available (they aren’t) and even if we overlook the heavy metal disaster that 10s of millions of battery laden vehicles would cause, we can’t overlook the reality that these vehicles still need an energy source. The electricity has to come from somewhere kiddies.

Vancouver’s hippy mayor is trying to ban natural gas from the city while the incoming provincial government (created from a hellish coalition of left wing extremists) is so fucking stupid that they are actually planning on cancelling a hydroelectric dam that is already well under construction.

Let me repeat that as it is almost unbelievable: the incoming provincial government (created from a hellish coalition of left wing extremists) is so fucking stupid that they are actually planning on cancelling a hydroelectric dam that is already well under construction. 

Yes. These left wing extremists are so damned ideologically driven that they are going to try to shut down renewable electricity generation while telling us that we all will be moving on to power based on renewable electricity.

Oh, did I mention that it will cost billions to get out of the dam due to all the contracts? I guess its only money.

What will power all these electric cars in this new green wonderland? I can assure you that unicorn farts and the laughter of children won’t cut it. We need generation capacity.

The left opposes, oil, gas, coal, hydro, and nuclear forms of electricity generation. That really doesn’t leave much but these idiots really aren’t looking that far ahead.

I think it truly is time to send a real message and give a dose of reality to BC.

ITS TIME TO SHUT OFF THE KINDER MORGAN PIPELINE FOR AWHILE.

Yes, we would have to compensate oil companies for that loss. The savings from teaching our moronic West coast neighbors a lesson would more than make up for the short shipping glut though.

Nearly 90% of Vancouver and the coastal area’s fuel comes through that pipeline. Despite that reality, those dolts are strongly opposing the expansion and upgrading of that line which has been safely serving them for over fifty years.

If BC hates the contents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, then let’s indulge them. Give them a few weeks of $20 per liter fuel (if they can find it). Let their plants which use petroleum byproducts for manufacturing lay off 1000s of workers for awhile. Let their cost of consumer goods increase 10 fold as shipping comes to a standstill. Let the blackouts begin as a massive surge hits the electrical system as people try to find other means of energy with short notice.

While BC has utterly no constitutional authority to block Alberta’s pipelines, Alberta does have the authority to block outward shipments of energy products. This would require the will of the government which in Alberta right now is unfortunately a bunch of leftist ideologues who accidentally got elected. I don’t expect the Notley Regime to act in such a manner against her leftist bretheren in BC but we can dream can’t we?

If Notley continues to provide only flaccid, verbal opposition to the BC blockade of our resources, we will still need such action in 2019 (or 2020) when Albertans finally kick the socialist NDP to the electoral curb. I surely hope that the next government has the guts to cut BC off for awhile.

Teaching BC what a carbon free world would feel like would be one of the best inter-provincial lessons we have seen in the history of Canada. It would set back the lobbying of eco-kooks by generations as an entire generation learns just how life would be if they listened to the advice of the Greens in full.

Its worth it. Let’s do it for BC.

Let the BC bastards freeze in the dark.

It isn’t from spite guys.

Its inter-provincial tough love.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Give credit for labour empowerment where it is due.

modelt

We live in a fantastic time. Our standard of living is the best it has ever been in human history and in general, it is only getting better. Despite this self-evident fact, there will always be a number of luddites who idiotically try to fight and condemn the very things that have led to our comfort and happiness today. Anti-vaccination kooks are a fantastic example of this trend. Another foolish but growing anti-progress group is the anti-automobile movement.

We (as usual) are paying a heavy price for our electoral apathy, particularly on the municipal level. Despite the vast, vast majority of people in North America happily owning and using personal automobiles, many municipal governments are taking on an outright anti-automotive stance on development. Despite need and demand for improved automotive infrastructure, municipal governments focus on initiatives designed to hinder automotive use with no visible benefit. Calgary’s ridiculous and barely utilized downtown cycle track are a prime example. Tens out thousands of autos have been displaced for these tracks as lanes and parking are lost while hipsters numbering in the dozens use these tracks. That is fine for Nenshi’s council as the goal was never to facilitate bicyclists. The goal was to hinder cars. Traffic calming measures, ridiculous pedestrian strategies and the constant choking of parking reflect this ideology as well.

This anti-automotive movement can be far more damaging to us than simply some inconvenience in commuting. If we allow more collectivization of transportation, we will begin to lose individual rights.

The personal automobile was as responsible for the empowerment of workers as labour unions were, if not more so.

In the last few years, I spent a great deal of time working on oil exploration programs in the “Rust Belt” of the USA in the last few years. There are countless small, single factory towns squirreled around Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. One that stood out for me was Avonmore Pennsylvania.

avon

Avonmore is a town of about 800 and is in the Kiskiminetas River valley about 40 miles from Pittsburgh. The town population peaked in 1910 at 1262 and has been on the decline ever since. This is typical of these types of towns as their industries decline. Many Pennsylvania towns have long histories and some great old architecture. Avonmore however is somewhat plain and it can be seen even in the design of the small downtown that this is a planned and company town. There is one large steel mill in the town and a small number of supporting businesses. That has always been the nature of this town.

avon2

Being in a deep river valley and being so dominated by one company, one cant help but imagine just how dependent workers were in a town like this at the turn of the century. The only route out at that time would have been by rail (controlled by the company), or by wagon (slow and expensive). The dominant company in these towns often owned the associated businesses in the towns from the general stores to the local hotel and often the housing. It is this dependency that led to a great deal of labour abuse. While unions had made strides at the turn of the century, in towns such as this they had little power as labour was essentially captive. What would you do if you were fired? Move? How much do you owe the company store? Back rent on the house perhaps? Can you get all your belongings on the train? Does the company control the train? Can you shop for a new place?

This all changed in 1914 when the Ford Model T took America by storm. Suddenly a factory worker could buy a family automobile with just four months pay. A worker could now commute to other workplaces should they choose to. A family could travel and broaden their shopping options. Employers and services suddenly faced a mobile workforce who could and would commute or relocate if need be should they find themselves abused. A mobile workforce becomes a commodity and supply and demand now could apply to them. Reality set in and work conditions throughout the entire continent improved not with strikes and labour actions but through employees exercising their ability to take their services elsewhere. With Pittsburgh and other industrial communities being only a short drive away, the companies that controlled Avonmore and countless other communities were forced to change their practices in order to retain their workers.

We often take that personal mobility for granted as we allow municipal ideologues to chip away at this important individual right. Aside from labour mobility, the contributions that personal transportation make to our general standard of living can’t be understated. While municipal leaders often chide people to take the bus or ride a bike, how can this reasonably apply to the parent of a few kids who needs to go grocery shopping. Should they simply walk to a convenience store and pay the premium that comes with that? Do we really expect senior citizens to suddenly choose to ride a bike to the pharmacy?  What do we think will happen to the price of consumer goods if people can no longer broadly shop around? Personal autos also allow a possible escape for people in abusive relationships.

We need to be vigilant as ideologues try to take away or limit the very important right of personal mobility and nothing provides that right more effectively than the personal automobile. We have to thank the automobile for so many great things we enjoy in life today and to oppose personal automobiles is pure and simple foolishness.

We can get by just fine without labour unions today. If we lost the personal automobile however, we would all suffer on a number of levels. We should always celebrate this great innovation that has empowered us all.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Reality on the impacts of Macleod Trail lane closure for bike lanes

Macleod Trail

One of the most vapid cases to be made in justifying the closure of major road arteries is the old: “Auto commuters should support this as every car taken off the road makes more room for them!”

If indeed Calgary’s proposed cycle infrastructure was complimentary to the existing roadways that statement would be true. Since Calgary’s proposed cycle tracks are all coming at the direct expense of existing roadways the above contention of car removal is simply BS.

The section of Macleod Trail (among the busy roads targeted) that the city wants to close a lane on moves about 25,000 cars per day. When transit is taken into account (bus riders will have their commute times extended by this too) we are looking at roughly 1.3 occupants per vehicle out there for about 32,500. Now in removing 25% of the roadway, we will be displacing 8125 people. As that section of road is one-way, we need not cut the number in half as most will only travel that stretch once in a day. Let’s be generous and make the figure 8000 then.

For the proposed bike track on Macleod Trail to actually reduce traffic we would need to see at least 8000 people who drive only on Macleod Trail alone to give up their cars and ride their bikes to work.

Reality dictates that we would only see a few hundred people leave their cars in winter at best on Macleod Trail and lets be generous and say 1000 in summer. The remaining 31,000+ commuters will be jammed into a much smaller roadway which in turn will extend their daily commute times which will lead to more idling and emissions and leads to reduced productivity and quality home time for daily commuters.

This is not theory folks, this is simple math.

Until the cycle proponents can convince us that nearly 25% of commuters will give up their cars and ride bikes to work all year round the case that bike tracks at the expense of automotive lanes is nothing more than pap.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The business of bike lanes

sales_decrease

We already know that taking automotive lanes out of arteries like Macleod Trail and 12 Ave for bike lanes will greatly tie up our already congested traffic in Calgary. Despite that, city planners are planning to destroy that expensive infrastructure that we paid for in order to service a handful of cycle commuters. Aside from the traffic catastrophe, how will these cycle tracks impact local businesses?

Recently Calgary’s fervent bicycle advocates have been trumpeting an opinion piece by the head of Calgary Economic Development that claims that cycle-tracks that come at the expense of automotive lanes are good for local businesses. It should be remembered that Calgary Economic Development is essentially an extension of Calgary city hall (it is funded by city hall) and it is not a group that represents businesses despite a name that may imply such. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce or the Downtown Business Association on the other hand actually do work with downtown businesses and the Downtown Business Association has already expressed concern for the agresive and poorly planned expansion of bike tracks throughout downtown.

The sources that keep claiming that bike lanes are good for business tend to be almost exclusively environmentalist and cycle advocate blogs.

When actual businesses are asked how bike lanes have impact their businesses we hear an utterly different story.

Who should we believe? Environmental activists or the business owners who are actually being impacted? Would all these business owners be lying and wanting to harm their own bottom lines? If bike lanes were so good for business, somebody had better tell all those business owners below.

In Ottawa the stories are piling up on how bike lanes on Laurier have been detrimental to their businesses from restaurants to a copy shop.

In Vancouver it was found that bike lanes reduced business revenues by 11%.

The full Vancouver bike lane study is below and well worth a read. Despite their claims, it appears that cyclists are chintzy shoppers that only made up 8% of customers on the streets with separated lanes. The cost of the lanes to local businesses was estimated at $2.4 million per year in sales.

Stantec report on study of impact on business from separated bike lanes

A Toronto eatery has been terribly impacted by bike lanes. I guess the logic is the old: you have to break a few eggs….

Not good when the egg being broken by cycle ideologues is your small business.

In Halifax bike lanes have damaged small local businesses.

Even in New York City zealous cycle advocates have managed to get bike lanes on Broadway with catastrophic results. 

With a short trip down google one can easily find a myriad of these kinds of stories from Australia (where at least the weather cooperates) to the USA.

Instead of listening to actual business owners who are looking at their bottom lines, cycle advocates are citing pap from sites like “treehugger.com” (yes there really is such a site and they are using it).

If these bike lanes are so bang-up-good for businesses, why don’t we see these business owners themselves out in the streets demanding them? The answer is that business owners are bound by the hard realities of making a profit rather than the fuzzy ideologies of the anti-car set.

The Stantec report on bike lane impacts on business (linked again below) is one of the most comprehensive of it’s kind that has followed up on the placements of separated bike lanes in Canada. Every councilor should read that in full before considering accepting the insane bike lane plan that calls for closing a lane on Macleod Tr. among other critical road lanes.

Stantec report on study of impact on business from separated bike lanes

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Desperately seeking relevance.

neil

It is sort of sad to behold. Neil Young was once an A-list celebrity. He packed stadiums and wrote songs on political issues of the times. Young was respected and honored by music fans and political activists alike. Decades have passed now though and what we see is a shell of the artist that was Neil Young in the midst of a late-life crisis trying to create himself an issue to get his name back into the mainstream.

With no low hanging fruit such as the war in Vietnam or soldiers killing protesting students in American universities, Young has decided to jump on the anti-energy bandwagon and go after Alberta’s oilsands. One would wish that Neil had educated himself a little better on the issue but I guess that really was never his intent.

Neil Young embarrassed himself by referring to Alberta’s oilsands as being comparable to Hiroshima after he made a whirlwind visit to Fort McMurray with washed up actress Daryl Hanna last summer. Rex Murphy (a true Canadian legend) excellently wrote on Young’s hypocritical idiocy here.

During Neil Young’s tour of Fort Mac, he hired a local photographer and chartered a helicopter to get some footage of the area. The disillusionment and disappointment in Neil Young was very evident in a great piece written by the photographer he contracted. He had looked forward to working with Young and showing how things work and look in Fort McMurray. Moen’s discovery of Young’s close-minded focus on trying to create the image of a wasteland was an eye-opener for him and well worth the read.

Now Neil is going to hold a series of concerts entitled: “Honor the Treaties” with the proceeds going towards a legal fund for the Chipewyan natives to fight against the oilsands.

While Neil Young has made it clear that he has no interest in actually pursuing facts in his little self-serving, anti-progress crusade, one would wish that he would wipe the crud from his rheumy eyes and actually read the treaties between Canada and native bands (most Canadians should actually). There is no anti-oilsands clause and there are no violations of treaties happening up there. If indeed we “Honored the Treaties” literally as Young believes we should, the natives up there would be decimated.

Here are all of the relevant treaties in one easy list. They are not being violated.

What the oilsands are actually doing is providing hope for a future for Canadian natives in Northern Alberta. What do Californians like Young and Hannah really think that those people will do up there without local resource development? The fur trade is not coming back and a lifetime of welfare is not exactly a goal to aspire to. The oilsands are employing thousands of natives in Alberta and providing countless opportunities for social and economic improvements up there. Young is like so many of the latte set in that they want some sort of feel good zoo of aboriginal people all living happily as they apparently had 300 years ago living off the land and dying at the ripe old age of 28. These celebrities can then pat themselves on the back at having preserved Indians of the North like so many whooping cranes or some other creature. The concept that these are actually people who need to earn a living is utterly lost on them.

Go away Neil. Retire with a little grace. You made a mark and now you are sullying your own legacy through an ignorant and self-serving activist effort which will harm the very people that you claim to want to help. It is pathetic to watch.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

On the latest manufactured panic over water sales….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sale of water has long been a favorite issue for the hysteric-left to try and build up some good old jingoistic patriotism and protectionism. Maude Barlow with the Council of Canadians has built herself a good personal career spreading fear that the big bad Americans are going to come up and steal our local water supply to irrigate the deserts of Arizona and California. The logistics of such water thefts (or even sales) make it utterly impossible for the water to be reasonably moved south. Barlow and others in the fear industry are well aware of those simple logistical facts but of course overlook them when raising money for their very lucrative advocacy careers. Just last weekend I was driving along the very long and very full Koocanusa reservoir and was wondering to myself just how Maude thinks the USA will haul our water over these giant reservoirs in order to get it way down south.

The gormless-left have now evolved their water pap in that they have tied the evils of water sales into a nasty multi-national corporation. It has been released (as if this was something new) that Nestlé Canada has been bottling water without paying a per-litre fee. Check out the hysteric and loaded headline below as an example:

Billion-dollar Nestlé extracting B.C.’s drinking water for free

Nestlé Waters Canada takes 265 million litres a year of fresh water from a Fraser Valley well

Oh dear. Doesn’t that sound terrible? For “free”? Millions of litres per year??? Why, Langley B.C. will surely run totally dry within days at this rate will it not?

Now, lets look at some real numbers here. Facts are to leftist pap as light is to vampires, particularly when they are on their water hysteria.

To begin with, let’s look at what is considered “free” here. Nestlé is paying taxes to all levels of government here to the tunes of many millions of dollars along with employing over 70 people and spending money to extract and treat the water. Just because there is not a clear dollar-per-litre fee does not mean that Nestlé is getting the water for “free” by any measure. That is simply hyperbolic bullshit (as usual).

But what of all of those millions of litres of water taken from the eco-system? Surely this is a catastrophe in the making is it not? Not even close.

To be blunt, 265 million litres per year is squat in the scheme of things. My modest household well just south of Calgary is capable of pumping 9 million litres of water per year at capacity and I assure you it is a small well. Why don’t they go by litres per decade or cups per millennia if we are out to make it sound like such a nasty number.

Think of things this way; the Langley facility is in the Fraser River Valley. The Fraser River moves 3,475,000 liters per second! This means the river could theoretically sustain about 400,000 water facilities of the same size as this apparently evil Nestlé water bottling facility. I assure you, we will not see that many plants springing up.

Where do all these bottles of water go anyway? While perhaps not pleasant to think of, pretty much all of that water will return to the eco-system through sweat and urine. Nestlé is not taking this water and sending it off to space where it will never be seen again. At best, this water is being rented.

Resources get used and we don’t need government to tax every bit of it. Water is used in countless plants. So is air and sunlight. Get over it. The government extracts it’s pound of flesh in a myriad of ways.

Look at the prime ingredient in many products. All of these products will go up in price if we suddenly start taxing the crap out of water use. Do you want to pay more for almost all of your food products? All of your liquor products? Shampoo? Lotions? Paints? Water is used in the creation of them all.

Water pollution is a real issue as well as some of the water used in enhanced oil extraction where it gets pumped out of the cycle. Those issues are not simplistic enough however and do not lend themselves to the bombastic headlines that sell books for Maude Barlow as she tries to paint a picture of a world where water is being stolen and where we are at risk of running dry.

Look beyond the headlines folks.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ezra Levant demonstrates the depth of environmental demonstrators.

Yes, Ezra can be pretty bombastic and likes to work things up. In his going to these protests and covering just what those people are about though he is providing a good service to us all.

The usual coverage we see from media attending protests will be short interviews with the paid protest leaders who will fire out some short, canned statements as they have been trained. A person really needs to get on the ground with the fools who fill the ranks at these protests to see just how vapid and empty these protests really are.

I certainly learned first hand how pointless the entire “occupy” movement was in my regular visits on their illegal squatting encampment in a Calgary city park. The sights, sounds and yes indeed even smells of these protests really to have to be personally experienced to be fully appreciated.

Most people have no interest in going to check on these ragtag collections of union-organized, professional malcontents and I really don’t blame them. The next best thing a person can do though is look at interviews and coverage such as what Ezra has provided in his work yesterday. It really is worth a watch.

The truth is stranger than fiction with these people.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The show must go on. We can’t stall pipelines forever.

Revenues have gone down, taxes have gone up and folks have lost jobs thanks to the trend of hysteric opposition to the safest form of oil/gas transport known to man: pipelines. Time and reality will win in the end and Canada will continue to increase exports of oil and gas products despite the irrational blanket opposition to all development coming from groups that purport to care about working class Canadians.

pipeline

TransCanada Corp announced that they are moving forward with their proposal to build infrastructure to bring crude oil to St. John New Brunswick that would transport over a million barrels per day.

The usual union backed suspects are already gnashing their teeth in opposition and rounding up bored hipsters and natives to try and stage protests against Canada’s latest effort to bring jobs and prosperity. The ink isn’t dry on the proposal and it does not need to be. Reality and facts are of no consequence as organized labor claims to care about the working man yet consistently opposes all efforts to create infrastructure to support an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people. Screeching members of the loony-left automatically oppose all energy development while howling for more expenditure on a myriad of social programs. The folks truly have no concept of where the cash comes from for their beloved arts projects, welfare and even health care. They really believe Canada will be fine without the billions and billions of tax dollars brought in annually from the energy industry.

Now on to reality. The aforementioned chronic opponents of development can and will be dismissed as they are truly irrational and there is no reasoning with them.

Reality: THERE IS NO REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE TO CARBON BASED ENERGY YET!!!

We can make windmills, talk of tidal and geothermal and dream of solar energy. The reality is that none of those sources can generate power in nearly the volume required or at a cost that is at all reasonable at this time. What happened to the hydrogen fuel cell powered car anyway? How about the Volt? How is that biofuel black hole going? Governments can be pressured into investing into many pie-in-the-sky alternatives but fiscal reality inevitably returns to bite them (and the taxpayers in the arse).

Reality: CANADA’S PRODUCTS MUST GET TO MARKET!!!

Canada has some of the largest energy reserves on the entire planet. Our prosperity as an entire nation is not only dependent on our development of these carbon based products but on our selling of those products to consumers outside of Canada. Protectionism is always a shallow farce. We need trade and oil/gas are our strongest items for this. It is not reasonable to turn ourselves into a third world country in refusing to trade with our best asset.

While keeping our energy in could indeed lead to cheap domestic fuel prices, we would be broke otherwise. Venezuela is a wonderful example of foolish policies (socialism). While they have some of the cheapest domestic fuel prices of earth, damn near none of their citizens can afford cars. Not really a good trade.

Reality: THE USA DOES NOT NEED OUR OIL AND GAS

Peak oil has been a myth propagated to keep folks in fear for over 50 years. A few minutes on google can find countless predictions of the world running out of energy and they have all of course been wrong. There has always been somebody predicting the end of the world and to date none have been correct.

New fields are still being discovered and new extraction technology is always coming on-stream.

In the last five years I have spent more than half of my time working South of the border on American oil/gas exploration projects. While we piss and moan and delay domestic energy projects, a very mobile workforce has been taking it’s expertise (and tax dollars) out of the country. We are not going to sit and go broke and wait for common sense to ensue.

I have worked in oilfields in Pennsylvania that are literally well over 140 years old that are now getting new life thanks to fracturing and seismic technology. Texas and Oklahoma are booming as new wells are being drilled and product is flowing. North Dakota is discovering whole new and giant reserves.

I spent three years working in the Arctic on the ice North of Inuvik. I assure you there is at least a couple more generations of oil and gas sitting up there and not a drop has been taken out yet. We need to look ahead but we are a long way from running out of reserves yet.

The USA does not need our energy and pricing ourselves out of the market will not help. We need to get our product to the coastlines in an increasing amount if we want to retain our standard of living across the country.

Reality: OIL AND GAS ARE ALREADY GOING TO OUR COASTS AND IT HAS FOR DECADES!!

It is painful listening to the daft, shallow souls howling about tanker traffic suddenly coming to Canada’s West coast or pipelines spanning our Rocky Mountains when we consider that tankers have been going to the coast already for decades and we have been pipelining oil across the mountains for over sixty years already.

We have transported untold millions of barrels across the mountains and then the Pacific without major incident and our technology is only becoming safer.

Rail traffic in crude oil has quadrupled in just the last few years and it will continue to grow if we keep foolishly delaying pipelines. More bears will get splattered and a much higher risk of spills and derailment will continue if we keep forcing the use of rail despite a safe means of transport being in front of us.

Governments are sensitive to the environmental lobby but they are even more sensitive to revenue. These new pipelines will get approved and will be built no matter how hard the union funded opposition howls. What we have to ask ourselves is how much more time and resources we will waste before getting on with it. We can’t afford as a nation to keep pissing around with this and we will not no matter who heads the next federal government. Reality dictates this, lets accept it and work with it.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shortsighted opposition to new pipelines is damaging our environment

Today while checking on some things in the field on a program in Pennsylvania I came across a stark reminder of the consequences of successful opposition to pretty much all new conventional energy infrastructure in North America. While tracking one large and degrading gas pipeline through the bush, I encountered another pipeline that had failed and was leaking natural gas at a pretty high rate as can be seen and heard in the video I took below.

Pennsylvania’s oil rush began in the 1860s and much of the infrastructure out here is simply ancient. Fracturing technology has brought a new boom to these regions as fields that had been previously considered to be depleted are being brought back to life with new production of both oil and gas in shale formations. Unfortunately, while the existing pipeline infrastructure is old and failing it is damned near impossible to get any large new energy distribution projects approved as myopic and self-serving environmentalists will immediately hinder the process through lobbying and legal challenges. What this foolishness has led to is an increase in environmental damage as well as creating a very dangerous working environment for energy and agricultural workers in areas where pipelines are failing.

It is absolutely undeniable that modern pipelines are far and away the most safe, economical and environmentally friendly way to transport oil and gas. Modern pipeline failures occur on occasion and most often these are due to human error in excavation without proper utility location having been done beforehand. A pipeline can’t be faulted for leaking when a fool hits it with a backhoe shovel. With the literally billions of barrels and cubic feet of energy products being moved all over the world the amount that actually gets lost due to leaks is nearly microscopic in scope and getting smaller all the time as our technology improves.

Demand is not going away for oil and gas any time soon. Environmentalists can harp on all they like about wind, solar and geothermal power but the reality is that these forms of energy are not even remotely close to replacing carbon based energy at this time and we still need to provide oil and gas to people. We are doing this with pipelines and these pipelines are becoming old.

Like it or not, populations are growing and usage of fossil fuels is increasing along with that. Due to myopic opposition, new pipelines are not being built as they should and producers are being forced to either use old pipelines that really should be replaced or are even transporting product through trains and trucks which burn fossil fuels in transporting product and are much more likely to have an accident leading to spills than pipelines will ever be.

If we really care about the environment and about safety we need to expedite new pipeline projects rather than hinder them. We have to be realistic rather than idealistic. New and ever improving pipeline construction and monitoring technology means nothing if we are still forced to use pipelines that are 40, 50 or even 100 years old. Lets build new pipelines so we can shut down these old ones before more product leaks into the environment or people possibly get killed in a large rupture.

Until the flux-capacitor or dilithium crystals leave the world of science fiction and become a reality, we will need fossil fuels in our lives. It’s time to set aside the hysteria spread by multinational corporations such as Greenpeace and take a realistic look at what needs to be done to move oil and gas safely.

Just as we will never see a highway with 0 fatalities we will never be able to move oil and gas with a 100% risk free means. We can come pretty damn close though if we could just put the new pipes in the ground. Until then we unfortunately will only see more spills and accidents.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The state has no business in the kitchens of the nation!

mcnannyOnce upon a time the state took it upon itself to be the moral governor in Canadian lives. Policies outlawing various sexual acts taking place between consenting adults were myriad and were enforced. These policies were modeled to save us from ourselves and to keep our mortal souls away from eternal condemnation in hell and they were strongly supported by people in the religious right as they used various texts to explain why the state must contain and condemn these acts determined to be unethical by what essentially were powerful interest groups.

Times thankfully have changed and while I am far from a Pierre Trudeau fan, he made it clear that the state has no role in regulating the bedroom activities of consenting adults.

While the religious-right has been sidelined in their quest to have government regulate our personal lives, the loony-left has stepped up to the plate to fill the void.

Our choice to determine what we will consume is no less personal than our choice in sexual activities. Despite that, extremists on city councils such as Brian Pincott and Druh Farrell want to go so far as to actually determine and regulate what we eat based on what they consider to be ethical or moral foods. We see this trend happening all over North America as Mayor Bloomberg in New York tried to ban certain soft-drink sizes and Toronto banned a kind of soup. Thankfully judges so far have proven themselves to be wiser than these civic, moral busybodies and have rightly tossed these offensive and intrusive policies into the trash where they belong.

One clear mark of the fanatical is the constant pursuit of a goal no matter how clearly it has been proven to be wrong. In a committee that is trying to find a way to get certain types of soup banned within Calgary as per Brian Pincott’s initiative, it has been realized that such a ban will not survive a court challenge. Undeterred by this reality, the committee is moving along with ideas such as a shark fin registry that will ensure that the foods harvested meet up with the ethical standards to be determined down the road. Truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to the world of the extreme left.

What these people are trying to do is create an end run around court protected rights. They want to use a large and restrictive bureaucracy to stop a practice that they have determined to be immoral which will essentially be a ban. This is exactly like Nenshi’s virtual development freeze in Calgary’s suburbs. A ban or a freeze can be hidden through abusing the regulatory system to halt a practice. It is a sneaky and disingenuous means of making policy but it is starting to become common practice in Calgary’s city council that hides within in-camera (closed to public) meetings more than ever despite promises of transparency from Nenshi.

These initiatives need to be stopped and the types of politicians who pursue them need to be thrown out of office. While taxes are being raised and deficits are rising, we have politicians wasting countless dollars and time with these committees and task forces that are working micro-manage our very lives. Rest assured these zealots will not simply stop at shark fin soup if they manage to ban it (whether outright or through regulation). Have a look through google, these sorts want to ban or control our fat intake, sodium and even mandate degrees of organic and local produce as shown through the Calgary food initiative.

We can’t claim to be surprised when these nuts bring out these policies. The city of Calgary has had it’s blueprint for intrusive government right there for all to see within the insane ImagineCalgary document and the food policy spawned from it. We as electors need to pay attention to just what kind of ideologues we have in our civic councils (and at all levels of government for that matter).

Don’t let them turn the discussion into one of what food is or isn’t ethical. What we need to discuss is who’s role it is to tell us what we may purchase or eat and it sure as hell isn’t the role of municipal governments. We can decide on our own what we want to put in our bodies.

Keep the nutty, tax-funded soup committee well in mind when casting your ballots this fall.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,