This is from the Globe and Mail.
Maybe the oil patch hardly considers Alberta a right wing govt. any more with its increase in royalties and now it is considering how to make the oil patch a bit cleaner. This may be forced upon Alberta should Obama keep his promise to buy only clean oil. Of course alternatively Alberta could probably sell its dirty oil somewhere else such as China.
Alberta 'not immune' from economic turmoil, government warns
February 11, 2009
EDMONTON -- The Alberta government is warning residents to brace for tough times as the debt-free province copes with collapsing energy prices and a stalled global economy.
"Our province is not immune from the turmoil," Lieutenant-Governor Norman Kwong said yesterday as he read the Progressive Conservative government's Throne Speech.
"Far from it - Alberta will face its share of challenges, and government needs to make prudent and realistic decisions to ensure it delivers the things Albertans need at an affordable cost."
But the right-wing government is still confident its financial stewardship in recent years has left the energy-rich province well positioned when compared with other jurisdictions, and that Albertans should remain optimistic about the future.
"Our plan as we navigate through these uncertain times will focus on protecting Albertans and the things that matter most to them, while preparing the way for growth to resume as quickly as possible," the Throne Speech stated.
Alberta's economic fortunes have changed dramatically in recent months. The era of record surpluses and government spending has abruptly ended.
Premier Ed Stelmach has warned that the government will likely have to dip into its vast savings to get through the economic crisis.
The Throne Speech, which kicked off a session of the Alberta Legislature, also signalled the government plans to make the controversial oil sands, which it considers to be North America's "most promising source of energy for decades to come," a major focus in coming months.
The government is promising to come up with a plan to "responsibly manage the economic, environmental, social and infrastructure impacts and opportunities of oil sands development."
Alberta has been under intense pressure to address growing national and international concerns that its vast oil sands are an environmental disaster.
The Throne Speech included the government's promise to spend $2-billion to finance technologies that capture carbon-dioxide emissions and store the greenhouse gas permanently underground.
A new rebate program to reward "energy-wise decisions" made by Albertans is also in the works, according to the 15-page government document.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann said the government missed an opportunity to present concrete ideas on how it plans to protect and create jobs and stimulate the provincial economy during these tough economic times.
He said the Progressive Conservative Party, which has governed Alberta since 1971, should roll out a budget as quickly as possible. The government has delayed releasing a budget until later this year, possibly in late April.