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ReeferMadness

Lies We are Told About the Canadian Oil Industry

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... by the industry, the federal government, provincial governments and the media.

It's ambitious to pack all of this into one thread but let's give it a go.  Everyone with more than 6 brain cells knows that the world petroleum industry is in trouble and, as a high cost producer of dirty fuel, the Canadian industry will feel it first. Between oversupply due to fracking and being undercut by lower cost and much cleaner wind and solar, the industry is facing decades of downsizing.  So, of course the reaction is to whip up a public panic about how Canada is losing millionswait, billions, no trillions, hang on, centillions of dollars.  In fact, if it weren't for the rest of Canada and those all-powerful George Soros-funded environmental groups, every Albertan would have a yacht in their driveways, parked right next to the 1 ton pickup with dual wheels and a bumper sticker saying "Jason Kenney for Emperor".

Worldwide, the industry is famous for the way it engenders corruption and controls the governments that are supposed to be controlling it.  The corruption situation in Canada isn't as obvious but numerous books have been written (and mainly ignored by the mainstream media) about how governments are nothing more than cheerleaders, apologists and, when push comes to shove, henchmen, for one of the dirtiest industries in history.

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Lie #1  The global energy market is controlled by supply and demand and the Canadian industry is just filling a demand.

This one is so stupid it's laughable.  OPEC has been openly manipulating petroleum energy markets for decades.  World governments could have stopped it but the market manipulation has allowed oil companies to make out like bandits so they look the other way.  The only time other countries take action is when national governments try to claim the wealth for the public good (like Iran in '56).  Other than that,  oil producers can literally get away with murder and western governments will cover for them (like MBS today).

World powers have been using oil as a political bludgeon for about a century.   Solar power is an opportunity to democratize energy and you can bet this has intelligence agency sociopaths  around the world plotting new ways to leverage smaller countries.

 

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Lie #2  Canada has only one customer for its oil and this is costing Canada boatloads of money.

Again, this one is so stupid and easily disproven, it's hard to believe anyone of intelligence takes it seriously.  Yet, it's shouted in the media almost daily and it has become a truism.

The fact is Canada doesn't sell oil to the US.  Nor does Alberta.  Oil companies on this side of the border sell to oil companies on that side of the border.  And often, they are selling to themselves.  So why is there such a big price discrepancy?  Well, part of it is due to the cost of shipping it thousands of miles.  Part is due to the extra cost required to upgrade Alberta's dirty crude to a usable product. 

And a lot of it is due to pricing games played by the industry.  After all, once the oil is refined to usable products, it all gets the same price.  So, if Alberta oil is unnaturally cheap, someone is making a bundle in the middle.  So, if the industry can manipulate prices so they appear lower, they'll pay less tax and royalties in Canada.  The profits are moved elsewhere and ultimately a lot of them are realized in offshore tax havens where nobody pays taxes.  Right wingers who hate governments should be jumping for joy at this but instead they whine and snivel.   Go figure.

The last Alberta premier who had the guts to be honest about this was Peter Lougheed. He warned about the uncontrolled development of the tar sands and the effects they were having on the province.  And he was ignored by almost everyone.

 

 

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Lie #3  The oil industry is environmentally responsible and cleans up after itself

This is a whopper and by time the Canadian public catches on to it, the industry will have packed up and left town.  Most people are probably aware that the Alberta Energy Regulator has been lowballing estimates of the amount of money it would cost to fix the toxic mess in Alberta.  The public estimate of $58 billion is about one fifth of what internal documents say ($260 billion).  And that's only Alberta.

According to a G&M investigative report, 20% of the 600,000+ wells drilled are inactive and 2/3 of those have been inactive 5 or more years.  There is a booming trade in unproductive wells where large companies with the assets to clean them up pawn them off on smaller companies who don't.  This is precisely what happened when Sequoia Oil and Gas went under

You'll notice one thing that is missing from the Calgary Herald article.  That one thing is that Sequoia, a company without much in the way of assets was allowed to buy the wells from Calgary based Perpetual Energy for basically nothing.  The regulator is a toothless dog that obediently follows the commands of its master, the industry.  That $260 billion figure is based on today's oil prices.  Once low-priced renewables become widespread enough to take a serious bite out of the business, the price of oil will plummet.  And that cost will skyrocket.

In a related issue, oil companies have essentially admitted they have no idea what to do with the massive tailing ponds created by the tar sands.  The ponds contain over 1.2 trillion litres of toxic sludge containing (among other things) carcinogenic, mutagenic hydrocarbons and a variety of heavy metals.  The "ponds" (toxic lakes, really, covering an area larger than the city of Vancouver) are an existential threat to one of the world's largest watersheds.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, ReeferMadness said:

Lie #1  The global energy market is controlled by supply and demand and the Canadian industry is just filling a demand.

This one is so stupid it's laughable.  OPEC has been openly manipulating petroleum energy markets for decades.  World governments could have stopped it but the market manipulation has allowed oil companies to make out like bandits so they look the other way.  The only time other countries take action is when national governments try to claim the wealth for the public good (like Iran in '56).  Other than that,  oil producers can literally get away with murder and western governments will cover for them (like MBS today).

World powers have been using oil as a political bludgeon for about a century.   Solar power is an opportunity to democratize energy and you can bet this has intelligence agency sociopaths  around the world plotting new ways to leverage smaller countries.

 

Thanks Reefer - at least you are putting your own thoughts and ideas out there. Many on this board just sit back and criticize - if not ridicule. All that said, I can't agree with you entirely. I'm no expert - not even a neophyte.....but one of the goals of any industry or sector is to create barriers to entry. Otherwise, anyone could get in on the action. Getting into the oil business takes literally billions. You could throw Banking into that category - or the diamond industry. Both have very closed and protected markets. I'm sure those critiquers I talked about can come up with others. Should a 737 really cost $75 million? The big opponent to market control is competition but as usual, the socialists have shot themselves in the foot. In demonizing nuclear energy, they've taken away the main competitor to the oil industry. Wind and Solar? They'll never be more that a niche/boutique player. But let's not forget that there's literally millions of retirement-savings shareholders out there. What we need to do.....what we've ALWAYS needed to do - is take the rough edges off capitalism. How much is enough? If we don't address that conundrum sooner, rather than later - class warfare will rise to the surface. Regulation and taxation has to FORCE greed into benevolence - a huge contributor to social well-being.  And with that, I await my pummeling on behalf of the critiquers.

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1 minute ago, Centerpiece said:

Thanks Reefer - at least you are putting your own thoughts and ideas out there. Many on this board just sit back and criticize - if not ridicule. All that said, I can't agree with you entirely. I'm no expert - not even a neophyte.....but one of the goals of any industry or sector is to create barriers to entry. Otherwise, anyone could get in on the action. Getting into the oil business takes literally billions. You could throw Banking into that category - or the diamond industry.

 

Indeed...and to this point...the oil industry boasts whopping average profit margins of only 7%...far less than many other industry sectors.    Many public and private pension funds are heavily invested in oil stocks.

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That first lie sets it all up for the other lies.  OPEC cries when the price for a barrel of crude drops below 50 dollars. Saudi Arabia has been trying like mad to get the prices to rise, by cutting back on production, creating a 'shortage' that can drive the price up.

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18 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

 Wind and Solar? They'll never be more that a niche/boutique player.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Lie #4 Wind and solar will never be more than niche/boutique players.

Don't tell Scotland, which, in October generated 98% of its electricity from wind.

A few years ago, the story was wind and solar could NEVER compete with coal because they were too expensive.  Now even in Trump country, coal is getting crushed, not because of subsidies or because it's dirty but because it's more expensive.

It's true that wind and solar do still have to deal with the intermittency issue but that's not insurmountable in the way that most people think.  There are a myriad of possibilities when it comes to energy storage.  And there are a number of ways that utilities can reduce the amount of storage needed; including demand shifting, smart grids and interconnected grids.  On top of that, energy efficiency initiatives like zero energy homes have the potential to dramatically slash the amount of energy we need.

True fossil fuel addicts will claim that this is all pie-in-the-sky but in fact it's not.  A study done by Stanford Engineering professor Mark Jacobson shows that achieving 100% energy (not just 100% electricity) is possible.  He modeled electrical grids across 139 countries at 30 second intervals for 5 years.   Jacobson's work has attracted significant criticism but all new ideas are resisted in the beginning.  In particular, the nuclear industry sees a huge opportunity in the climate change nightmare, despite the fact that nuclear power isn't cheap, safe or clean.

 

 

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19 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Indeed...and to this point...the oil industry boasts whopping average profit margins of only 7%...far less than many other industry sectors.    Many public and private pension funds are heavily invested in oil stocks.

Sure.  Fossil fuels are making the planet uninhabitable for our kids...  but by all means let's keep burning them for the sake of our pensions...

 

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4 minutes ago, ReeferMadness said:

Sure.  Fossil fuels are making the planet uninhabitable for our kids...  but by all means let's keep burning them for the sake of our pensions...

 

We keep burning them because we don't know how to stop.  No amount of forum posts is going to change that.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/climate/coal-global-warming.html?fallback=0&recId=1DXNZ6OHf1X6Do1RdqV8Ct0NsBj&locked=0&geoContinent=NA&geoRegion=NS&recAlloc=most_popular&geoCountry=CA&blockId=most-popular&imp_id=803570089

Edited by bcsapper

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3 hours ago, bcsapper said:

Did you even read your own link?

Quote

Because coal is a powerful incumbent. It’s there by the millions of tons under the ground. Powerful companies, backed by powerful governments, often in the form of subsidies, are in a rush to grow their markets before it is too late. Banks still profit from it. Big national electricity grids were designed for it. Coal plants can be a surefire way for politicians to deliver cheap electricity — and retain their own power. In some countries, it has been a glistening source of graft.

Coal is supported mainly by corruption.  Not economics.

Here's another take on what's happening in India.  India's coal power is about to crash.

Quote

Renewable energy costs have fallen 50% in two years, and are forecast to continue dropping apace. New wind and solar is now 20% cheaper than existing coal-fired generation’s average wholesale power price, and 65% of India’s coal power generation is being sold at higher rates than new renewable energy bids in competitive power auctions.

 

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5 hours ago, ReeferMadness said:

Thanks for the suggestion.

Lie #4 Wind and solar will never be more than niche/boutique players.

Don't tell Scotland, which, in October generated 98% of its electricity from wind.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/08/wind-farms-paid-100m-switch-power/

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Huge subsidies and feed-in tariffs are still abundant in the UK. China has indicated they will be ending all subsidies for Solar power. Without subsidies, "Green Energy" will continue to remain a boutique industry. And lets not forget - the term "renewable energy" includes hydro-electricity which serves to inflate the "Green" numbers. That's why Quebec was so willing to join California in their cockamayme Emissions Trading Scheme - it was a no=lose proposition because most of Quebec's energy is clean Hydro - thanks only to Mother Nature's geography.

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3 hours ago, bcsapper said:

Did you read what I posted?  Argue with that.

You didn't make an argument.  You made a dumb statement and supported it with a post you obviously didn't bother to read.

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2 minutes ago, ReeferMadness said:

You didn't make an argument.  You made a dumb statement and supported it with a post you obviously didn't bother to read.

You're supposed to argue with the statement I made, if such takes your fancy.  It appears that such does, because you made a dumb statement about economics and corruption as though they were relevant. 

Here, argue with it.

8 hours ago, bcsapper said:

We keep burning them because we don't know how to stop.

 

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2 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

Huge subsidies and feed-in tariffs are still abundant in the UK. China has indicated they will be ending all subsidies for Solar power. Without subsidies, "Green Energy" will continue to remain a boutique industry. And lets not forget - the term "renewable energy" includes hydro-electricity which serves to inflate the "Green" numbers. That's why Quebec was so willing to join California in their cockamayme Emissions Trading Scheme - it was a no=lose proposition because most of Quebec's energy is clean Hydro - thanks only to Mother Nature's geography.

Fossil fuels have huge subsidies - $325 billion per year from OECD countries alone.

And that's just direct subsidies.    According to the IMF, if you account for the health and environmental costs of burning fossil fuels, it is costing us a staggering 5.1 trillion dollars!

You didn't know fossil fuels were subsidized did you?  Cuz the oil companies forgot to tell you that part.

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10 hours ago, ReeferMadness said:

Fossil fuels have huge subsidies - $325 billion per year from OECD countries alone.

And that's just direct subsidies.    According to the IMF, if you account for the health and environmental costs of burning fossil fuels, it is costing us a staggering 5.1 trillion dollars!

You didn't know fossil fuels were subsidized did you?  Cuz the oil companies forgot to tell you that part.

Really good article on subsidies - laid out in simple terms. If you understood the underlying purpose of subsidies around the world, you might look at them differently. Put your Green blinders aside and think of subsidies around the world through the eyes of The People - especially poor people in poor countries. As with just about everything - there are three sides to every story. 

Quote

This is to not say governments in other parts of the world don’t truly subsidize fossil fuel at great expense. Countries which sell domestically produced or imported oil to their citizens below the global market price include Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Egypt, Iraq, UAE, Indonesia Mexico, Algeria, and Kuwait. This is done at great expense to the treasury. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that in 2014, 40 countries subsidized the cash cost of motor fuel by a whopping US$548 billion. Gasoline prices in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, and Indonesia averaged only $0.31 a liter. As finances tighten some of the oil producers are trying to raise domestic prices but of course consumers are not pleased.

Link: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-Canadian-Oil-Actually-Subsidized.html

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17 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

Put your Green blinders aside and think of

Thanks for identifying another big lie.

Lie #5 Environmental issues don't really matter all that much.

Oil addicts, capitalist sociopaths, right wing fundamentalists and other associated nutbars love to paint environmentalists as fuzzy-headed sentimentalists and environmental causes as feel-good exercises centred around individual species such as spotted owls and Vancouver Island marmots.  To them, a healthy environment is just one more luxury that we'd like to be able to afford but not if it raises the price of gas by 3 cents a litre.

Real environmentalists look at this attitude and wonder at how stunningly dense people can be.  Do you think those people are going to enjoy their cheap gas when their homes are flooded or they can't find food to eat?

We say we're trying to save the planet but you understand that's a metaphor.  The planet will be just fine.  A lot of plant and animal species are dying off and that's a big problem.  But the real question is how many people will the changed planet be able to support?  Instead of 7 billion maybe 5?  or 3?  or half?

And when the mass starvation and population dislocation starts, do you think people are going to just lie down and die quietly?  Probably not.  It will start with riots and mass migration and before long it will turn into wars.  Given the number of nuclear weapons on the planet, nuclear wars are definitely a possibility.

But never mind all that - just enjoy the cheap gas!

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7 hours ago, ReeferMadness said:

Thanks for identifying another big lie.

Lie #5 Environmental issues don't really matter all that much.

Oil addicts, capitalist sociopaths, right wing fundamentalists and other associated nutbars love to paint environmentalists as fuzzy-headed sentimentalists and environmental causes as feel-good exercises centred around individual species such as spotted owls and Vancouver Island marmots.  To them, a healthy environment is just one more luxury that we'd like to be able to afford but not if it raises the price of gas by 3 cents a litre.

Real environmentalists look at this attitude and wonder at how stunningly dense people can be.  Do you think those people are going to enjoy their cheap gas when their homes are flooded or they can't find food to eat?

We say we're trying to save the planet but you understand that's a metaphor.  The planet will be just fine.  A lot of plant and animal species are dying off and that's a big problem.  But the real question is how many people will the changed planet be able to support?  Instead of 7 billion maybe 5?  or 3?  or half?

And when the mass starvation and population dislocation starts, do you think people are going to just lie down and die quietly?  Probably not.  It will start with riots and mass migration and before long it will turn into wars.  Given the number of nuclear weapons on the planet, nuclear wars are definitely a possibility.

But never mind all that - just enjoy the cheap gas!

I feel sorry for you in a way. I consider myself pretty normal (tough definition to support, I agree) but consider this - I've always been an environmental supporter - protecting species, clean water, clean air, sustainable forests - and I always admired people who could dedicate themselves to such lifelong endeavors - often at the expense of personal sacrifice - and it's usually a thankless job needing a lot of fundraising support. But now - thanks to people like you - this honourable and traditional view of environmental stewardship has been hijacked by the Carbon Crowd. Millions upon millions are going to CO2 activism instead of being applied to true environmental causes - and that's a shame.

 

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16 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

I feel sorry for you in a way. I consider myself pretty normal (tough definition to support, I agree) but consider this - I've always been an environmental supporter - protecting species, clean water, clean air, sustainable forests - and I always admired people who could dedicate themselves to such lifelong endeavors - often at the expense of personal sacrifice - and it's usually a thankless job needing a lot of fundraising support. But now - thanks to people like you - this honourable and traditional view of environmental stewardship has been hijacked by the Carbon Crowd. Millions upon millions are going to CO2 activism instead of being applied to true environmental causes - and that's a shame.

 

Well, let me see.  Most people don't read, don't think for themselves, and don't care enough to face unpleasant truths.

Hey, look at that.  You ARE normal!!  Congrats.  Grab yourself a participation medal and pat yourself on the back.

For all the normal people out there, here's hoping that you can insulate yourself from the real world by burying your head up your ass and pretending reality doesn't affect you.  Good luck with that.

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I consider someone's credibility and value to the world when it comes to "environmentalism" (and many other topics and issues) based on their actions, not the blather.  I have zero regard for someone telling (usually demanding) what I should be doing for them, and total respect for those who can show me what they have done for me (i.e. to actually make the world a better place).

I won't even attempt to get into the realities of the carbon cycle, as any level of science and common sense is simply beyond those who seize onto politically backed ideologies.

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 1:35 PM, ReeferMadness said:

Thanks for the suggestion.

Lie #4 Wind and solar will never be more than niche/boutique players.

Don't tell Scotland, which, in October generated 98% of its electricity from wind.

A few years ago, the story was wind and solar could NEVER compete with coal because they were too expensive.  Now even in Trump country, coal is getting crushed, not because of subsidies or because it's dirty but because it's more expensive.

It's true that wind and solar do still have to deal with the intermittency issue but that's not insurmountable in the way that most people think.  There are a myriad of possibilities when it comes to energy storage.  And there are a number of ways that utilities can reduce the amount of storage needed; including demand shifting, smart grids and interconnected grids.  On top of that, energy efficiency initiatives like zero energy homes have the potential to dramatically slash the amount of energy we need.

True fossil fuel addicts will claim that this is all pie-in-the-sky but in fact it's not.  A study done by Stanford Engineering professor Mark Jacobson shows that achieving 100% energy (not just 100% electricity) is possible.  He modeled electrical grids across 139 countries at 30 second intervals for 5 years.   Jacobson's work has attracted significant criticism but all new ideas are resisted in the beginning.  In particular, the nuclear industry sees a huge opportunity in the climate change nightmare, despite the fact that nuclear power isn't cheap, safe or clean.

 

 

At this moment in Ontario:http://www.ieso.ca/power-data/this-hours-data

As you can see,a pitiful amount of energy from wind turbines and ZERO  megawatts from solar.Wind and solar energy are  dependant on agreeable weather conditions of course and cannot produce power on demand.For all the billions of dollars that have been poured into these forms of "green" energy,the current output is pathetic.

I'm not saying there isn't a role for so-called renewable forms of energy but the cost is astronomical. Electric cars have their limitations too.We mustn't forget how many billions have flowed out of the Western provinces to fund programs in other regions. We should be grateful for how much the oil and gas industry has contributed to this country,think equalization payments.

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On 11/29/2018 at 5:05 PM, ironstone said:

I'm not saying there isn't a role for so-called renewable forms of energy but the cost is astronomical. Electric cars have their limitations too.We mustn't forget how many billions have flowed out of the Western provinces to fund programs in other regions. We should be grateful for how much the oil and gas industry has contributed to this country,think equalization payments.

Actually the cost of solar and wind installations is now lower than that of coal and oil, and considerably lower than nuclear and hydro which always seem to incur considerable cost overruns.  Green energy does have its problems in that the sun is not always shining and sometimes the wind does not blow, but these problems are being overcome with improved methods of storing energy.  And wind and solar do have considerable advantages over coal and oil in that they can be installed locally without the need of long distance transmission lines.  This makes them perfect for isolated communities or for anyone who wants to install his own local power system.  As for electric cars the most recent models have overcome a number of objections, namely those of range and power.

Oil and coal are now considered old technology and although the two energy systems currently dominate it is clear that the future is in the form of green energy.  I sympathize with those who depend on oil and coal for their jobs, but the days of those industries are numbered. 

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