Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wanna Win An Election?

Forget a "carbon tax". We can keep the gas tax (and divert it to cities as we had promised in 2006). The bottom line is: oil companies want to (read: HAVE to) operate in Canada. We have them by the figurative "short and curlies". There must be a price for them to operate in Canada. A price that the Saudi's extract, the Kuwaiti's extract, heck, all of OPEC extracts... Cheap gas for their residents.

The Liberal promise should be this: We will control gas prices domestically. We've a population smaller than the state of California. We can be granted this by Big Oil - in exchange for access to (read: "exploitation of") resources which BELONG TO THE CANADIAN PEOPLE.

If the foreign oil companies don't like it, there are plenty of smaller CANADIAN companies ready to earn billions exploiting our resource.

Yes, we would still regulate pollutants - and ensure that along with the provinces we extract fines and fees associated with VERY STRICT federal pollution standards. The KEY however will be the control of gas prices. Oil companies will still profit (hell yeah, we know how much they make on a barrel or liter). It will be the price they pay to access our resource.

What would the political fallout be? Well, some oil companies MAY not donate to the federal Liberals anymore - but we're trying to get away from corporate donors anyway. A lot of people working for Big Oil won't vote for us... Yeah right - like they do right now anyway! We may lose a seat in Alberta... Oh wait! We DON'T HAVE ANY SEATS IN ALBERTA! Besides, we may earn votes from those - particularly in urban areas - who don't work for Big Oil. We could actually GAIN seats in urban Alberta!

What other political ramifications would there be? How about cheaper gas EVERYWHERE in Canada. Guaranteed by the federal government. Real action for a real problem. Our transport industry would be ecstatic. Commodity prices would come down, as the cost to transport them across this land would come down.

What is the purpose of "owning" a resource IF OUR PEOPLE DON'T BENEFIT? It is the DUTY of our federal governments to ensure resources are mined/drilled/extracted with the benefit of the population in mind - not to line the pockets of mega-billionaire industrialists from the US. We have greater oil reserves than the US. We have almost what the Saudis do - some say even more... Know what the Saudis pay at the pump? It'll sicken you. Go to Bahrain, Dubai, UAE, Kuwait (yeah, the country where the man and material cost of drilling is WAY higher than Canada - I'm talking about the cost in lives and military hardware). All these nations benefit from ridiculously low gas prices.

What about the environment? With the economic stimulus provided by cheap fuel, the gov't will be awash in funds... These funds would be used to provide strong incentives to be green. REAL tax breaks for buying fuel efficient vehicles (which would also stimulate the auto industry). Levies on "gas-pigs" - SUVs (which are not "work vehicles"), while ensuring that pickups (the lifeblood of farms and small business) are made more fuel efficient (We could ban the sale of non-hybrid, or non-clean-diesel pickups, and tax-rebate back the cost difference of hybrids to consumers). Tax breaks or grants for retrofitting your home with better insulation, solar, or geo-thermal heat. This would immediately benefit the construction industry (which is seeing a home building slow-down). Some of the federal funds (all the fuel tax funds) would be channeled to urban areas, and would have to be earmarked for REAL fuel saving projects, such as: transit systems which people can actually use to get to work, transit-only lanes, more car-pool lanes. All these incentives and levies would have the same (or better) net effect of higher fuel prices - without the associated slow-down in the economy.

So... do we want to guarantee an election victory? Are we bold? Do we want to join the ranks of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other OPEC countries in receiving the benefits WE DESERVE for our resources? Resources OWNED BY THE CANADIAN PEOPLE? Let's see what the voters think. We should be pleasantly rewarded.


Oldschool said...

You lefties never get it . . .
remember Jimmy Catah . . . in the 70's . . . he controlled the price of gas . . . along with other things.
What do you suppose happened? Do you remember the long lineups at gas stations? Do you think anyone is motivated to supply a commodity when you can get more for it in China?
You lefties are just stuckonstupid . . . never learn from the past. The only way to bring down oil prices is to DRILL FOR OIL, BUILD MORE REFINERIES, BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT!!! Not a liberal value I am sure.

WesternGrit said...

Oh yeah... Another Big Oil Booster. Thanks for the comment.

By the way "genius", I'm not against more drilling here at home. Also, the 70's price controls by Carter were more than just oil, AND the line-ups were due to an OIL EMBARGO by OPEC, with very little domestic crude available. We have a large supply of domestic crude, both tarsands and offshore. Time for Canadian companies to benefit from it. Maybe you don't read much (as is the common conservative case). Nice try though.

And... we're NOT being "self-sufficient" when foreigners and foreign companies control OUR OIL.

One more thing: I loathe the left as much as I detest you right wingnuts. Any wingnut is a bad wingnut. The center is where it's at. But then again, I guess - being so far to the right - everyone else is just a "leftie" to you. Hitler (right wing extremist, if you didn't know) would have called American Republicans "pinkos" too...

You wingnuts make me laugh...

wilson said...

By the way "genius", (to use your words) Dion wants a carbon tax to force people to use less fuel, as in making it cost MORE so we all use LESS.
You are suggesting a price fix to LOWER the cost of gas.

Read up on the National Energy Program, (NEP).
p.s. Ralph Goodale sold off the national investment in 'Petro Canada'. Been there, done that.

Here's a hint of what you will find
-first food bank in Canada was established in Edmonton Alberta, after Trudeau brought in the NEP.
-you shut down Albertas' industries, Alberta won't be contributing 60% of the oil revenues generated to the federal and other provinces coffers,
and those 80,000 oil related jobs in Ontario will dry up, bye bye.
-Danny Millions won't love liberals.
BC and Sask will be badly hurt too.

WesternGrit said...

Ah... another genius. Well Wilson, if you read my post I AM speaking against a carbon tax. Under the plan I suggest, the gov't would regulate gas prices - just gas prices, NOT the price of a barrel of crude - which is set by world rates. This would ensure that the millions of barrels we export would still garner the higher $s. We would take other measures (as I have listed) to ensure the environment is taken care of. A carrot, instead of a rod for consumers, if you will. In exchange for certain types of funding from the feds, we would ensure that the provinces cut back on royalty payment - or freeze them at the lower-than-Mid-East levels they're at right now.

You seem to be one of the brainwashed Alberta masses to afraid to make Big Oil pay for OUR OIL. Just WHERE do you think Big Oil will go for cheap oil? Invade Venezuela (well, I suppose THAT's an option with Dubya still in the White House)? Wherever these megacorps go they will pay a lot more to extract the oil - unless, of course - they have a "rich uncle" like Uncle Sam who doesn't mind a few Trillion in debt to help ensure their safety in war zones.

Try to open your eyes and realize we own the safest bloody oil in the world (or should that say "bloodless" oil?). People should pay more to get it. The NEP (coupled with the world fiscal collapse of the 70s) is shading your thinking. Things HAVE changed in 40 years - even though I know you Cons prefer things don't change. Do you not think Canadians - WE - deserve a better share of OUR OIL REVENUES? Or, are you one of the Big Oil fatcats getting rich of our grandchildrens' inheritence?