[Jenkens] As they see it on Wall Street: National rejection of Alberta stoking separatist sentiments

[Jenkens] As they see it on Wall Street: National rejection of Alberta stoking separatist sentiments

Opinion
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[Wall Street Journal] Every so often the Pentagon comes up with a thumbsucker about how climate change is going to alter the geopolitical landscape. The intriguing Norwegian TV show “Okkupert” (“Occupied”) might be a better guide to understanding how such instability could already be brewing on our own northern border.

VIDEO: [Rebel Media] People on the streets of Okotoks are asked: ‘Who’d be better for Alberta: Trudeau or Trump?’ [Dec. 19, 2018]


Americans might be forgiven for not knowing that Norway, with a population of five million, is the world’s 11th largest oil exporter and the third largest exporter of natural gas. They might also need a second or two to realize that this sounds a lot like the Canadian province of Alberta, with four million people and fossil energy reserves second only to Saudi Arabia’s and Venezuela’s.

In the show, which is available on Netflix , Norway’s Greens come to power and announce plans to end fossil energy production. Norway’s European Union neighbors, while keen to seem green, are not keen to do without Norway’s energy. They quietly support a Russian campaign of intimidation that amounts to a creeping takeover, while Norway’s politicians, eager to avoid outright fighting, straddle and prevaricate. Anyone who remembers the name Vidkun Quisling will appreciate why this theme might resonate with a Norwegian audience.

Now back to Alberta: In the provincial capital of Edmonton, house prices have been falling for three years. Car sales are drying up. One-third of Calgary’s office buildings are empty. Though production is booming, Alberta’s oil was recently selling for barely $10 a barrel—an 80% discount to the world price. Why? Because opposition from neighboring provinces has blocked construction of needed pipelines.

In a drastic effort to prop up prices, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in December imposed mandatory production cuts on her province’s largest oil producers. She also announced plans, using taxpayer money, to buy 7,000 railcars to get oil to market, never mind that shipping by rail is expensive and risky.

In the middle is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dithering between his green supporters and his desire to placate Alberta and keep its money flowing.

This article continues at [Wall Street Journal] Green Politics and Global Instability or this other location.

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