Monday, January 04, 2010

Greener Oil Sands, Greener Planet and Alberta's Role.

The op-ed in today’s Globe and Mail “Greener Oil Sands, Greener Planet” by my business partner Satya Das is a perfect example of how to integrate the guiding principles I set for myself in 2010. Those were, citizenship, ownership and stewardship, especially in an Alberta context.

We clearly need to get serious about a low-carbon future and it is Alberta with the best opportunity and duty to lead the way in Canada and the world for that matter. We have a $15 trillion concentration of hydrocarbon based wealth in the oil sands. That wealth is a key to an effective transition to alternative energy and cleaner greener hydrocarbons too.

Alberta is also the best place for ethical investors to place their energy, and innovation investments, especially when compared to the uncertainty and corruption of other large energy providers in regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran or Iraq.

Albertans have to exercise their citizenship right and responsibilities and as owners of the oil sands to ensure they are developed sustainably and responsibly. We also have to ensure we get the best value from the resource for the benefit of current and future generations of Albertans and yes – Canadians too.

Stewardship is about the environment and preserving biodiversity. But it is also part of policy and programs to encourage Albertans to personally adapt and adopt new and greener practices in our personal and community lives. That includes investment in capturing the wealth of the oil sands. One way is to have a Natural Resources Severance Tax that would fund the transition and new technologies necessary for a carbon neutral future for oil sands development.

Here is the link to Satya’s Globe and Mail op-ed piece. Here is a link to his book Green Oil too.

Finally if you are also an Albertan interested and concerned about you citizenship, your resource ownership and stewardship you may want ot join in the movement known as Reboot Alberta.  That where you will find like-minded people who are gathering together and starting to get actively engaged in these and other aspects of our democracy in Alberta.