Producers losing money on every barrel sold

Price for Western Canadian Oilsands bitumen so low

It’s never the right time to do the wrong thing.

A good friend of mine once said: “It’s never the right time to do the wrong thing!” The first time he made the statement it struck a chord, but after having time to reflect on the deeper meaning, it becomes profound. Most of us live under the shadow of the consequences that naturally come from governments that choose to knowingly put people who will do harm in sensitive positions.

The Premier made such a choice with the appointment of Tzeporah Berman to the oilsands advisory group. She knowingly put an individual who actively has shown Albertans that she will disrupt any prospective pipelines that will get product from Alberta’s Oilsands to the world market. That decision and decisions like this have resulted in the situation Alberta finds itself in today.

The financial situation Alberta faces is directly related to the price for Western Canadian Select crude which fell to just $26 USD a barrel this past Thursday, while benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $71.98 USD. The combination of a rise in production and a lack of pipeline capacity and a reliance on foreign refineries have compounded an already serious price differential. According to some financial analysts, the prices being paid for Western Canadian Oilsands bitumen have fallen so far that many producers are losing money on every barrel sold.

These are the consequences that are plaguing Alberta’s already faltering finances due in large part to knowingly doing the wrong thing. Tzeporah Berman is only one of many that the Premier has surrounded herself with that she knew full well was not acting in Alberta’s best interest. Berman’s extreme anti-oil stance is documented as far back as the early 1990s and yet she was still appointed to an oilsands advisory group. It defies logic that any person trusted to act in taxpayers best interest, could not understand that this was just plain wrong.

Everywhere I go these days it’s clear that Albertans understand that we must get our products to market if we are going to have any hope of easing the pressure of the current fiscal income crisis. Doing the right thing isn’t always clear but in this case, it was crystal clear. Attempting to rationalize the appointment of Tzeporah Berman to the Oilsands advisory group is openly denying the facts.

The Legislature begins sitting Oct. 29 and rest assured, questions about how the Premier and her government knowingly did the wrong thing will be asked, and rest assured, they will dodge those questions or give answers that have nothing to do with the question that is on the floor.

A $90 billion-plus debt is evidence enough that it’s never the right time to do the wrong thing, but for those who need more evidence look no further than the billions of dollars in stranded assets that are now landlocked in Alberta. Its one thing to make a decision in good faith and have it go sideways, it’s quite another to knowingly invite the failure to the table.

“It’s never the right time to do the wrong thing!” My good friend shared this quote with me and it has stuck with me because I’ve seen how profound the consequences can be when people knowingly choose to do the wrong thing.

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