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Canada: Petrostate or not?

Andrew Nikiforuk’s piece in the July/August issue of Foreign Policy claims that Canada has become a rogue petrostate. You can read my reply, and Mr. Nikiforuk’s response to it, here.

On my Enbridge Professorship

Update: As of March, 2015, I no longer hold the Enbridge Professorship. There are 4 major milestones in a professor’s career – you get your first job as Assistant Professor, you get tenure, then (or possibly jointly) get promoted to Associate Professor, and finally to (full) Professor. Outside of that formal structure, there are separate […]

The National Energy Program - A missed boom for the oil sands?

The National Energy Program – A missed boom for the oil sands?

After my post last night got me reading Budget 1980 and the National Energy Program, I stumbled upon something completely fascinating: the hated National Energy Program proposed an indexed price for synthetic crude from oil sands projects which, had it been followed until today, would have been above the Canadian dollar price of WTI in […]

Reading the National Energy Program

As a non-native-Albertan academic (in particular one from back east), I have learned that there are two golden rules to follow when in Alberta – don’t mention the National Energy Program, and don’t mention the National Energy Program.  This post, and my next one, are going to break both of those rules.

Energy security and Energy East

Energy security and Energy East

During his visit to the Irving Refinery on August 8th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that the Energy East pipeline was not just about moving Alberta’s energy to markets, but that (the government) would, “(make) sure that Canadians themselves benefit from these projects and from that gain in energy security.” That got me to thinking about […]

Energy East, again.

Energy East, again.

This post previously published at Maclean’s and Canadian Business Magazine It’s been a week since TransCanada announced that it had secured sufficient commercial commitments and would be proceeding with the Energy East project. Their announcement included a few surprises – a larger-than-expected capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day, and a $300 million marine terminal in Saint John. What […]

Value-added, externalities and eggs

Today, what I initially thought was a mildly controversial statement about upstream vs. downstream profitability and value-added led to me finding myself with a little bit of egg on my face and also completely baffled about the way we use the term value-added. Let me start off by saying that, as a economist, I tend […]

CNRL incident(s) at Primrose

I read Dan Healing’s article on the CNRL surface emulsion release incident at Primrose/Wolf Lake, Emma Pullman’s DeSmog Blog piece, and the Alberta Energy Regulator’s news release release. I’ll admit I dismissed it all at the time – sounds like an isolated incident, I thought – and I assumed it was from a well-head or pipeline. I didn’t […]

On Keystone XL and gas prices

On Keystone XL and gas prices

Today, a post has been making the rounds which claims that the Keystone XL pipeline would raise gas prices in the US Midwest by, “20 to 40 cents per gallon, based on the $20 to $30 per barrel discount on Canadian crude oil that Keystone XL developers seek to erase.”  Further, the report claims that, […]

Mégantic and the BP Spill

The scale and scope of the terrible tragedy in Lac Mégantic, Quebec is only begining to sink in, and my thoughts are certainly with the victims and their families at this time. In the midst of the shock and sadness of this event, already there are those who have concluded that this is an advantage for the […]