The Alberta Party stands firmly behind our oil and gas industry and we can certainly appreciate the pain and hardship experienced by the many thousands of Albertans directly employed within this sector or affiliated with it. This is an industry that has always been and will continue to be a major economic driving force in our province.
At the core of our oil and gas sector's struggle is the need for us to be able to sell more of our product, and the Alberta Party views this as a multi-pronged approach:
1. Ship more of our existing products, and pipelines are the most notable answer. We definitely want Trans Mountain to happen. We as Canadians find ourselves now owning a pipeline, having paid near full ticket price for it, but still without a single shovel having hit the ground and the project seems to have completely stalled. But unlike other political parties in Alberta, the Alberta Party is not placing all our eggs in just the one basket; we also want Energy East and Kinder Morgan to proceed, plus we are even exploring the feasibility of a northbound pipeline in partnership with Canada's northern communities and the state of Alaska.
That is to say, why settle for just one project when we can have four on the go? And where it comes to moving products by rail or trucks, these can be complementary in increasing capacity and possibly as backups but the primary and main mode of transportation should be pipelines which are more efficient and environmentally sound and they carry far less risk.
2. Upgrade some of our product locally to increase our asking price, add value to it and make it more appealing to some of our outside markets. We want to look at new investments, yes, but we also want to remove the obstacles that have prevented existing infrastructure (such as the Northwest Redwater Sturgeon refinery, for example) from expanding and growing. We should also widen our view to include support for our petrochemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries to diversify and strengthen the economy.
And lastly, it is noteworthy to emphasize that our unwavering support for oil and gas should not be at all construed as in any way diminishing or taking away from our commitment to pursue research, innovation and commercialization in the renewable energy field where Alberta is in a unique position to assert itself as a leader, not just on the national stage but globally.