Alberta and Enron: A tale of two twisted power plays

By challenging the Enron clause, Alberta's NDP government takes on the system it inherited and a dark piece of Ralph Klein's legacy

Alberta and Enron: A tale of two twisted power plays“Oh, what a tangled web we weave/When first we practise to deceive.” Having launched its campaign against carbon-emitting power plants, the Alberta government has inadvertently opened Pandora’s box, only to find the grisly face of Enron Corp. staring out at them … snickering. Enron (that now-failed poster boy for corporate malfeasance) was a principal adviser…

Energy industry’s youth can be its best ambassadors

They expect to do better by the environment than their parents and, through their corporate efforts, contribute more effectively to social good

Energy industry’s youth can be its best ambassadorsA participant at a recent executive energy roundtable in Calgary remarked that his two adult children work for major oilfield services companies – but they don't tell their friends. To their acquaintances, they work for technology companies. Knowing precisely who they worked for would provoke various reactions in their friends, ranging from ire and disdain to…

Building Canadian oil and gas trust one tale at a time

Part 2 in a series detailing how the energy sector can rebuild its reputation, and its vibrancy, by connecting with Canadians

Building Canadian oil and gas trust one tale at a timePublic trust is the single biggest hurdle facing Canada's oil and gas sector. Not emissions management. Not water usage. Not seismicity related to hydraulic fracturing. Not pipeline safety. Not any of the things for which it is currently demonized. None of that matters if we're not trusted. None of the great things we're doing –…

Oil and gas industry needs a chief story officer

Storytelling is a powerful way for the industry to build trust with the folks who consume its products

Oil and gas industry needs a chief story officerCanada’s oil and gas sector needs a new senior executive – a chief story officer or CSO. The creation of this senior position is critical to assertively respond to the industry’s biggest challenge beyond crushing commodity prices: its reputation and, by extension, its future. Never mind fretting about the social licence to operate, external dynamics are rapidly shifting…

Green energy future still a long way off

Important shifts in production and consumption are underway but any global energy revolution will be considerably slower than many believe

Green energy future still a long way offSome Canadian environmental groups claim the world is making a dramatic move toward carbon-free energy sources. The implication is that Canada – one of the world’s largest producers of oil and natural gas – should quickly abandon the fossil fuel economy and embrace renewable energy as the only pathway to a prosperous future. Important shifts…

Pay it Forward gang rides Calgary’s Plus-15 to the rescue

A handful of heroes are riding selflessly to the rescue of oil and gas folks in distress in downtown Calgary and beyond

Pay it Forward gang rides Calgary’s Plus-15 to the rescueThey're the handful of heroes riding selflessly to the rescue of oil and gas folks in distress in downtown Calgary and beyond. And while the allusion to a good-deed-doing gang of the Old West may be good-naturedly stretching things a bit, what motivates their efforts is no less commendable. These folks don't tote badges or…

Killing energy projects only hurts First Nations

Stringent environmental oversight already protects native rights to land and water, negating the need for veto rights

Killing energy projects only hurts First NationsThe right of First Nations to question resource development is not the same as a right to veto much-needed projects. Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council in New Brunswick, said he believes Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) gives First Nation communities veto power…

Every energy source – even renewables – has a downside

Renewables present a range of challenges that will one day draw the same criticism the oil and gas sector experiences now

We live in interesting, ‘tipping-point’ times when it comes to energy. To the upside, people are talking and thinking about energy like never before. On the downside, people are talking and thinking about energy like never before. But the notion of ‘tipping point’ is a useful lens through which to assess the social, economic and political…

What Rocky Harbour could teach government

When governments fail to act in conserving resource royalties, families step in to recycle the boom-times cash

What Rocky Harbour could teach governmentIt’s common knowledge that neither Alberta nor Newfoundland found the political courage when the oil patch was awash with cash to create substantive heritage funds. While Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed argued persuasively for their need in the 1970s and ’80s, leadership on the issue pretty much ended with his political career. Ever since, Alberta Conservative…