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Alberta to become 51st state

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  • Alberta to become 51st state

    Screw Baghdad. Edmonton is much closer.

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    Alberta is about to get wildly rich and powerful

    What does that mean for Canada?

    STEVE MAICH

    At Suncor Energy's Millennium oil sands project, just north of Fort McMurray, Alta., the unmistakable odour of black gold drifts up from the ground and hangs thick in the air. Everywhere around you, water pooled in footprints, tire ruts and potholes carries the telltale rainbow sheen of oil. "The smell of economic progress," jokes Brad Bellows, a spokesman for Suncor, playing host on a damp spring afternoon. But it's much more than that. It's the smell of raw power -- the kind that comes from having plenty of what the rest of the world can't live without. It's the smell of a resource locked in the ground for millions of years and which now has the potential to shape the future of a nation, for better or for worse.

    Suncor's extraction plant on the bank of the Athabasca River looks like a science fiction movie set -- hundreds of kilometres of steel pipe twisted into incomprehensible knots around hulking industrial buildings, storage tanks and smokestacks. The whole scene is bathed in a constant haze of steam and exhaust. Two other such plants are now operating within an hour's drive of here, and several more are scheduled to commence operations over the next few years, all to exploit what may be the biggest petroleum deposit anywhere in the world, a sea of oil-saturated soil covering an area the size of New Brunswick.

    Already, one million barrels of petroleum a day are being spun out of the sand and pumped south, and that number is projected to triple within the next decade. During that time, the oil sands will generate about 100,000 new jobs and billions of dollars in royalties and taxes to various levels of government, not to mention billions more in dividends to investors. But the significance of the oil sands beyond Canada's borders may be even greater.

    Energy has become a central obsession of international politics in recent years, as exploding economic growth in Asia and America's ongoing love affair with gas-guzzling vehicles have accelerated the drain on world petroleum reserves. Terrorism, trade, the war in Iraq, nuclear diplomacy -- all of it, on some level, is related to the international preoccupation with energy, and access to affordable oil. So if Canada is to play a more significant global role in the years ahead, experts agree it will be due to the reeking, doughy black soil in northern Alberta, and the rest of the world's keen desire to share it. "The oil sands give Canada one of the single greatest advantages of any state in the Western world," says Paul Chastko, a University of Calgary historian who recently published a book called Developing Alberta's Oil Sands. "It gives Canada the ability to supply all of North America for the next 50 years without touching a drop of imported oil." It is, in short, an economic engine and political lever that any nation would desperately love to have....
    But wait. There is something that can be done afterall. My good friend Angelo is a cop in the Tampa/Clearwater area. Since I kept all of the files from the access logs when I had the power to see them, guess what, I have everyone's IP addresses. Hmm..what can I do w/ those??
    ...

  • #2
    The Oilers are about to become a big market team.
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    • #3
      What does that mean for Canada?
      George W. Bush is going to start talking about weapons of mass destruction "in and around Edmondton"?
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      "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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      • #4
        Blame Canada for corrupting American youth and say we're invading to preserve our society.

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