If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, the latest attempt by the public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns to get its long-overdue report in by July 30 surely looks familiar. You probably didn’t get four extensions and an extra million dollars for your work back in the day. But it’s hard to miss the stink of desperation coming from commissioner Steve Allan’s inquiry as it tries to spin the conspiracy straw it was handed into political gold — and get a passing grade from Premier Jason Kenney.

Even with such a generous marker, it’s clear this isn’t going to be the A-plus work some were hoping. The Allan Inquiry won’t reveal any grand conspiracy to land-lock Alberta’s oil, much less one that’s being funded by American commercial interests. Instead, it will show something far less controversial: that international environmental organizations and interests invested some of their funds in Alberta, a province with huge reserves of oil and huge problems getting them to market.

Those funds pale in comparison to the money raised right here in Canada, and barring that U.S. cash from crossing the border wouldn’t have changed a thing when it comes to pipeline projects and the resistance mounted against them. These organizations were simply trying to maximize the return on their environmental investment, just as the oil companies routinely do when they drill in different parts of the world.

As with most last-minute efforts, the Allan Inquiry’s report seems much more about reverse-engineering a conclusion than actually digging into the evidence. Those who have seen it already say the supporting “research” apparently consists of Google searches, social media screenshots and a few half-hearted attempts to actually talk to the people it was tasked with investigating — or, in some cases, no effort at all.

“At no point did Allan interview our staff or any other witnesses that we know of,” Dogwood, a B.C.-based organization, wrote in its formal response to the Allan Inquiry and its draft report. “There are no sworn affidavits related to Dogwood’s work or anything else that would be considered reliable evidence of the legal standard normally expected of a public inquiry.” Greenpeace’s Keith Stewart was even more withering in his criticism of Allan’s work. "If I got this as an undergrad paper,” he told the CBC, “I would ask them to resubmit or take a failure.”

Worse, the report apparently flirts with the sorts of conspiracy theories about climate change that were discredited many years ago and have now been rejected by everyone from the International Energy Agency to large oil and gas companies. The inclusion of those theories, and their validation by the commissioner of a public inquiry, suggests the current government of Alberta isn’t ready to embrace this reality.

But getting to the truth was never really the object of the exercise here. It was always about creating an effective scapegoat for the Kenney government, and on that front the Allan Inquiry may yet deliver. The lawsuits that will almost certainly greet his report will only help in that respect. Those who want someone specific to blame for changes in the energy sector, which in truth have been driven almost entirely by global markets, will get it complete with a government seal of approval. For her troubles, apparently Vivian Krause — whose work inspired the inquiry — is expecting to get a tidy $30,000.

For all of its obvious uselessness, though, the Allan Inquiry may still end up serving one important role. By framing its mandate around the notion of “anti-Alberta energy campaigns,” the Kenney government inadvertently defined the multitudes of people opposed to pipelines as anti-Albertan.

This is yet another layer of nonsense. The growing numbers of people who resist pipelines because of their potential environmental impacts, whether they live in Indigenous communities in northern British Columbia or downtown Vancouver, aren’t actually opposing Alberta. They’re opposing one aspect of its economy and one way that it chooses to do business — not the province itself. And as Dogwood said in its official response, “calling people in other provinces ‘anti-Alberta’ won’t rewind the clock or unlock another boom in the oilpatch.”

If Alberta is going to thrive in the low-carbon future, it will have to escape the shadow its oil and gas industry still casts over everything. If nothing else, the Allan Inquiry is an expensive reminder of just how long that shadow still is — and why Alberta has to get out from under it.

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Back in the days of Standard Oil and Rockefeller, anyone who wasn't pro-oil was anti-American. The oil industry and its PR machine still push the same message today.
Albertans who oppose new pipelines are labelled anti-Albertan. Ergo, unpatriotic. Ergo, traitors.
Despicable politics from right-wingers who don't have a real argument.

- "Another Pounder Doom and Gloom fake news poster who never uses heat, never uses light, never uses any energy, hates Alberta but lives here in Rocky Mountain House, hates all his neighbours most of whom worked in oil and gas and fills these posts with his own made up "facts". Usual demented garbage."
- "Ease off whatever is in your green koolaid! Why do you hate Alberta so?"
- "You really hate Alberta & Albertans, don't you?"
- "He hates Alberta and all it stands for but lives here and writes disjointed sentences from demented musings of an unsound mind."
- "Then why do you live all your life in Alberta in Rocky Mountain House but hate Alberta? Please tell all of us who thumb down your junk daily? Quit smoking that stuff."
- "And you're about as patriotic an Albertan as any other transplant Laurentian on a public sector salary."
- "Your assertion that oil is going to disappear is wrong. ... Stop hating Alberta Geoffrey. Eat Cow, Rope Calf. Drill oil. My god I love this place."

This is what passes for commentary on The Calgary Herald, should you be so bold as to venture any resistance to the fossil-fuel agenda, e.g., new pipelines.
What kind of a twisted world is it where people who defend their land are branded as "haters" while those who seek to profit from its destruction are patriots?
I'm not the one leaving a $260 billion liability for my grandchildren. I'm not the one turning the oilsands region into an ecological sacrifice zone.

As a patriotic Canadian, I stand on guard for my province: land, air, water, wildlife, and people, including the loudmouths' grandchildren.
What does fossil fuel dinosaurs stand on guard for? Dividends from Suncor?
According to them, if you don't kowtow to Exxon, you're an enemy of the state.
Fossil fuel dinosaurs project their own hatred of patriotic Albertans who oppose their apocalyptic fossil fuel agenda. They believe the oil industry's interests and the interests of Alberta citizens are one and the same.
Fossil fuel fascists who wrap themselves in the flag are not patriots. They are servile lackeys of a largely foreign-owned sunset industry that will bleed Alberta dry — and leave a toxic landscape for their grandchildren. Fossil fuel boosters are happy to sell future generations down the river.
Why do they hate their grandchildren?

All very disconcerting. My suggestion is to ditch the Calgary Herald if you haven't already. There is this National Observer, or the Tyee, or the Narwhal to restore our faith in actual journalism. Not coincidentally I don't think, all are manned by women.
Albertans have the same stupid, juvenile male persona as Americans, "proud boy" types-- brash, egotistical, oblivious, and proud of it. Various reasons for this, like too many young guys quitting school to go work in the lucrative oilpatch, all this "big" money creating the dumbass redneck mentality that is driving around in the weird number of massive black trucks, aggressively riding your bumper. There is an overarching tone of "men behaving badly" here, and apparently in the last election here, it was these young guys who hadn't voted before who took the UCP over the top? It's like all those ignorant online commenters who haven't read or written much before, but now have a platform.

The earth's climate is changing for the most part because we (humans) are consuming the resources that sustain life. If we are not consuming than we are simply destroying for profit. The end is near. Kenny is simply one of many representatives of a political system that attempts to placate the consumers and destroyers. It is sad that we find ourselves paying any attention at all to such reporting as what is written here. There are far too many of us in total and far too few who even pay attention to these changes and far, far fewer who are willing to attempt the necessary changes to "save the planet' or just us.

Right to put "save the planet" in quotes because the planet will be fine; it's us people who are screwed. Maybe it would help if we started stating that bald truth more frequently instead of soft-pedalling it all the time. I think people are dying for the truth...

The planet is not, and will not "be fine", neither are we and will we unless we become truly serious about saving it. Let's start with the big, black pickup trucks. In 2019, Ford sold 895,000 F150s. Add all the others, and eliminating them would be a good start.

What all rational, reality-based people see is that this same delusional attitude keeps popping up alarmingly but reliably in various contexts, manifesting as sort of a "suite of stupidity" that mirrors the alternate reality central to religious belief. The UCP ARE a bunch of evangelicals after all. The U.S. is currently being ripped apart by the "big lie" but no one talks about how religion is the original "big lie" and the perfect platform for other magical thinking. Americans are so predisposed to this that they even have their own made-in-America brands like Mormonism and Scientology, as well as the fledgling QAnon. Everyone scoffs at that, but the characteristics of an omniscient being, "Q," are identical to all religions.

This massive delusion lends itself to overt denialism of science and many aspects of modernity generally, but is so increasingly unacceptable that it has been forced to become more covert, or believers become selective, "oh but that's not MY religion." Like Catholics at the moment, forced to become apologists for utter horror. Like Muslims with ISIS. Many become aggressively defensive to justify their treasured, definitive "mindset."
Bottom line, this has resulted in rampant "denialism" of undeniable realities from the basic existence of homosexuality to the pandemic, the importance of vaccines, and climate change. When can we start identifying how dangerous our uncritical acceptance of religion has become?

If Albertans are as loathe to have their tax dollars squandered as they claim to be, they should read this report and weep.......or laugh......depending on your politics. My partner and I waited in vain to be interviewed, or charged, by this silly war department. Having been arrested in Washington against the Keystone because we decided to 'believe the science', we have learned a great deal in the last 10 years about Big Oil and the fossil fools who keep shilling for it.

And we put our money with the real science, and the organizations fighting for a realistic understanding of where doubling down on unconventional, end of the barrel sources of fossil fuels, is going to take us. We do it for love of Alberta..........but not just Alberta. Saskatchewan is my place of birth, Manitoba my partners.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this entire nation belongs to all of us....which includes both coasts and the Arctic Ocean. We intend to defend it, and give what we can financially to that defense. As Tim De Christopher said 10 years ago as he was being sentenced to jail for defending public land in the states:

This is an act of love and it can only grow. Join Us.

There is great irony when it's obvious the anti-Alberta narrative is a product made only in Alberta. Albertans are a sensitive lot and mistake the inevitable reaction to their bombastic judgments of others as anti-Alberta when in fact they are the backhanded slaps of the unjustly insulted.

Rachel Notley once said the tanker ban on the coast of BC's Great Bear Rainforest was "anti-Alberta." Uh, no. It's pro-BC. Pro-Indigenous rights. And pro-conservation of a network of pristine ecological systems. The irony is that she said it after generating months of her own genuine brand of anti-BC rhetoric over unnecessary and unwanted pipelines through BC territory. She said it not with a small amount of condescension, anger and quavering insecurity about Alberta's one-sided views on constitutionalism, and with a rather tenuous grip on their long term economic prospects in the face of climate change and the inevitable decarbonization of the advanced international economy.

More irony to add to the mountain appears every year whenever Alberta's own scientists and economists release the latest data on the speeding rates of loss in mass from Rocky Mountain glaciers and the projected diminished mid-century flows of glacier-fed Prairie rivers, the build up of petrochemical toxins in Athabasca Lake food fish downstream from the oil sands, the financial repercussions of the withdrawal of investors in Canadian petroleum industries and their unfunded environmental liabilities, heat domes and Prairie drought, predictable boom and bust cycles, and so forth.

Still, Albertans remain the wealthiest of Canadians. Their arrogance and resentment of others is misplaced and unseemly. They now rely on leaders who defend spending millions on conjuring infantile conspiracy theories to outwardly defend the oil patch political donors and, most importantly, to inwardly placate the dweebs who think rules and science impinge on their sacred freedom to endanger the public by attending anti-masking rallies, being misled screamers for perpetual oil dependency and the creation of stranded assets, and by childishly bombing around in penis trucks. This is what it has become. To an expatriate like me, Alberta has devolved.

One gets the impression that the clocks stopped in 1955 in the Alberta legislature. Gawd, they didn't even have Elvis then.