Alberta’s Warning: Who Wants to Freeze In the Dark?

The Federal Government has doubled down on its demand that provinces meet their arbitrary 2035 goal of reducing carbon emissions — a goal that, even if Canada met, would make virtually no impact in a world where Canada’s emissions are dwarfed by China, the U.S., and India.

Source: Global Carbon Atlas

How energy is produced varies from province to province, depending upon their available resources. For Alberta, that means natural gas is key to making sure homes stay heated in the winter and provide power to stay cool in the summer. Premier Danielle Smith’s government has repeatedly stated that it would take at least until 2050 for Alberta to move to mostly “clean” energy sources. But Federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault, a self-professed radical climate change activist, wants the province to phase that out by 2035:

How fair would it be for … the rest of the federation if we started carving out exceptions for provinces?

Minister Stephen Guilbeault, CBC News, September 29, 2023

But AESO, the independent operator of the provincial electricity system in Alberta, issued a sobering warning about the consequences of meeting the earlier timeline. Natural gas is needed as a baseline energy source during both shortages and peaks and Alberta won’t have enough supply to ensure the reliability of the system in 2035. This according to AESO chief executive officer Michael Law, who said the feds agenda is simply “not feasible.”

Our analysis shows that the way the CER [Clean Electricity Regulations] is currently written is going to create supply adequacy and reliability challenges for Alberta’s power system from 2035 and beyond. This energy shortfall increases over time, increasing reliability and safety risks for Alberta’s power system and all Albertans.

Michael Law, AESO CEO, September 28, 2023, Calgary Herald
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith
at Tell the presser, Sept. 28, 2023

Two hours later, Premier Smith launched a “Tell the” national ad campaign to resist the “dangerous” demands of Ottawa. At her side, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, Rebeccas Schulz, noted that the Prime Minister’s green ambitions will cost as much as 1.7 trillion dollars. “Everything we’ve seen from the Federal Government shows they simply don’t care how, or how much, Canadians will need to pay for their costly ambitions”:

This is expensive, unreasonable, ideological, and quite frankly, it is dangerous.

Hon. Rebecca Schulz, launch of national ad campaign, September 28, 2023; CPAC

ATCO, one of Alberta’s major power suppliers, also warned last month that the federal government’s demands were unreasonable.

In Alberta, electrifying building heat with intermittent renewable is virtually impossible, especially in our climate.

August 11, 2023; cf. Trudeau’s Reckless Green Dreams
Premier Danielle Smith, September 28, 2023
Photo: Jim Wells/Postmedia

Smith, flanked by signs reading “No one wants blackouts in -30°” and “No one wants to freeze in the dark,” warned that Albertans will face “brown” and “blackouts” if Ottawa persists. In fact, Guilbeault has even threatened jail time for the Premiers or their ministers who don’t comply with, say, shutting down coal plants by 2030. It’s “a criminal tool that the federal government has,” said Guilbeault last May. “So not complying with this regulation would be a violation of Canada’s Criminal Code.”1 But Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe shot back:

If where we’ve come to in this country is when individuals in this province, or any other province, they flick their lights on or their furnace fan kicks in that’s deemed illegal and cause for someone to go to jail, come get me.

May 18, 2023;

From where we stand at Wind Concerns, the Liberals in Ottawa have put the provinces in not only an impossible but dangerous situation — one that could cost lives if energy demands are not met on some sub-zero morning in the winter. Wind power has been shown repeatedly, from Europe to Ontario to Alberta, that it is not only not environmentally friendly in the least, but is unreliable at best.

…we need to have dispatchable technologies that can meet the demands of the province when, quite frankly, the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining… Without that, in the worst case scenario, large areas of Alberta could be left without power creating significant public health and safety risks.

Michael Law, AESO CEO, September 28, 2023; “Premier Smith, Schulz: Fed Plan is “Dangerous”

Jan Emblemsvåg, Ph.D., explains this rather simple principle that continues to evade Environment Minister Guilbeault whom Schulz says is “completely out of touch with reality.”2

Wind power varies with the wind. The supply of wind power is therefore governed by “supply” and is, therefore, a fundamental breach of the principle of “demand management”… In many ways, wind power can be compared to a power supplier that promises the cheapest electricity in the market. The problem is that it only works when the wind is blowing properly, so then you have to get another power supplier when the wind blows too much or too little. Yes, this is probably cheap, but it has low value because you have to use another power supply most of the time.

November 18, 2021;

The province of Alberta is exploring other alternatives, such as geothermal, helium, renewable natural gas, etc.. We applaud the Premier and their cabinet for pursuing truly clean but also responsible energy sources.

But the path of the federal government, driven by a radical and increasingly baseless climate ideology, is neither responsible nor saving the planet. It is putting Canadians at grave risk. Trudeau and his government have shown a contempt for logic, reason, good faith, and sound policy. It is time for the NDP to cease propping up the Liberal minority and call for a federal election so that the citizens of the country can themselves choose whether they want to be left out in the cold…

  1. May 18, 2023;[]
  2. September 17, 2023, National Post[]
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Website | + posts

Mark Mallett is a former award-winning reporter with CTV Edmonton and an independent researcher and author. His family homesteaded between Vermilion and Cold Lake, Alberta, and now resides in the Lakeland region. Mark is Editor in Chief of Wind Concerns.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *