Danielle Smith: Those latte-sipping anti-pipeline zealots got their start with the NDP

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to media during a tour of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline replacement project in Hardisty, Alta., on Thursday Aug.10, 2017. Notley kicks off a cross-country speaking tour on the importance of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Monday in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson. CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

We are truly in the upside-down.

NDP leader Rachel Notley wants to buy railcars to get more bitumen to market at higher prices.

UCP leader Jason Kenney has been convinced the only way to increase WCS prices is to have the government mandate a 10 per cent production cut to get less bitumen to market.

This is what happens when governments destroy investor confidence and decimate a free market. It requires extreme government intervention to fix it.

How did we get here?

I asked energy industry analyst Dave Yager to help cut through some of the spin, because the air is getting pretty thick with it.

LISTEN: Danielle speaks with Energy Policy Analyst Dave Yager about a solution to Alberta’s oil and gas problems

In her speech to the Ottawa Canadian Club, Notley’s most surprising statement was her chastising the professional-protester crowd on their idea of a new economy.

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“A new economy where we flip condos to each other, blog in coffee shops, and write movie reviews on Facebook. It’s a fantasy world where good jobs grow on trees, teachers and nurses are paid in magic beans, and economic equality will come about if you just believe hard enough in it.”

Notley seems to have forgotten that those latte-sipping idealists also just happen to be the same group of people she and the rest of her NDP caucus has been courting for the last decade to get elected.

Are we supposed to forget David Eggan’s “No new approvals!” chant at a Voices of Protest rally? Or now-former NDP MLA Robin Luff protesting “dirty oil” at an anti-Keystone rally? Or Rachel Notley rallying against climate change with Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, standing with protestors bearing signs that said “No Tarsands No Tankers No Pipelines No Problem”? Or that Shannon Phillips literally helped write the book with Greenpeace activist Mike Hudema on how to use protest as a tool to stop global capitalism?

Turns out Phillips also appeared at a protest against Northern Gateway and intervened at the National Energy Board to oppose it. Let’s also not forget that Notley herself fessed up that she opposed the Northern Gateway pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline in an editorial board meeting just prior to the election.

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But if you ask Notley who was responsible for the failure to build pipelines to the coast, she blames the federal Conservatives.

Wrap your head around this pretzel.

The NDP sided with every environmental nut-bar on the planet to crash NEB hearings to stop pipelines from getting built. The Harper Conservatives responded by limiting interventions to only those who were actually directly impacted by the decision. And now Notley is saying that the reason we can’t get pipelines built is because Harper eroded confidence in the NEB?

Let’s make no mistake about why we find ourselves in the position we are in today. The energy sector was anticipating the approval of four pipelines so they amped up production.

Because of the actions of the extreme environmental lobby, aided by their political fellow travelers in both the NDP and Liberal parties, none of these pipelines are close to being completed and we have an oil glut that has driven prices down to record lows.

Listen: Danielle Smith speaks with Art Price about Alberta’s energy future

Immediately cutting production — as Kenney now proposes — is the only solution that will correct the differential today.

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Leaving it in the ground is what the environmental extremists have been advocating since Corporate Ethics International launched the Tarsands Campaign to landlock Alberta oil back in 2008.

It’s painful to acknowledge that the only way to save the industry in the long run is to do exactly that.

But let’s not fool ourselves about who is really to blame for how we got here.

Danielle Smith is host of The Danielle Smith Show on Global News Radio 770 Calgary. She can be reached at

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