Energy in Action … Spread the Word

There is a stigma that the energy industry avoids educating the public. That stigma is played up by the media, the environmental NGOs and unfortunately by the average Albertan. That’s why I’m excited about my new gig at CAPP. Yes, my faithful followers, I have made the leap from government to the industry association world. Perhaps following in the footsteps of @ppilarski … but not really.

It’s been a whirlwind month as I find myself on the other side of the coin. I like this side. I like knowing that as I sit at a desk, meet with members or go to a CAPP event I am advocating in my own way for the energy industry.

Within my first few days I discovered an excellent program run by CAPP yearly. The program clearly breaks the stigma the energy industry is often painted with … it educates students and communities about the oil and gas industry; not just in Alberta but in Canada.

Energy in Action is an incredible energy literacy program sponsored by the member companies of CAPP. CAPP delivers this program to schools in rural oil and gas operating communities across western Canada. Energy in Action provides those member companies with a hands-on approach to community relations. The program brings industry and communities together to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship – after all they do interact everyday; they might as well get to know each other!

Each May, students partner with local volunteers from the energy industry and their communities to participate in education sessions and environmental renewal projects. Since 2004, 59 companies and close to 2,000 company volunteers have participated in events in 55 communities across Canada. They planted almost 6,400 trees and shrubs, and taught almost 6,000 students, teachers and community residents about the petroleum industry and the benefits of careful resource development. 2011 is no exception … the Energy in Action team has been travelling already and will visit 10 communities across three provinces by May 31. They even encourage us to follow along through their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

So next time your wondering what your energy industry is up to … think of Energy in Action. Tell your friends, your colleagues, and if you’re in the industry, a rural teacher, or even an engaged student ask your community to get involved. May 2012 will come sooner than you realize. We need to be proactive – it’s our job to educate the average Albertan (each other) about all the great things going on in the energy industry. Especially in Alberta… after all Alberta is Energy.

Getting educated and spreading the word,

CR xo

2 thoughts on “Energy in Action … Spread the Word

  1. Alberta: the best government money can buy.

    As a tradesman that was born and only worked in Alberta, I object to some of capp’s agenda.
    Big oil has to pay their fair share of royalties and taxes.
    Big oil has to stop getting in bed with clac and merit to lower the wages for Alberta workers. I only want a level playing field to compete.
    Big oil has to stop the exploytive promotion of temporary foreign replacement workers. capp’s p r would be better served by maximizing the use of Albertans and Canadians. U.S. Workers brought in as a last resort would help spread the word of a worker-friendly Alberta..
    Big oil should upgrade and refine it’s bitumen in Alberta.
    On all these topics, big oil is only looking for maximum quarterly profits and screw everyone and everything else.
    Thank you. Brent pollock

    1. Hi Brent – thanks for your comments. My name is Peter and I am the other author on this blog … I wanted to comment on your commnent.

      I agree with your observation about “big oil” needing to pay their share of royalties. However, coming to an agreement about how much that should be is a little more difficult. When Premier Stelmach changed the royalty regime many companies simply left the province and began operating in other jurisdictions. As such, this is a challenging topic because fair share to one person is very different to different people and we need to ensure that our royalty structure is competitive with other jurisdictions – personally I hesitate to drive an industry that is the foundation of our economy away.

      Your comments about Merit and CLAC contractors paying less than BTU contractors is pretty simplistic. While the dollar per hour amount may be a little bit lower IN SOME CASES, i am confienct that if you looked at the actual take home pay between a BTU trandesman and a Merit of CLAC tradesman it would either be exactly the same or the CLAC and Merit guys would end up with more money in their pockets.

      This is because the Merit benefit plan (which is as good or better than the BTU plan) is 1/5 the cost of the BTU plan. CLACs is a little more than Merit’s, but its still less than half the cost of the BTU plan. Merit and CLAC guys also don’t pay the union dues and don’t pay into other funds such as MERF funds. The fact of the matter is that BTU contractors pay a lot of money into a lot of different programs with little or no return directly to that worker – their union is giving them a bad deal!

      For example, the mandatory union dues that go towards political advocacy whether the tradesperson wants to contribute to that activity or not – I suspect that many BTU tradespeople would opt to keep that money to help pay their bills rather than spend it on lobbying the government on issues they may not even agree with. But the union doens’t give that option.

      How about the MERF funds? Did you know that these funds add to the overall cost of building industrial projects that are dominated by the Building Trade Unions? Did you also know that the additional cost means that energy companies that pay into MERF funds take longer to start paying royalties?

      My point is that these issues are a lot more complicated that they appear and the building trade unions need to take a look at how what they do impacts the big picture.

      I completely agree with you about the need to refine bitumen in Alberta. That is why the Alberta Givernment created the BRIK program and is partnering with industry to be able to upgrade more bitumen in this project. Both the Alberta Building Trades AND Merit participated in the “Refine it where you mine it” campaign to encourage this – its nice when both sides are able to agree.

      Your notion that oil companies only care about their quarterly earning and screw everyone and anyone else is, quite frankly, a laughable position. The fact remains that Alberta has the highest average earning and lowest unemployment rates in the country. We enjoy a very high quality of life and have a very high standard of living compared to most places around the world. Much of this is becasue Alberta’s oil and gas sector contribute substantially into the government coffers and pays for many of the government programs we have all become way too spoiled with. Many people have good paying, high quality jobs becasue of the presence of a strong oil and gas industry in this province. And frankly, there is nothing but opportunity for people who want to work hard in this province.

      So I respectfully disagree with every notion you put on the table about CAPP’s priorities and submit that you are looking at the oil and gas sector as your enemy when you should be appreciating the fact that you are able to make a good living and enjoy a high quality of life because of its existence in Alberta.

      And i don’t think you should blame CAPP members, the government, Merit or CLAC for the fact that the BTU give their members and society as a whole a bad deal – you shoud go complain to your union!!!


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