Alberta Beyond Fossil Fuels

Three Sisters, Alberta
Jack Borno, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you like stories? Good. True stories? Even better. Because we have an amazing story to tell you, and every single word of it is true.

This blog will explore the complicated relationship between Alberta and fossil fuels. It’s complicated because it’s a vast topic, touching on geology, technology, history, economics, politics, energy markets, and climate science. It’s complicated because our fossil fuels do good, but they also do harm. Finally, it’s complicated because the fuels beneath our feet belong to us. They are primarily under provincial jurisdiction, and in a democracy, the people are in charge of the government (even if sometimes it seems to be the other way around). So in the end, we are talking about a complex relationship between fossil fuels and ourselves.


Fossil fuels are damaging our home, our country and the entire world.
It’s time to talk about phase-out. It’s time to build a new province — an Alberta beyond fossil fuels.
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To do justice to our story, we’ll blog on the following subjects.

  • Alberta History and Society
  • Alberta Politics
  • Assets and Liabilities
  • Fossil Fuel Economics
  • Alberta’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Ethics and Justice
  • Pathways to Phase-out
  • Phase-out in the News
  • Public Finance
  • Public Opinion

In discussing relationships, it’s always best to concentrate on the present. There’s no point in digging up the past. (See what I did there?) So we will focus on the present, except where it’s necessary to look backward to see how we arrived at our current situation.

But we will also talk about the future because we live in momentous times, and the world is changing fast. Climate change is coming on strong. Energy systems are in transition. Simply put, Alberta, we have some decisions to make. And I believe the best way to make decisions is to start with a firm grasp of the facts.

Which brings me to a point about truth and the facts. For better or worse, we live in an age of information and disinformation. You can find plenty of truth and plenty of falsehood just by pulling your phone out of your pocket. Or tapping on your keyboard.

But if you’re like me, you probably don’t like getting played. So here’s our pledge to you: We will always speak the truth, to the best of our ability. When we cite facts, we will link to the sources, so you can see them for yourself. If you ever think we’re in error — and that can happen, because we’re only human — you can let us know in the comments. Or write to us at If we’re mistaken about something, we’ll issue a correction promptly. Just be kind, that’s all we ask.

Here’s another pledge: We’re not going to call anyone out. We won’t play the blame game or step into the quicksand of populism.

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We’re not going to criticize corporations because most of us are connected with them as consumers, employees, or shareholders. We’re not going to rail against Big Oil either because we all consume fossil fuel energy — and if you live in Alberta, there’s a good chance you play a part in producing it. Finally, we’re not going to talk about “real Albertans,” because we don’t know any fake ones.

We’re not going to criticize these things because changing your worldview is not our objective. Our objective is to broker an honest conversation about Alberta and fossil fuels — and to make the energy transition happen just a little faster.

We think the answer is to phase out production, and we plan to make that case, systematically and methodically. We’ll share the facts and ask you to think about what they mean for you. And then, because we believe democracy works best when we all own it, we’re going to ask you to step up and speak out. We’ll ask you to share our posts on social media, if you see fit. To talk to your friends and family. And to communicate with your MLA and MP and tell them what you think is the best path forward. (We’ll make that easy for you.)

All things change, including our relationship with our principal industry. We believe the best thing is to talk about it. As I said at the outset, it’s a big story. At times it will be colourful, at times wonky, at times provocative, but we don’t think it will ever be dull.

Anyway, one thing is certain. Change is inevitable. No matter how we feel about it, we are going to wake up one day — perhaps soon — in an Alberta beyond fossil fuels. The best thing we can do is meet that future on our own terms.

Stop by our About page if you have another minute and meet the team. Otherwise, stay tuned.

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