Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
12 - THE LETHBRIDOE HERALD - Friday, January 18,1974 Nixon's twelve crises . . . lice's heart attack Wayne Minion Meet our new energy sleuth EDMONTON (CP) - The man who heads a new Alberta agency with unprecedented powers to take over from industry the right to buy and sell crude oil is a 45-year-old energy sleuth. And Wayne Minion, like most detectives, has also been described as a hoofer. For since he joined the provincial government in November, he has been living out of his suitcase most of the time, knocking on doors of executive suites in the oil industry and frequenting government corridors in Ottawa and Washington, D.C. The job that required the roadwork was executive director of natural resources, charged � with keeping the Alberta government informed about the rapidly - changing energy scene. His new job, announced Wednesday, is as chairman of the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission. He will be in charge of a new organization which will take delivery of all Alberta crude oil produced from Crown leases. This oil, produced chiefly by the multinational companies, accounts for about 85 per cent of the province's production. Under the current system, oil producers have the authority to make their own deals with distributing companies for sale of the oil. But Mr. Minion's three-man commission will take over this right. They have the legislative power to sell the oil at the highest price they may reasonably negotiate, taking Kevailing market conditions to consideration. His commission is also to work with Premier Peter Lougheed and his government in establishing an oil pricing policy. It is not due to be revealed until after the national energy conference in Ottawa next week. OTTAWA IS CONFUSED Mr. Minion said in an interview before his appointment to the new conmiission was announced that it is difficult for Alberta to plan its energy inoves because of confusion in Ottawa. ' In fact, he found his former Job as energy sleuth easier in Washington than in Ottawa. The American government channels, he said, are able and willing to supply factual infor-mation about energy developments. But the situation was so bad in Ottawa that both federal politicians' and energy officials didn't know much about the supply and demand problems of oil or even what the national energy policy is, he added. .Mr. Minion says that against the backdrop of inter-national enerj^y developments, it is essential that Canada get its own energy policies in order. He is certain Canada would not be beset by problems of supply and pricing of energy if Ottawa had developed a new national policy two years ago. SLOW TO ACT Ottawa should have acted when crude oil exports to the United States began to rise rapidly, says Mr. Minion, who at the time worked for a Brazilian Power Company. If he had to draw up an energy policy, he would continue to export energy which is surplus to Canada's needs and proven supplies in the next 30 to 35 years. He feels total self-sufficiency is impractical in today's interrelated world. -Mr. Minion hopes for greater stability soon on the world energy scene. ,. He believes one of three things will soon occur: ' Stability of price and supply, world-wide economic chaos or unprecedented -pressure, military or economic, on the Arab countries that produce oil. However, he is confident "the Arabs are too clever to push oil prices beyond political reality." GETTING LOUDER The over-all loudness of environmental noise is doubling every decade. It was a time to Valk on eggs and not break them^ Third in a series On a Saturday in September, 1955, the United States was stunned by the news that President Eisenhower had suffered a heart attack in his sleep while visiting his mother-in-law in Denver. For 48 hours, suspense gripped the country. On Monday the stock market lost 112 billion, second only to the "Black Friday" crash of 1929. Then Maj. -Gen. Howard Snvder, the White House Physician, diagnosed the attack, as "moderate," and announced that the president was recovering satisfactorily. For Vice-President Nixon, ias well as the rest of the nation, Ike's coronary was a major crisis. Nixon records that after being infornned by telephone of the attack: "It was like a great physical wel^t holding me down in the chair . . . Every word, every action of mine would be more important now than anything I had said or done before ..." For the nation, the looming crisis was constitutional: at what point does a successor assume presidential power in the event of a disabled president? No provision in the constitution covers such a situation. For Eisenhower, the crisis was one of his own physical survival. But for Nixon, the crisis was one of "maintaining a balance of utmost delicacy. On the one hand, I.. . was elected by all the people; they had a right to expect leadership, if needed, rather than a vacuum. But any move on my part which could be interpreted, even incorrectly, as an att�;mpt to usurp the powers of the presidency would disrupt the Eisenhower team, cause dissension iii the nation, and disturb the president . . . The crisis was how to walk on eggs and not break them." Nixon was reassured a week after the attack when John Foster Dulles told him at a cabinet meeting: "Mr. vice-president, I realize that you have been under a very heavy burden during these past few days, and I know I express the opinion of everybody here that you have conducted yourself superbly." When Eisenhower resumed control on Nov. 11, seven weeks after he was stricken, Nixon's third crisis was over. But as Prof. James D. Barber, in "The Presidential Character," points out, "Nixon devotes 23 pages of 'Six Crises' to the period of Ike's Illness ... Next: Mobbed in Caracas With the promise of a dollar a day. They marched over territory that had never been properly mapped. Most of the men had never been west of Toronto; were not accustomed to riding horses or drinking water with the colour and consistency of ink. Their oxen and horses die around them from hunger and thirst. Travellers brought them stories of Indian massacres. Their pay was to have been a dollar a day. Nine months later they still had not received it. in spite of all this they managed to establish outposts in the area that later became Alberta. One was Fort Macleod, another Fort Saskatchewan. These forts, and their successors, brought law and order to an area that had known neither... and laid the foundations of a province that now has a history one hundred years proud. ALBERTA-R.C.M.P. CENTURY CELEBRATIONS COMMITTEE, P.O. BOX 1974, EDMONTON, ALBERTA. T5J 2P4 From our proud post, th0 promise of our future.