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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, June 12, 1974 The right step The oil industry proposal to swap western Canadian crude for crude oil from the U.S. east coast is the first undeniably sensible proposal to be floated since the energy crisis began to dominate resource development plans. It should not get hung up on any reefs of chauvinism. The plan is to supply U.S. west coast refineries with Canadian crude, in return for which eastern Canadian refineries would be supplied with crude from the U.S. east coast. This would eliminate the costly haul from Vancouver to eastern Canada via the Panama Canal which uses a great deal of bunker fuel and adds SI 50 to to the price per barrel of oil. It would also save the U.S. the energy and money expended to haul oil to its west coast refineries from Venezuela. (Parenthetically, it might be recalled that something like this was practiced for many years before last fall's world oil crisis. The Canadian market east of the Ottawa River was supplied by foreign crude, while Alberta oil went to the U.S. Midwest. This was because both markets were thus getting the cheapest possible oil. transportation considered. Yet ultra nationalistic Canadians contended that Alberta should supply all of Eastern Canada regardless of the extra cost involved.) Somehow, the picture of eastbound tankers carrying western Canadian crude and tankers carrying foreign oil to U.S. west coast ports passing each other in the Panama Canal is downright silly. There is no other word for it. except per- haps, stupid. It's hard to see how any- one could lose from such a swap, unless it would be politicians who have extolled the virtues of self-sufficiency in energy or have achieved a following by flaunting nationalistic sentiments. After all. this is just a trade, not a giveaway. The swap will not last forever: it will probably not outlive the proposed Sarnia pipeline. While it can't rightly be called a great step for mankind, as a realistic approach to efficient use of resources across an international boundary it is a step in the right direction. It is to be hoped that the National Energy Board and U.S. energy officials will approve the plan and can work out details. The energy crisis is a long range one and a global one. It has to be approached co operatively. To be sure, current predictions indicate a surplus of oil within the next few years and price, not supply, is the critical factor at present. Nevertheless, the long range problem of energy sources remains and to date little success has been achieved in developing a combined approach among nations. Most countries have simply retreated to their nationalistic instincts and faced their problems individually, largely because of political considerations. A modest nationalism can be encouraged for its identity value and political considerations are not bad per se. However, the world's supply of non renewable energy resources is just that non renewable and it should not be sacrificed needlessly on the altar of anyone's nationalism or political interests. Since it has seemed impossible to achieve even a regional consensus on energy allocation via the conference method, perhaps the best way is to start at the bottom and to encourage more bilateral agreements between individual countries in whatever areas are obvious, such as the arrangement now being proposed, and to work outward toward a global outlook on energy consumption. If this is to be the case, the lead will have to come from the industry itself, because it has the necessary familiarity which governments do not have. Power costs across Canada recently compiled comparison of power costs for commercial and industrial consumers across Canada indicates one ot the problems Alberta faces in attracting business and industry. The figures show that the power systems of five provinces. Hydro-Quebec. Ontario Hydro. Manitoba Hydro. Saskatchewan Power and British Columbia Hydro. have the lowest rates in the four classes of commercial commercial industrial (Bi. industrial (C) and heavy industrial Manitoba Hydro has the lowest rate per kilowatt hour in three of the four categories and in the other, class A. is second to Ontario Hydro. B.C. Hydro ranks second lowest in both of the industrial classes. C and D. There is one exception to this grouping. ('algary Power has the fifth lowest rate in class supplanting Saskatchewan Power. Otherwise, it is at the high end of the rate scale, along with the power systems of the Maritime provinces. Calgary Power has the highest rate for class B of the 10 power systems listed, the second highest rate for class C and the third highest for class A. This puts it on a par. roughly, with Prince Edward's Maritime Electric. Whatever the reasons for this difference in power costs, the table of rates, which was published in the Financial Post, speaks well for the government owned, province wide systems of the larger provinces and it gives some indication of why government subsidies are sometimes necessary to lure business to Alberta. The cost of electricity, of course, is not the only factor to be taken into consideration in the locating of an industrial concern or a business activity. In some cases it may be only a very minor aspect of the whole problem. However, for industries which consume vast amounts of electricity it may be the deciding factor and in all cases the rates must be regarded as a hindrance rather than an asset when Alberta is competing against the other provinces. Expo III Accommodations and tickets By Georgean Harper, local writer For information on accommodations and tickets, write or phone to: Hospitality Services. Box 1974. Spokane. Washington. 99210. Phone: 5091 456-5590 for lodging. 456- 5575 for other information. There were still motels, hotels. recreational vehicles