Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, September 15, 1973 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 31 Syncrude likely to go ahead with oil sands development The Three Graces of ancient Greece might have been the model for three modern American touchballers on this play, right. But seconds later, below left, grace had obviously been benched. Diana Averill. Janis Riley and Julia Bush of Longmont. Colo., may be no threat to the Green Bay Packers but even the Packers would have to agree that there is something to be said for their form. Below right. Diana kicks off (Photos by Sal Crisanti) U.S. economic ills increase New York Times Service NEW YORK Evidence is accumulating that the nation's economic ailments are increasing, rather than abating, in the final months of a most hectic year. And. un- fortunately, there is no clear exit in view from the maze of problems confronting the public and the business com- munity. The central problem, of course, is unrelenting inflation, with all of its ramifications in the financial markets, in labor relations, in the international economic area and in the mood of the American people. And the secondary problem is the ongoing worry about the possibility of a recession next year that would bring rising unemployment without con- currently dampening the sur- ge in prices. Interest rates have been ris- ing to unprecedented heights, some banks pushing their prime lending rate to the 10 per cent level lale this week. Prices of autos and freight rates have been raised and bids have been made to lift prices on a thousand other products, according to the cost of living council. Under the circumstances, it. is hardly surprising that, the stock and bond markets have continued their dismal performances. NO WAY OUT The only major offsets have been the rather recent price and supply improvement in some sectors of the eommodi- THREAT CLEARS HALL PERTH. Australia (AP) An anonymous telephone caller reported a bomb in the Perth Concert Hall Tuesday night during the opening per- formance by the Leningrad Kirov Ballet. Police evacuated the audience of 700 but found no bomb. ty markets and the decidedly better state of the nation's foreign trade and the dollar. It has been an uncomfor- table year, and J974 holds lit- tle promise of improvement. Predictions of a "growth recession" or worse abound in business and economic quarters. As Arthur F. Burns, chairman of the Eederal Reserve Hoard, put it in Congressional testimony last week: "I must acknowledge taht I see no easy way out our current dilemma." Obviously concerned with the way that the economic situation is unfolding. Burns this week renewed his long- standing recommendation for a tighter fiscal policy, including lax increases, to cope with the mammoth inflationary problems of the moment. Meanwhile, two of the most heartening developments on the economic scene came this week in the food area, when the lifting of the government's freeze on beef prices produced no immediate surge in the cost of the product and the agriculture department issued a rather glowing report on the crop outlook in its final es- timate on this year's prospec- tive harvest. Contrary to the fears of many observers, beef prices did not soar out of sight when controls were removed. Credit consumer resistance was the. major tactor in the moderate immediate price reaction. PATRIOTIC MOTIF The public's reluctance to pay very elevated meat prices has now taken on almost a patriotic motif, with many households refusing to use beef or pork because of worry about injecting more fuel to the inflationary environment. If this pattern persists, many ranchers will be forced to reduce herds, sending ad- ditional supplies to market and ending the supply logjam and price .squeeze by next summer. h i 1 e government economists and others took comfort, from the encouraging crop report last Thursday, the nation is not out of the woods yet. It m a y take t w o successive years of record crops to bring supply-demand relationships into better balance. Any sudden rise in domestic usage or exports could trip the present balance and send prices zooming again. So there are many mixed strains in the whole economic picture. Interest rates keep rising. The availability of mortgages continues ex- tremely restricted. The stock market remains lackadaisical and depressed. The possibility remains that unemployment may rise as the expected business slowdown materializes. At the same time though, business is strong and employment is high. By JOK WILL EDMONTON PI While U screen of secrecy guards Official word on whether Syncrude Canada Ltd. will build its Athabasca oil sands extraction plant, indications are the development is a cer- tainty. An announcement on the plant is expected early next week- Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed has scheduled a television appeaidhue for Tuesday evening to speak on oil saiids policy. A news conference about the plant has been set for the previous day. But current activities by Syncrude and the government all point towards development and have, at least, paved the way lor it to proceed. Some of the strongest evi- dence is the plan by the image-conscious premier to appear on television. Although there is no doubt he could do it well, it is unlikely he would set himself up before the voters to say the largest capital project ever under- taken in the province was be- ing abandoned. Earlier this month. Mines Minister Bill Dickie announc- ed that Syncrude's deadline of Aug. for a decision on the SiWO-million plant has been ex- tended to Sept. 17. He declined at that time to talk about any of the out- standing and a chance for Albertans to buy a share in the have the signed agreement." an indication he expected agreement rather than failure. SEEKS CO-ORDINATOR Syncrude also has advertis- ed for a relations coordinator" to plan and im- plement a program for the company in Fort McMurray. centre of oil sands develop- ment 225 miles northeast of here. The position would be unnecessary without, a plant. Syncrude's proposed date for the first production of syn- thetic crude oil has been delayed one year at the com- pany's request to Jan. 1. 1978. The Alberta Energy Re- sources Conservation Board agreed to the delay "due to equipment delivery times and construction labor availability7." A possible setback to Syn- crude's plans came Thursday. when the federal government announced plans to impose a 40 cents a barrel export tax on shipments of Canadian crude oil to the United States. Hans Maciej. manager of the Canadian Petroleum Association in Calgary, said the move will destroy investor Confidence in the U.'S.. where much of Canadian oil-industry capital is derived, and one of the first casualties could be the Syncrude plant. The conservation board also concluded hearings this week into an application by Alberta Power Ltd. to build a 240.000- volt transmission line into the Fort McMurray region from Lesser Slave Lake. The application for the 170- mile line was unopposed and Syncrude says it is willing to pay part of the cost of the million line. It would be a major con- sumer of power, using it to meet peak demands beyond the capability of its on-site generators. Syncrude plans to use electric- trains to move the mined sands to a 125.000- barrels-a-day processing plant and giant electric draglines to dig the sands. The draglines would use more power when digging than when the buckets are swinging and in winter when the frozen sands are tougher to dig and when other electricity demands of the plant are higher. A firm decision on whether draglines or bucket-wheel ex- cavators like those at Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. I (iCOS) will be used has yet to be made..John Barr. Syncrude public relations represen- tative, said. The choice hinges on cold weather reliability, perform- ance in specific soil conditions and capital and operating costs. Five Men Make Five Mistakes. Waller Ul- bricht. E.ast German communist leader who gave Berlin THE WALL, died in Berlin at 80 The House voted to lay a bil- lion oil pipeline across Alaska. Soviel Un- ion launched space vehicle to Mars. Robot landing at- tempt to lot tigns of life. Forest fires consume acres ol valuable timber in five western states. President Nixon holds press conference in San Clemente, answers questions on Water- gate. Cambodia, closing nearly a decade of bombing in Indo china. One man struck a match to see if the gasoline tank in his car was empty. It wasn't! One man patted a strange bulldog on the head to see if it was affectionate. It wasn't! One man speeded up to see if he could beat the train to the crossing. He couldn't! One man touched an electric wire to see if it was charged. It was! One man cut out his advertising to see if he could save money. He couldn't! Good Advertising Doesn't Cost It Pays! Authorities unearthed bodies of young men buried in matt grave. Sex- killer ring victims. Mexico severely shaken by earthquake. Build- ings topple, towns leveled. Hundreds die. Twelve law enforcement officers indicted in drug raids at mistaken locations. Henry A. Kissinger appointed to replace William P. Rogers as secretary ol slate. Thousands of shoppers ated from London stores upon discov- ery ol planted lire- bombs. Floods India. Bangladesh and Pakistan. Thou- sands made home- less. Call 328-4411 For Classified or Display Advertising! The LetWnidge Herald "Serves the South"