Is Alberta a 'great neighbor' or a great enabler?

Premier Ed Stelmach and the Alberta PR machine are taking aim at Washington in the half page ad which said:"A good neighbour lends you a cup of sugar. A great neighbor supplies you with 1.4 million barrels of oil per day."

Back when i was brought up i was taught that when a friend or neighbor was intoxicated by the object of his or her addicton that a good neighbor offers a coffee, offers a ride home in exchange for the car keys, offers to help get him or her into detox-maybe a 12 step program. You know, "I'm Uncle Sam and I'm addicted to oil.". What a good neighbor doesn't do is offer more of the drug of choice, in this case 1,400,000 barrels a day.

Today's Tyee article [below] has some other great points about the potential enviromental disaster the proposed pipeline poses to the sensitive areas it would traverse. As the article points out, "it's not if a leak will occur, it's when".

The disaster in the Gulf should be an ample reminder that if we paid the all REAL longterm costs of oil consumption gas would cost $20 a gallon. The reason there is so much demand is that the price is kept artifically low by avoiding as many costs as possible. In the short run the already obscenely rich get richer. In the long run its always the little guy who pays for the destruction of our common wealth never those who profited from its degradation.

Ed's right in a sense though, America does need a good friend and neighbor. They need a neighbor who leads by example not one that kisses ass constantly. A neighbor who realizes there is long term cost to be paid for short term gluttony, one who realizes we all breath the same air, drink the same water and that we're all in this together.

Ed Stelmach's Clumsy American Romance - Alberta's premier made citizens buy a heavy-breathing Washington Post ad pushing dirty energy. Embarrassing.