CALGARY, Alberta – Earlier today the Notley government unveiled a plan to keep the oil and gas industry busy and those working in it gainfully employed despite recently rolling out a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and shutting down all pipelines in the province.
The government’s plan is to create a crown corporation and regulatory body called Wagons & Barrels. This new organization, headed by Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, will mandate, oversee, and enforce that the millions of barrels of oil transported daily throughout Alberta be moved by environmentally friendly horse and wagons effective January 1st, 2016. Mrs. McCuaig-Boyd elaborates on the plan.
“Yes, that’s right. We’ve been down the road of ‘how do we transport petroleum in the most environmentally responsible manner possible, without impacting productivity’ plenty of times before, but this time, members of the Energy Ministry thought outside of the box and decided by committee that utilizing well trained horses and wagons is the way to go. This method is safe, and it harkens back to Alberta’s rich heritage of cowboys and the Calgary Stampede.” – Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, speaking outside of a rural Husky truckstop buffet
When questioned about the associated natural gas and how it would be transported, Premier Notley responded that, “it can be re-injected into the ground for storage or burned in a network of gas lanterns as a cost-effective lighting system to allow the W&B to operate 24 hours a day, as well as keep livestock warm through the winters.”
Opponents to the idea claim that the W&B system will not be able to keep up with current flow rates, and believe that this will significantly hamper Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Susan McTwigginton with CAPP, voiced her concerns at this morning’s press conference.
“I’ve seen how fast horses can go, and it’s not as fast as those wagons you see whipping around the track at the Stampede. Most normal horses cruise around at a speed-walking to slight-jogging pace, and that’s not going to cut it. Under this ridiculous W&B plan, oil flow rates will be measured in barrels per fortnight at best or barrels per month at the worst, and the refiners won’t accept that for a second. They would fill their tanks quicker sourcing crude from Lower Kathmandu than wait for these slacker horses to trot on in. And what happens at the borders? Oh, don’t get me started on the borders! – Susan McTwigginton, CAPP President
After a few tries to do the math during the press conference, Premier Notley noted it there may not be enough horses in the province to support the W&B’s full-scale development, despite numerous requests to borrow horses from the Calgary Stampede during non Stampede times.
To fill this gap, Notley stated that W&B would use rickshaws to transport the barrels until such a time as enough horse could be sourced. When asked what will happen to the rickshaw drivers once the required number of horses are available, Minister McCuaig-Boyd confidently responded, “we have a program that will transition them into wagon drivers.”
(Submitted via email by Z.S. – thank you very much, man. You can do it, too!)