David Swann calls for a pause on energy changes in Alberta until intentions of new administration in America are better understood

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann made this statement to the Alberta Legislature on November 10, 2016:

“Thank you Mr. Speaker,

“I stand today to speak on a very difficult issue for all who believe the science of climate change. Those who know me, know I’ve lobbied for, and some might say crusaded for, environmental change here in Alberta. I’ve felt that strong leadership was long overdue and all of us must share in the cost of reducing emissions.

“Above all, I knew this was never going to be easy. It is even less easy following the election of an unpredictable US president who denies man-made climate change.

“Strong leadership will be needed now, more than ever.

“While I support the targets and timelines for cleaner energy development with its triple benefit for climate, new jobs and alternate economy, the Alberta government must hit pause on other parts of its energy-focused agenda. Given Alberta’s deep dependence on oil and gas, our current economic weakness and the new economic threat from the United States, I see merit in pausing and allowing the new reality and expert views to further inform our decision on the bills we have before us.

“Not stop, just pause.

“I’ve heard the premier say that her Carbon Plan was developed independently and that the actions of our biggest customer – and competitor – will have no effect. Even so, I don’t believe that anyone planned for the United States to go full speed in reverse. Proposals announced by Trump in his truth-challenged campaign have already begun to unfetter the US fossil fuel industry and may drastically alter the investment climate here in Alberta.

“The ramifications of his election are sending shock waves through the Canadian economy. From free trade to softwood lumber to energy, US policies that seemed relatively stable are now in doubt.

“We have no idea what economic effect these changes will have on Alberta. We, in opposition, have not yet been adequately informed as to what effects our own carbon policies might have.

“Much is being taken on faith.

“Here in this house, we serve Albertans. We are mandated to craft for them the best possible laws, policies and regulations after a comprehensive analysis. Our already struggling economy and uncertain investment climate are now faced with an unpredictability that will be better understood in the New Year.

“Sometimes, the strongest leadership is shown by patience and the wisdom to realize that circumstance can alter even the best laid plans.”