Albertans are sure kicking up their heels in Washington these days. The province's Premier, King Ralph, has been giving free advice to Vice-President Dick Cheney, the continent's visionary energy planner. King Ralph even encouraged Cheney this week to visit Saudi Alberta. Cheney, a regular hydrocarbon guy, would probably love it.
Everyone speaks English here, drives a big truck and owns an unregistered gun. Our schools may leak like hell when it rains but, let's face it, King Ralph has been too busy promoting energy exports to bother with those kinds of details.
Anyway, Cheney would appreciate our dedication to U.S. energy security.
Right now, Saudi Alberta supplies the United States with 12 per cent of its oil and, thanks to the oil sands, we'll soon be filling up 20 per cent of the U.S. gas tank. The United States gets half of its natural gas from Saudi Alberta, too. So we're booming; you can't even rent a porta-potty, things are so crazy. Cheney just might want to bring one along when he treks up here.
The big deal, of course, is the oil sands. More oil than Saudi Arabia they say. A few negative types claim it is the most expensive oil on the planet and costs about $78,000 per barrel in infrastructure to produce, but Saudi Alberta doesn't have much time for naysayers.
Everything is positive here. We believe you can build $125-billion worth of oil sands projects all at once without labour shortages, wage inflation, air pollution and housing shortages. Honest.
Unlike snotty folk in the Middle East or Venezuela, Saudi Alberta believes the United States has a right to cheap oil. Hell, we only charge a 1-per-cent royalty on the oil sands. No kidding. And we don't mind, either. We just make up the difference with revenue from casinos and video lottery terminals. That's right. We make more money from gambling than we do from selling oil-sands black gold. It was King Ralph's idea: Smart, isn't it?