Alberta’s Path to Sovereignty: Lessons from Canada’s Coal Import Shift

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The recent shift in Canada’s energy import landscape, as highlighted by the Western Standard article titled “For First Time, Canada Becomes a Net Importer of US Coal-Fired Power,” underscores the urgent need for Alberta to reassess its energy strategy and sovereignty. This blog post will summarize key points from the article and advocate for Alberta’s sovereignty, highlighting the pitfalls of current federal energy policies and the merits of Alberta’s autonomy in crafting a pragmatic energy future.

Summary of the Article

According to the Western Standard:

  • Canada’s total electricity generation dropped by approximately 6.9% in April, continuing a downward trend.
  • Ontario and Quebec, in response, increased their imports of coal-fired power from the United States by 64.4%.
  • The decline in hydroelectric capacity due to droughts and maintenance issues in nuclear power plants were significant contributors.
  • Philip Cross of the McDonald-Laurier Institute criticized Canada’s current energy strategy, which prioritizes decarbonization over energy security.
  • Cross emphasized that despite the federal government’s push for renewable energy, Canada still relies heavily on high-emission fossil fuels, especially from the US.
  • Alberta, having closed its last coal-fired plant, has significantly reduced its electricity emissions but faced critical energy shortages last winter.
Alberta’s electricity emissions are down more than half since closing the last coal plant last month.

The Case for Alberta’s Sovereignty

The situation depicted in the article reveals several critical points supporting Alberta’s need for sovereignty:

  • Federal Policies Undermine Energy Security: The federal government’s emphasis on rapid decarbonization without adequate backup has left provinces like Ontario and Quebec vulnerable to energy shortfalls, forcing them to import high-emission coal-fired power from the US. This is a stark contradiction to the environmental goals touted by the government and exposes a fundamental flaw in the current energy strategy.
  • Alberta’s Energy Independence: Alberta has made significant strides in reducing its emissions by transitioning from coal to natural gas. However, the province’s energy grid faced near-collapse during the past winter, highlighting the need for a more robust and reliable energy strategy. Sovereignty would allow Alberta to tailor its energy policies to its unique needs and strengths, ensuring both environmental responsibility and energy security.
  • Economic Implications: The increased reliance on imported energy not only undermines environmental goals but also has economic ramifications. By prioritizing local energy production and leveraging Alberta’s abundant natural resources, the province can foster economic growth, create jobs, and ensure a stable energy supply.
  • Strategic Resource Management: With sovereignty, Alberta could adopt a more balanced and pragmatic approach to energy policy, one that integrates renewable energy with reliable fossil fuel sources. This would mitigate the risks of energy shortages and high costs associated with over-reliance on intermittent renewable sources.

Rejection of Net Zero Policies

The shift to importing US coal-fired power also raises questions about the efficacy of current Net Zero policies:

  • Environmental Contradictions: The import of high-emission energy undermines the intended benefits of Net Zero policies, revealing the need for a more practical approach that considers both environmental and energy security aspects.
  • Economic Viability: Rigid adherence to Net Zero policies without a viable transition plan can lead to economic disruptions. Alberta, with its rich natural resources, has the potential to develop a balanced energy strategy that supports economic stability while progressively reducing emissions.


The recent developments in Canada’s energy import strategy underscore the necessity for Alberta to rethink its energy and sovereignty strategies. By restructuring its relationship with the federal government and asserting greater control over its energy policies, Alberta can ensure a secure, economically viable, and environmentally responsible future.

For a more detailed analysis, read the full article on the Western Standard website.

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