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Alberta should diversify into lithium

To the Editor,

“Well, yahoo, Alberta is good for something after all!” declared my waggish friend.

Well it turns out that Alberta is loaded with lithium, that vital component for modern-day battery constrution — the power of the future.

In fact, there’s lithium everywhere, at the “wellheads” around abondoned wells. It may well be that those deadful sludge ponds that threaten to overflow into the Athabasca River are full of lithium. There are rumours of Tesla or someone else planning to put a battery factory somewhere in the land of the Wild Rose.

There is a problem here, in that Alberta is led by someone with a trapped-in-the-19th-century brain, whose version of energy is turning the Rockies into a version of an Appalachian open pit coal field.

Those ten-gallon hat Heartland people shot that one down in flames. For some reason, they don’t want their water polluted and their view of the Rockies destroyed.

(Premier Jason) Kenney has also pulled out any support for alternate green energy, including the ranchers’ and farmers’ proposal to turn defunct oil pumping sites into solar and/or windpower. With roads, power lines, water, etc., to the site, these pumped-out oil sites would be perfect.

“But no, nothing must get in the way of my oil and gas!” Kenney seems to have thought. After all, why would he have invested pension funds in the Keystone XL Kops pipeline, a project that if Joe Biden became president, would be basically dead in the water.

Why would Kenney spend millions to investigate those who basically don’t like the Athabasca tar sands?

In order to get the maximum, much more of this Athabasca sludge would have to be refined right in Alberta. After all, that’s where the lithium is!

Another problem: If Kenney dithers and slithers around, “Oh, my oil and gas!” he could well miss the boat.

Apparently there are large deposits of lithium in Ontario and Quebec. So a filthy battery factory which would be closer to the auto factories, could well go either place or both.

If that happens, the cry from Alberta will be, “Oh, that horrible (Prime Minister) Trudeau, he’s out to ruin the West.”

Dennis Peacock

Clearwater, B.C.

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