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There is value in reducing oil import dependence, reducing the risks of climate change, and beginning the ostensibly long transition away from fossil fuels, yet North America has struggled in these areas and on other big-ticket energy policy items.

The main reason we are dependent on fossil fuels is that they are abundant and inexpensive. They are able to produce the most energy per unit of mass compared to other energy sources. In other words, fossil fuels are the most efficient way to create energy. Of course, we also like being able to fly to Hawaii or Mexico for a vacation, or take a road trip whenever we feel like it.

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As oil prices continue to see-saw, cost cuts and layoffs become daily occurrences, we find ourselves in the eye of an economic storm.

The Heritage Savings Trust Fund was established in 1976, with the goals of saving for the future, strengthening and diversifying the economy, and improving the quality of life for Albertans. Originally, it was used to support capital projects and make loans to other provinces. In response to a budget deficit, an amendment in 1982 allowed the transfer of investment earnings to the province’s general revenues. In 1987, transfers of natural resource revenue to the Fund stopped; and at that point, total contributions were just over $12.0 billion.

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Staying abreast of the latest trends and breaking news can require dedicated skills and time. As young professionals, having a comprehensive understanding of the energy industry, emerging issues, public affairs along with local, national and global perspectives, is not only an asset, but a competitive advantage.

In-between field visits, training, daily work requirements, and meetings the WPC Canada Youth Committee developed a list of ways we keep a pulse on the industry. They help us, and could help you too.

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This is, arguably the biggest question in 2015; what will the state of our industry be in twelve months? Twelve months may seem like an optimistic timeline, especially given multinational producers are flexing a variety of options to shed costs and tighten capital spending. However, as global demand continues to rise, Canadian companies must consider the best way to manage our current state for the long term.

Statistics Canada reports over 146,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry. Should the industry continue to downsize, the effects will be felt across the province and Canada.  ATB Financial chief economist, Todd Hirsh said in the Calgary Herald, “it is going to be pretty soft here for the first half of the year. Unemployment is going to rise. That’s where people tend to feel it the most.” A report from CIBC World Markets echoed a similar unemployment prediction. Their report suggests Alberta could reach 6.8 per cent this year, with 60,000 lost jobs.

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