News roundup, part 1

Since K. Restoule didn't like the length of my last news roundup, this one I'll break into 3 smaller chunks, which should allow for (slightly) more commentary.

Report on Business has a story about the Alberta Oil Royalties. It starts out with the phrase "Ed Stelmach is not dumb enough to tax the oil industry into oblivion." "Ed Stelmach is an idiot" I wrote earlier today, and I stand by it. I notice that he didn't stand up against legal violations by Edmonton Police Services when he was their boss. Yet now he decides to re-write the revenue formula and piss off a bunch of oil companies who believed (naively, as it turned out) that the Alberta government would be true to their word. At work today a co-worker observed that already international investors were penning articles advising to stay out of Alberta where a programme supposedly in effect until 2016 gets altered Darth Vader-style halfway through the deal. Anyways, as the RoB article goes:

The Peter factor: He has been out of power for two decades, but Peter Lougheed still gets an audience. And the éminence grise of the Alberta Tory party has been warning for a while that the unfettered growth in the oil sands was too much, too fast, too hard on the environment, too rapid for the municipalities to cope.

Usually, it's easy for red-meat-eating conservatives to dismiss environmental complaints as the work of granola-crunching greens who should just hightail it back to British Columbia, where they belong. But it's much harder for them to dismiss Mr. Lougheed.
Where the hell has Derek DeCloet been the last twenty years? Conservatives have been dismissing Peter Lougheed since Ralph Klein's second election win in '97, and with good reason. The man is a menace.

Microsoft grabs a small piece of Facebook. The once-proud company of William Gates just paid a quarter-billion dollars for a 1.6% stake in a company that is basically a social-networking version of crack cocaine and made less money last year than Tim Hortons franchises made in Alberta. Yeah, wise move there.