Nelson: Alberta gets bitcoin between its desperate teeth

Are we being so beaten down by the incessant attacks on our natural resources industries that we feel the only way out is to blow off most of what’s left in a single orgy for pointless but profitable destruction?

Hopefully, we aren’t yet so desperate as to play host to as many as a million bitcoin mines in southern Alberta by allowing our vast reserves of natural gas to power them.

To be clear, the term mining is not what most Albertans associate with. This latest version doesn’t require blowout preventers.

This business uses heavy-duty computers that have high processing speeds to solve complex mathematical problems. You’ll be rewarded with a digital token if you do it correctly. There’s a lot of money to be made with bitcoins, which are about US$45,000 each.

This requires enormous amounts of energy. It is why the mining equipment and those who run it were recently expelled from China. It’s basically an environmental horror story with a digital product that is as essential to the well-being of mankind as a Vegas weekend getaway.

If China doesn’t cooperate, Alberta might be considered desperate enough to get on board the digital digging party. There will be new markets for our natural gas and jobs, so there are both benefits.

Black Rock Petroleum Co. is based in Nevada and has already announced that the Quirk Creek gas station, near Millarville, will host the first 200,000 mining units.

Plans to establish two additional locations are underway so that once the first unit is up and running, the total number of units in mining will reach the million mark. This will make Alberta the home to a third the global total.

Wow. Upon second thought, maybe we should actually get on board and become the biggest bitcoin bullyboy in the world.

We don’t require anyone to approve our pipeline. The natural gas is ours, and it will be used here in Alberta. We don’t care if B.C. or Quebec, President Joe Biden, don’t like bitcoin mining. They can at least take solace in the fact that we won’t continue to threaten to shut down any taps.

This business would be easy to set up, considering the failure of many provincial governments in their attempts to build refineries and upgraders right on our doorstep. The equipment is already available and the private company behind it. We are also experts in extracting natural gas.

It is likely that wise people like Ernest Manning or Peter Lougheed who helped to transform Alberta into one of the most productive, responsible, and productive energy regions in the world, would roll in their graves upon learning of this strange development.

They, like millions of Albertans over the years, realized that the oil and gas discovered, mined, and shipped was not a quick way to get rich but a boon for the country and the world.

This is a rare occurrence today. However, Alberta’s energy has helped to power modern society. It brought heat in winter, cool in summer, and light into the dark. Bitcoin? Maybe not.

The environmental movement will become apoplectic if this bitcoin mining is realized. They would be right to claim that such development serves no other purpose than greed.

However, there is a point when beggars can’t be choosers.

Alberta was not forced to arrive at this point. We’re being prevented by other jurisdictions, step by step, from exporting the very same resources that have helped to provide such a high standard for living for all Canadians.

If bitcoin mining and the environment damage it causes is all we have to pay for these days then who is responsible?