Sunday, October 14, 2007

Alberta faces royalty choice II

Here's another very good piece on the choices confronting Alberta and Stelmach in modifying Alberta's petroleum royalties. This one is from The Star. The decisions to be made include. . .

"The first and most obvious, expected within days, is whether to hike royalty rates on oil and gas producers by 20 per cent, as recommended by a controversial report Stelmach himself commissioned.

But that's not Stelmach's biggest challenge. While no expert panel is urging him to do so, Stelmach must decide whether to revive Alberta's pitifully small Heritage Fund so that it can one day serve Albertans as a rainy day fund in a way that similar "sovereignty funds" in Norway and Alaska are set to do.

Third, there is the man-made ecological disaster that has become the Athabasca oil sands, prominently featured in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary about the global warming crisis. With an estimated additional $100 billion (all figures U.S.) in oil-sands projects on the drawing board, the already damaged ecosystem of northeast Alberta will be in still greater peril without political action."


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