Alberta to miss billions in Gateway pipeline royalties: study

Study Says Albertans won't get their fair share of Royalties

The Alberta Federation of Labour and the Parkland Institute have released a study that says Albertans could lose billions of dollars in royalties if the Northern Gateway pipeline goes ahead.

The study bases that claim by adding up what the province would collect under the current royalty regime by 2045 as compared to the royalty regime under former premier Peter Lougheed.

Alberta collected 35 per cent of oil revenue as royalties during the 1980s.

According to the study, if that percentage was still in place, the Alberta Heritage Fund would be worth $1 trillion dollars by 2045.

The study quotes figures from the Canadian Energy Research Institute which show Alberta will collect an average of 18 per cent of oilsands revenue under the current royalty regime.

The Parkland Institute is a left-leaning think-tank based in Edmonton.

'Fair share' for Albertans

Nancy Furlong is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"This study shows Albertans are being fleeced on our fair share of royalties," said Furlong on Thursday.

She says in the Lougheed era, the Heritage Fund was used for loans to other provinces.

"There is no reason why, if we collected anything approaching appropriate royalty rates, Alberta could not lead the country toward a greener economy."

Stelmach royalty review

The province last reviewed the royalty regime in 2007 when it released the report titled Our Fair Share.

Ed Stelmach, who was premier at the time, then announced the government would increase royalties to collect an extra $1.4 billion a year.

The announcement created a backlash in the energy industry and was blamed for a downturn in natural gas production in Alberta.

The province eventually backed away from any major royalty changes.

CBC News, August 9, 2012


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