Alberta NDP Energy Industry Investment

Taken from a Calgary Herald comment section. Written by Geoffery Pounder of Rocky Mountain House. Used without permission. Edited to add some URLs and for clarity by removing most of the material Mr. Pounder was responding to.

Again, AB’s new wind and solar projects are being built without subsidies. If the pool price exceeds the bid price, the renewable generator rebates the difference back to the govt. The opposite of a subsidy.

 The NDP Govt has been throwing billions of dollars in subsidies at the fossil fuel industry.

The public was a stakeholder in the oilsands sector long before Lougheed invested public money in Syncrude.

-In Feb 2018, the AB govt announced a $1-billion grant and loan program to build six partial oil upgraders. The Energy Diversification Act (March 2018) earmarked up to $1 billion in incentives to help leverage billions more in private investment to build partial upgraders.

The AB govt will provide up to $200 million in grants and up to $800 million in loan guarantees for partial upgrading.

-In 2016 the AB govt agreed to provide $500 million in royalty tax credits to 2 large petrochemical projects in the Industrial Heartland region.

 -In March and November 2018, the AB govt invested a total of $2.1 billion (royalty credits, grants, and loan guarantees) in a petrochemical upgrading program to incentivize new energy development and “diversify” AB’s oil and gas sectors.

-In April 2018, the AB govt announced more than $2.3 billion in subsidies to AB’s oil & gas industry to cut methane emissions.

Including exempting industry from carbon levy costs for the next 5 years.

-In Nov 2018, the AB Govt exempted oil & gas drillers from the provincial carbon levy for clear fuel usage for on-site drilling. The rebates to drillers will total btwn $775,000 and $1.5 million a year.

 -In 2018 AB shelled out $1.2 million for an advertising campaign for the TransMountain pipeline expansion project. Including a national robocall survey.

-In 2018, the AB Govt announced a long-term commitment to ship 50,000 bpd of crude on Keystone XL. Estimated cost $2.6 billion. Under the take-or-pay agreement, the AB Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) will pay c $130 million in annual pipeline tolls for 20 years.

-In Nov 2018, the AB Govt announced it would buy 7000 railcars at a cost of upwards of $1.05 billion.

“Alberta plans to buy 7,000 railcars to ease ‘crisis’ in oil price differentials” (CBC, Nov 29, 2018)

 -“The provincial government is spending $84,000 on print advertisements in the Montreal Gazette, Star Metro Montreal and Le Devoir, “extensive home page presences” on the papers’ websites and projecting advertisements onto the sides of nearly 20 central Montreal buildings.”

“Alberta government to slather Montreal with oil revenue loss ads during premiers meeting” (Edmonton Journal, Dec 6, 2018)

-The AB govt spent more than $23 million in 2018 on its pro-pipeline campaigns.

“Alberta Has Spent $23 Million Calling BC an Enemy of Canada” (The Tyee, 15 Jan 2019)

 -In May 2018, Ottawa purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion, with a promise of $7.4 billion more for its expansion.

– In Dec 2018, the federal govt offered oil & gas companies $1.6 billion in grant and loan program:

      -$1.5 billion in loans (not a subsidy).

      -$50 million in grants thru Canada’s Clean Growth program.

      -$100 million thru the Strategic Innovation Fund grant


-Alberta Innovates invested $2 million in seven projects to explore alternative, non-combustion uses for bitumen. (2018)

 -Two new drilling incentive programs in 2016.

NDP to move ahead with oil and gas incentive programs” (Calgary Herald, July 10, 2016)

-In 2016 Trudeau allocated $1.5 billion for marine oilspill response.

“Oil companies promised to pay for ocean protection, now taxpayers are footing the bill”

(National Observer, Nov 23rd 2018)

-In 2016, the oilfield service lobby asked for half a billion federal dollars to clean up old wells. In the end, the AB Govt issued a $235-million loan to the Orphan Well Association, with interest covered by Ottawa. So far taxpayers are on the hook for at least $30 million.

 -Previous AB Govts allocated $2 billion for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

-When oil & gas companies default on their lease payments, the AB Govt picks up the bill.

-In past years, the AB Govt invested (unwisely) in the Sturgeon upgrader and refinery. (Loan guarantees for construction, and a promise to supply up to $20 billion in free bitumen over the next 30 years.)

-The province’s 30-year estimated tolling costs to process crown bitumen have risen to $26 billion. (July 2018)

-The Lloydminster bi-provincial upgrader in the 1980s. (AB lost nearly $400 million on the project.)

-Harper spent millions on oilsands advertising in the U.S. and overseas.

 -Of the $28.8 million for 11 “clean technology” projects Ottawa announced in Nov 2017, $26 million (91%) went to 9 oil & gas industry projects.

$0 and 0% on renewables.

“Canada and Alberta invest in clean technologies to encourage clean growth” (Sustainable Development Technology Canada)

Export Development Canada (EDC), a Crown corporation, provides far greater backing to oil and gas companies than to clean technology companies.

EDC facilitated $62 billion in financial support for Canadian oil and gas companies from 2012 to 2017. That’s 12 times more support than the $5 billion the agency facilitated for clean technologies during that time.

Report highlights Crown corporation’s multibillion dollar support for oil and gas industries” (Toronto Star, Nov. 22, 2018)

 “A recent report from the Overseas Development Institute, a U.K. think tank, that compares all the G7 nations gave Ottawa low marks on transparency and ranked Canada the worst at ending support for oil and gas production.

“By its figures, Canada was providing a total of $4.63 billion US ($6.25 billion CDN) in support to fossil fuel industries, the most per capita in the G7.

“If you factor in the additional government funds that have been pledged since the spring, Canada will now be spending more, dollar for dollar, than Japan, France or the U.K., and isn’t that far from catching Germany and Italy. (cont)

(cont) “To be fair, all the G7 members are proving to be hypocrites, having collectively handed out more than $100 billion US a year to oil, gas and coal companies at home and abroad since they signed the 2015 Paris Agreement.”

“Pipeline politics: Why $1.6B in aid for oil and gas industry is awkward for Canada” (CBC, Dec 18, 2018)

During the Lougheed years, the AB Govt played a key role in the early days of the oilsands industry. Lougheed created Alberta Energy Co. in 1973 as a public-private vehicle for AB to invest in the Syncrude project. In 1974 Ottawa and Alberta kick-started the industry with a $500-million investment.