Our fair share of royalties

Letter to the Editor printed in Edmonton Journal
May 10, 2012

Re: "Oilsands firms owe $100M: suit; Province files statement of claim to recover unpaid royalties," the Journal, May 4.

This article shows the need for a change in how our petroleum resources are managed. What other country would allow negotiation of royalties to drag on for years?

With crude oil prices at more than $100 per barrel and production volumes increasing, there is simply too much wealth involved to allow this sloppy method of managing our public resources to continue.

Norway, with a similar land mass, population and petroleum production to Alberta's, has amassed a capital fund of $610 billion US since the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, Alberta runs deficits.

Imagine if Alberta decided to export only value-added, upgraded bitumen.

Stephen Harper has ignored wishes of the owners of the resource - Albertans - and is holding hearings in Western Canada on a pipeline to export raw bitumen.

Worse, Canada will have to import light crude oils from foreign sources to act as diluents so the bitumen can flow through the pipeline. Meanwhile, Albertans who are not directly involved in the pipeline proposal have been shut out of the hearings.

By Stewart Shields, Lacombe

This letter to the editor was published in the Edmonton Journal on May 10, 2012. Read the full letter on the Edmonton Journal website.

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