Thursday, February 9, 2012

Enough carrots, it’s time for a stick

The Regressive Conservatives (Wildrose Alliance) claim that they would encourage more bitumen upgrading in Alberta with tax and regulatory changes. The Progressive Conservatives are considering a similar approach.

We don’t need to give the oil industry any more tax incentives. Enough carrots; it’s time for a stick! The oil industry has become fat and slothful from the carrots we’ve given it. It’s time we Albertans, the owners of Alberta’s oil sands, prodded the industry to do what we want it to do. We must tell oil sands developers that exporting bitumen is no longer an option.

The government must legislate a policy that would require all bitumen produced from our oil sands to be upgraded to synthetic crude oil in Alberta. Oil sands licences should only be given to companies that include upgrading in Alberta as part of their development process. Companies that currently do not have access to upgrading facilities in Alberta should be required to do so within the next five years.

The Alberta Bitumen Upgrading Company should be established to provide upgrading to bitumen producing companies that don’t have the expertise, capital or desire to be in the upgrading business. These upgrader deficient companies would be invited to be shareholders as would all Albertans and the Alberta government. Company ownership and management would be modelled along the lines of the Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company established by the Social Credit government in 1954.

Len Skowronski
Alberta Social Credit Party
Calgary, Alberta


No comments: