ALBERTA, Oil patch liabilities “hundreds of billions”. Means ALL Canadians will pay. Or . . .
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(UPDATE: add to the Tally: 2019-11-06 Houston Oil And Gas, Calgary, Leaves Up To 1,400 Orphaned Wells After Going Bust, Huff Post)
“HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS” – CORRUPTION OF THE REGULATORY PROCESS
We are looking at corruption, the same as in third world countries that have resources to exploit.
Kevin Taft does an excellent job in his book Oil’s Deep State of telling the story for Alberta and Ottawa. He weaves in background tactics and money that fuel what’s happening, but originate in the U.S. As I was reading, I was thinking:
- you could change “Alberta and Ottawa” to “Saskatchewan and Ottawa“, the story is the same.
- you could change “Oil” to “Uranium and Nuclear”, the story is the same.
- you could change “Oil” to “Seeds”, the story is the same.
- we are fighting hard to create a different story, when you change “Oil” to “Water”.
In short, Kevin Taft has documented a widely-used template. The corporatocracy uses it. It’s to our benefit to understand, and to apply it in our struggles. Postings related to “Oil” only:
- 2017-10 Book, Oil’s Deep State, How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming – in Alberta, and in Ottawa, by Kevin Taft
- 2018-09-13 An evening with Kevin Taft, author, “Oil’s Deep State”. (Includes short biographical information on Taft)
2016-08-10 Teachers investigate whether University of Calgary is in bed with Big Oil, National Observer
- The problems we get into when we do not have a separation of powers between the state and commerce, Jane Jacobs.
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Specific example, SASKATCHEWAN, but applies in other parts of Canada, too:
2018-06-07 Provincial Auditor Saskatchewan: abandoned oil & gas wells, $4 billion (Alberta will be many times more). Revolving door: former premier Brad Wall now at Osler Law Firm (help for Kinder Morgan). Before that, Dwayne Lingenfelter (NDP Deputy Premier) to Nexen (just one example).
Tax-payers across Canada – – maybe we should start tightening our belts ? or, how about revolution?
- The SK Provincial Auditor is talking potential $4 billion cleanup costs for abandoned wells
- Alberta has many times more wells than Saskatchewan, wonder how much they’re adding to the tab? (UPDATE: The National Observer just answered the question – – thanks!)
- We are also supposed to pony up $4.5 billion to buy a 50-year-old pipeline, and
- Then add more billions to build a pipeline
- While, 2018-06-01, Every Canadian Already Gives $100 a Year to Big Oil, Study Reveals
People from Saskatchewan and Alberta have a reputation for being tough people. As far as I can see, they are getting fleeced by Government officials they adore, AND by the industry millionaires and billionaires. After the money has been siphoned off, to people who are paid millions of dollars a year, and to “shareholders”, Citizens across the country are on the hook to pay billions upon billions of dollars for cleanups and bailouts. And I’d guess, billions more if we don’t do effective resistance.
Four items tie things together (Sask.):
- Excerpt, 2018 Auditor General Saskatchewan Report: future cleanup costs of oil & gas (o&g) wells could exceed $4 billion
- Brad Wall, 2017, starts work for Osler Law Firm (oil & gas, Kinder Morgan one of its clients) – 3 months after stepping down from Premier’s role. (Wall is not a lawyer.)
- The 2016 request from Brad Wall to the Federal Government, for $156 million to help with cleanup costs of estimated 1,000 abandoned wells. Two years later the Provincial Auditor reports 30,000 abandoned wells and potentially $4 billion in costs.
(Not to mention the cost of cleanup related to the uranium industry in northern Saskatchewan. In 2017 the costs for one mine were 10 times higher than the original $25M estimate. No one pretends that these newspaper reports represent a comprehensive list of the cleanups to be done in northern Sask. http://thestarphoenix.com/business/mining/abandoned-mine-cleanup-project-poses-a-deep-moral-problem.) (also http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/uranium-gunnar-mine-cleanup-cost-saskatchewan-1.4114674))
There’s documented examples
- the horrendous costs of cleaning up abandoned o&g wells, bodies of water and mines
- all the while, there have been sweetheart royalty deals and tax avoidance.
Not addressed here:
- health costs from pollution to pay for
- exorbitant salaries and perks documented in other postings.
A TRICKLE IN TAXES and ROYALTIES PAID:
It’s possible that the appeal would not have happened without all the pressure mounted by Canadians to ensure that the CRA did its job.
And for oil and gas:
GOVT WEB PAGE. DRILLING INCENTIVES. Looks to me like the ROYALTY RATE is 2.5% in Saskatchewan, a fraction of what is collected in other countries. The revolving door is no surprise.
CLEAN-UP, THE MINING INDUSTRY:
Just one example:
a toxic smorgasbord of buildings, tailings ponds and a quarter-million tonnes of arsenic stored underground . . . before large amounts of arsenic start escaping from collapsing buildings. …
The poisoning from the Giant Mine has been known for a long time. News is sneaking out, a billion dollars — ALL from tax-payers.
NOW FOR THE WHOPPER – – except that it’s the oilpatch’s liability, not ours – – if we stand together:
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it’s important to remind ourselves about the Corporatocracy that is running the show. Alberta regulator privately estimates is just one piece in a much larger picture that stinks.