Thursday, January 04, 2007

Oberg to do an Honest Royality Review?

I find myself saying the obvious. The fox is in charge of the chicken coop!
We can expect them to use this opportunity to further stonewall the general public by pre selecting and shaping questions and questioners. This will have the bright spring and PR to it that the oil company’s advertisement on water does. It runs “We don’t use all our water allotments” say they on public TV; “aren’t we sweet?” Glitz. Who gave them more allotment than the city of Calgary? Who explains that every liter they take is lost to us forever; not re-circulated as is urban and country use water.

Because the Journal article is locked I have taken a few notable excerpts to comment on.

EDMONTON - Albertans will get a long-awaited review of oil and gas royalty rates this year. But when and how the review will be done are still open questions.

New Finance Minister Lyle Oberg will lead the review. His mandate from Premier Ed Stelmach is to "conduct a public review to ensure Albertans are receiving a fair share from energy development through royalties, taxes and fees."

According to a spokesman, Oberg is still deciding how best to go about the task.
Traditionally, the province has received about 20 to 25 per cent of oil and gas revenues. In 2004, however, the share fell below 19 per cent, sparking public comment.
End Quote:

The Journal further perpetrates lies in the 20% to 25% royalty revenues. A very obvious number game. (20 to 25 percent viz 2.0 and 2.5 percent?). Perhaps, not a lie but trying to put a very good face on a very bad and impossible situation?

The ground rules are 25% of the net after all un-audited cost and expense and the whole project has been paid for from their keeping all the revenues for years. As opposed to the start up time where it is 1% of the Gross sales until all start up costs have been recovered. Think! Guaranteed pay back for every thing they can imagine!

What risk? 25% of net and 1% of the gross at some point is the same number! Next to nothing.

Further lies are the idea that a small shift in royalties in 2004 caused the pubic outcry. Not so!

The out cry started when I published the actual oil revenues on Welcome to Ralph’s World. It is still there. We have been ripped off for years under the Conservative rule. Time to change!

Take a look and see what you think Facts as Given by the Dept of Energy-a Must Read

The Royalty schedules remain very wordy and deliberately confusing. There are no cost audits on the construction period. Anything goes and royalties, such as they are, are taken on what is left.

Also, Alberta owns considerable stock in the various oil companies which returns money to general revenue and counted for convenience with the royalty numbers. This is not royalties!

If this crew tripled the amount of royalties we collected we would still be the lowest royalty charge in the world! Oberg should address that!

The only thing that would give Oberg’s plan any credibility is to have the opposition parties represented on the panel with the view they will be there in an attempt to make the process honest.

Better yet; leave it until we get a new Government.

John Clark
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