Energy companies that owe property taxes should not get new licences: Red Deer County mayor, $245 million in outstanding taxes owed to Alberta municipalities by Paul Cowley, Mar. 16, 2021, Red Deer Advocate
The Alberta Energy Regulator should refuse to give new licences to energy industry companies that are not paying their property taxes, says Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood. That’ll never happen. AER is in on the scam and has been aiding the oil and gas industry’s rape of Alberta for decades. Many posts regarding that on this website, too time consuming to add them all.
“When you think about it, if they can’t pay their property taxes how are they going to do cleanup on those wells later on,” They never planned to. The plan has always been, and continues to be, for big companies to walk from clean up by selling to smaller fly-by-night companies with limited assets that will never be able to clean up. They will suck a few million dollars out, declare bankruptcy, intentionally hanging landowners and the public with clean up costs, enabled by our courts and politicians. Wood asked Infrastructure Minister Ric McIver during the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) spring conference. It was a virtual event this year because of pandemic health restrictions.
An RMA survey of its 69 county and municipal districts found $245 million in back taxes from the oil and gas industry is outstanding.
The issue was to be discussed during a part of the conference where resolutions brought forward by member municipalities are up for debate. If adopted, the RMA lobbies the government to get some action on the issue.
Woodland County has sponsored a resolution that calls on the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) “to include as a condition of transfer of all oil, oil sands, natural gas, and coal resource assets from one company to another that municipal property tax arrears be paid in full.”
Woodland County points to the example of one company that was seeking a tax arrears settlement. The company, which had not paid its municipal taxes for four years, had applied to the AER for licence transfers for 12 facilities and 149 wells from a bankrupt energy company, that itself had not paid property taxes for three years.
Municipalities want unpaid property taxes to be part of the financial viability test the AER uses before it approves licences.
McIver made no commitment to remedy the situation. It will be among the issues discussed in upcoming consultations with municipalities headed by Energy Minister Sonya Savage, who was not in on the virtual question-and-answer session on Tuesday.
Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank said there is anxiety among some municipalities that an ongoing police review, including weighing the advantages of a provincial police force, could mean higher costs for rural municipalities.
Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said consultations are still underway but assured he would not support a provincial force if it boosted costs for municipalities
“I would struggle to see how I would put forward that recommendation at this point in time,” he said. “I am very particular in making sure that we avoided additional costs on municipalities.”
Should there be additional costs, the province would pick up the tab, he said.
The report coming forward will be “transparent at every step of the process,” he added.
Foothills County Mayor Suzanne Oel pressed Health Minister Tyler Shandro for evidence that a controversial decision to take away ambulance dispatch from Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and the Municipal District of Wood Buffalo improved patient outcomes.
Shandro said ambulance dispatch has been consolidated in most of the province since 2009 and has worked effectively. Firefighters can still be dispatched to medical calls if necessary even after the change, he said, adding he continues to discuss the issue with municipalities.
“The point of integrating dispatch was actually to make sure that ambulances get there quicker and as well that we can have not have 100 per cent of our patients going to the hospitals,” he said.
“We can also include a physician in the dispatch centre to help with those calls,” adding patients could be directed to other community health services besides a hospital.
Subject: Only In Alberta
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2021 16:41:57 -0600
This is of course a good idea to help solve the major problem of our energy industries abilities to pay their municipal taxes much different than other municipal tax payers!! Our provincial government has made it possible for energy companies to pay their tax bills to municipalities a voluntary basis? First what is needed in Alberta is a government free from the phoney concerns brought to bear on them by CAPP and the major producers!! Also a government not a bit shy to disallow any or all rebellious energy producers the right to enter or disturb the public’s reservoirs until like other industries they clean-up their environmental messes —pay their municipal-taxes—honour their contracts with for rental rights with their landowners– and so forth?”? Albertans after all this many years in the oil business have been left with a debt of $260 billion dollars according to the Alberta Governments Petroleum Regulator!! That debt load was calculated by AER years ago. It’s much higher now, and will just keep on going up up up until the industry is dead, leaving Canadians to pay for Alberta’s idiocy, selfishness and greed. This is almost impossible to believe after viewing how other energy States have faired in less than half the same time period???
We have had the energy regulator blamed for assisting CAPP and the energy industry –both foreign and domestic of defrauding the Alberta Public –and as an agent of the Alberta Government this is true !! However– the real blame for defrauding the Alberta public – has been the Alberta governments itself– who have totally refused to manage our oil wealth for the benefit of the owning Alberta Public!! Solving one small problem is of course a start—however the entire method of how Alberta’s public petroleum properties are managed must be changed and changed at the same time Albertans rid themselves of Jason Kenney!! Our Alberta Governments have been dominated by major foreign energy powers –in offering the public’s royalty production to the energy developers that started the slide in Alberta’s well being!! It never was the spending Alberta put toward health and education that brought the Province to it’s knees—but the dropping of royalty rates by every Conservative government and Notley’s NDP since Lougheed and the bevy of means these same governments used to allow major foreign energy developers to defraud the Alberta public?? No government on earth should be afraid to make an industry clean-up the environmental messes it’s creates? Only in Alberta!!
Stewart Shields, Lacombe Alberta
All fixed (as if): Video: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney calls on oil industry to catch up on tax bills, says it is time for oil and gas companies across Alberta to start settling up their overdue bills by Tom Vernon, March 17, 2021, Global News
Refer also to:
BNN Interviews Alberta Oil Patch Consultant Brent Nimeck on Lexin and AER’s Orphan Wells: “This problem is 30 years in the making. … I would call it a Ponzi Scheme…. This is an orchestrated fraud from multiple angles: Industry, CAPP and the Alberta Energy Regulator have enabled this to happen. … Through our independent analysis and we’ve confirmed this at multiple sources within the energy regulator, the liabilities are over $300 billion. That’s what’s on the hook for Alberta taxpayers right now – $300 billion.”
2019: ALDP a Synergy Group? Mark Dorin synergizing for the AER? Study not needed of the 100s of billions of dollars in oilfield liabilities. Complete overhaul of petroleum ownership and its structure is needed, and to send AER, Synergy groups (including Pembina Institute), CAPP, CSUR etc packing!
Study is not needed! Action is needed! Simple solutions abound! Here’s one: Immediately require bonds are paid upfront, in full, to be held in trust, before any new approvals are given, especially to notorious bullies/law violating aquifer frac’ers like Encana. Another: disallow the big brute companies from selling off their polluting, aging wells/facilities to little nothing players sure to bankrupt themselves soon as they finish sucking a few million out. Make the brutes produce their wells/facilities until they are done, especially in all the formations they soured by hydraulic fracturing and water injection for enhanced recovery. And make the brutes clean up. The big companies are sitting on billions in cash, and are causing most of the liabilities by selling off their no longer massively profitable assets to fly by night junk operators who fully intend to walk from clean up. These actions could be quickly and easily implemented by any govt that gave a damn.
Once a well/facility is appropriately cleaned up, reclaimed, landowner satisfied and signs off on it, company gets their money back. Easy peasy.
All landowners forced into enduring the abusive, polluting industry on their private properties must also be fully paid in advance sufficient funds to be held in trust to fully deal with the inevitable clean up with additional emergency funds for the many things that go wrong, eg frac quakes damaging a driveway, home or barn foundation; aquifer gets contaminated; water well is destroyed; spills, on or off lease; health and or soils/crops harms; etc. Problem solved. The endless crooks will not be able to operate under appropriately protective measures, and will leave, good riddance. Alberta will be much better off without them. Grossly over paid CAPP and other industry lobby groups will cry like the spoiled babies that they are. Let them cry.
Most important must do! Stop funding and get rid of Synergy Alberta and all it’s gunky evil tentacles and groups. Stop funding so called environmental, but really just enabling “controlled opposition” NGOs. Stop the mega millions given to Lies & Propaganda funding (notably Kenney’s new sinister 30 Million dollars annually to propagandize and croon for the polluting oil and gas industry and Steve Allen’s flake of a witch hunt to intimidate and threaten ordinary citizens – tax payer funded mafia for the oil and gas industry). Use the money to start cleaning up. So Super Simple.