“Kenney the job killer.” Lyin’ thugs Steve Harper, Jason Kenney & Ralph Klein, etc. etc. etc., decimatin’ jobs, pensions, regulations, health & education to give $Billions to $Billion-profiting oil & gas companies (mostly foreign-owned), while hangin’ Canadians with pollution, infrastructure devastation, clean-up & health harms.
Analyzing Alberta’s “gooey delusion of perpetual oil revenue.” Robyn Allen: Globe and Mail columnist Robyn Urback sends wrong message characterizing Albertans as helplessly bullied, “Jobs are disappearing because oil producers have accelerated their strategy of displacing workers with technology.” … “Big Oil seems to have decided Alberta’s males are disposable. “
In Texas, energy companies cut nearly 6,000 jobs over past four months. In western Canada, Husky cutting hundreds of jobs, most cuts in Calgary. Kenney’s $4.5 billion in corporate tax cuts obviously not enough to feed the greed.
US fossil-fuel companies took billions in tax breaks – and then laid off thousands, Figures show 77 companies received $8.2bn under tax changes related to Covid relief and yet almost every one let workers go by Oliver Milman, 2 Apr 2021, The Guardian
Fossil-fuel companies have received billions of dollars in tax benefits from the US government as part of coronavirus relief measures, only to lay off tens of thousands of their workers during the pandemic, new figures reveal.
A group of 77 firms involved in the extraction of oil, gas and coal received $8.2bn under tax-code changes that formed part of a major pandemic stimulus bill passed by Congress last year. Five of these companies also got benefits from the paycheck protection program, totaling more than $30m.
Despite this, almost every one of the fossil-fuel companies laid off workers, with a more than 58,000 people losing their jobs since the onset of the pandemic, or around 16% of the combined workforces.
The largest beneficiary of government assistance has been Marathon Petroleum, which has got $2.1bn in tax benefits.
However, in the year to December 2020, the Ohio-based refining company laid off 1,920 workers, or around 9% of its workforce. As a comparative ratio, Marathon has received around $1m for each worker it made redundant, according to BailoutWatch, a nonprofit advocacy group that analyzed Securities and Exchange Commission filings to compile all the data.
Phillips 66, Vistra Corp, National Oilwell Varco and Valero were the next largest beneficiaries of the tax-code changes, with all of them shedding jobs in the past year. In the case of National Oilwell Varco, a Houston-headquartered drilling supply company, 22% of the workforce was fired, despite federal government tax assistance amounting to $591m.
Other major oil and gas companies including Devon Energy and Occidental Petroleum also took in major pandemic tax benefits in the last year while also shedding thousands of workers.
“I’m not surprised that these companies took advantage of these tax benefits, but I’m horrified by the layoffs after they got this money,” said Chris Kuveke, a researcher at BailoutWatch.
“Last year’s stimulus was about keeping the economy going, but these companies didn’t use these resources to retain their workers. These are companies that are polluting the environment, increasing the deadliness of the pandemic and letting go of their workers.”
The tax benefits stems from a change in the Cares Act from March last year that allowed companies that had made a loss since 2013 to use this to offset their taxes, receiving this refund as a payment.
The extended carry-back benefit was embraced by the oil and gas industry, with many companies suffering losses even before Covid-19 hit. Pandemic shutdowns then severely curtailed travel by people for business or pleasure, dealing a major blow to fossil-fuel companies through the plummeting use of oil, with the price of a barrel of oil even entering negative territory at one point last year.
A spokesman for Marathon, the one company to answer questions on the layoffs, said the business made “the very difficult decision” to reduce its workforce, providing severance and extended healthcare benefits to those affected.
“These difficult decisions were part of a broader, comprehensive effort, which also included implementing strict capital discipline and overall expense management to lower our cost structure, to improve the company’s resiliency, and re-position it for long-term success,” the spokesman said. “We look forward to better days ahead for everyone as the nation emerges from the pandemic.”
This expense management didn’t extend to the pay of Marathon’s chief executive, Michael Hennigan, who made $15.5m in 2020. Hennigan, appointed to the position last year, was paid around $1m more than the 2019 income of his predecessor, Lee Tillman. According to BailoutWatch, Marathon’s chief executive is paid 99 times the average company worker’s salary.
“They had no problem paying their executives for good performance when they didn’t perform well,” said Kuveke. “There is no problem with working Americans retaining their jobs but I don’t believe we should subsidize an industry that has been supported by the government for the past 100 years. It’s time to stop subsidizing them and start facing the climate crisis.”
Faced by growing political and societal pressure in their role in the climate crisis and the deaths of millions of people each year through air pollution, the oil and gas industry has sought to paint itself as the protector of thousands of American workers who face joblessness due to Joe Biden’s climate policies.
“Targeting specific industries with new taxes would only undermine the nation’s economic recovery and jeopardize good-paying jobs, including union jobs,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice-president for policy, economic and regulatory affairs at lobby group American Petroleum Institute, following Biden’s announcement of a new climate-focused infrastructure plan on Wednesday.
“It’s important to note that our industry receives no special tax treatment, and we will continue to advocate for a tax code that supports a level playing field for all economic sectors along with policies that sustain and grow the billions of dollars in government revenue that we help generate.”
Refer also to:
“FixOvintiv!” Addicted to debt “Environmental Laggard.” “Failure of Governance, No Alignment or Accountability.” Shareholder Kimmeridge Energy Management Co. LLC: “Ovintiv: A Track Record of Value Destruction.” Sure sums up my experiences living invaded by frac’er Encana-Ovintiv.
Ovindictive Ovintiv! Investors not happy with your scardy cat run to the USA. Canadian investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. (manages about $27 Billion in assets), publicly slams Encana’s plan to flee Canada, says it’s “highly discriminatory” against Canadian investors.
Law-violating, aquifer-frac’er bully Ovintiv/Encana/(Cenovus spawned after Ernst lawsuit filed): “New York-based investor considers Ovintiv…to be the poster child for all that ails the North American exploration and production sector…. The sector as a whole is rife with excessive compensation and a lack of accountability”
Bankruptcy plan to let Cenovus/Husky “legally” escape clean-up, aided by taxpayer-funded courts? Cenovus (Encana spawn), buys Husky for $23.6 Billion, “including debt” (financed by Canada Pension Plan and AIMCo?); Will kill jobs Kenney promised would increase when he gave industry $Billions in tax breaks, mega corporate welfare, tax super holiday and citizen-financed propaganda (war room and Steve Allen’s witch hunt).
“Good hygiene is essential to preventing the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.” For that, one needs safe water which in my community, Encana/Ovintiv illegally frac’d, enabled by AER and Alberta gov’t. 17 years later, I remain living without safe water.
Living with Encana (Ovintiv) in Pavillion, Wyoming. Sue Spencer, hydrogeologist: “There’s this veil of secrecy about everything they do. … The oil industry went nuts. ….[the oil lobby] was just like, ‘you can’t say that groundwater was impacted by the fracking industry.’”
How many years and millions of dollars to cleanup Encana’s (now Ovintiv’s) illegal fracs of Rosebud drinking water aquifers? Why do city-dwellers in Alberta get hydrocarbon pollution cleanup ordered, but not rural-dwellers?
Encana fleeing Canada in Scheer desperation? Shares drop 9.2%! Illegal aquifer-frac’er, caprock buster, poisoning bully of families and briber/divider of communities running to USA, changing its spots to Ovintiv Inc. Erectile Dysfunction drug or cross between Ovaltine in vintage container and a vagina?