Stelmach “State of the Province” and Royalty Review – UPDATE

So our good Premier, Steady Eddie (aka Mr. Dithers, Honest Ed) addressed the province last night.  Here are my thoughts.

  1. For $125,000 of taxpayer money I would expect something a little more exciting than Ed’s wooden features and stock footage from Alberta Tourism.  The man has no facial expressions beyond “stupor”.  Even worse, that quarter of a million dollars essentially paid for a 19-minute pre-election campaign ad.

  2. For an idea of just how poor a speaker Ed is, check out this text of his speech.  Nothing but two sentence soundbites.  He’s right up there with George W. and a mime in the oratory department.  Oh, and did anyone else notice that a new continent was discovered during his speech?  Sounded like “a-zia.”  I’m assuming it’s cloze to Asia.

  3. I understand that the Conservatives view all Albertans as innocent naives who need simple soundbites and no new information in order to understand something.  But recycling the same “accomplishments”, spending announcements, and projects that you announced 3 and 6 months ago seems a little insulting.

  4. I’m saying it now: Ed will waffle on the issue of royalties.  He will present a compromise on top of the original compromise presented by the Royalty Review Panel.  Oil companies will continue to make obnoxious profits, the cost of living will continue to rise, and Albertans will see even fewer reasons to stay in the province.

Live Blogging of 3:00 P.M. MT Press Conference (all quotes Stelmach’s unless noted otherwise)

  • Well, right now there is a nice podium set up….and that’s about it.

  • Ah, the man of the hour arrives.  Along with his communication director, who has a wonderful head of hair.

  • “Once in a generation decision…that will affect our children and grandchildren.”

  • “Confident we’ve got this right.”

  • Approx. 1.4 billion dollars by 2010.  Claims a 20% increase of existing framework.

  • Linking price increases to royalty increases for natural gas and oil.

  • Rejected Panels recommendations on oil sands and instead will be using price/royalty matching framework.

  • Claims that this will provide stability industry needs.

  • Emphasizes need for in-province upgrading facilities.

  • Believes future generations will see this set-up as “fair and reasonable” not “greedy and shortsighted”.

  • Opened to media for questions.

  • Deep gas incentives will not take the form of royalty holidays, but instead based on how deep drilling will go.

  • Best interest of oil companies to “roll into” this framework.  Not ready to discuss these options.

  • Cost structures based off of information provided by producers.

  • No grandfathering of contracts.

  • Feed started to get very choppy, no more info. for me.  Boo.

 I will take some time to digest and get back to what this all means.

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5 responses to “Stelmach “State of the Province” and Royalty Review – UPDATE”

  1. Mark Iocchelli says :

    That means: Well said!

  2. Paul B says :

    Did everyone forget what was the entire economy in alberta is based on? OIL. Raising royalties doesn’t mean more prosperity, it means less for everyone! If companies like EnCana withdraw 1 billion dollars that they would have spend drilling, and producing a thing called OIL and GAS which we NEED, it means that less royalties are collected. So you increase royalties, drilling decreases, you start paying more for heating you home, filling up your car, and all the plastics that we use as a society. The increased cost that oil companies suffer goes right back to you, and you will never see a real increase in social services from the government! The oil industry is the strength of this province, and if it suffers, you suffer.

  3. Ben says :

    Paul B.,

    Your statement implies that oil companies WILL pull out of Alberta. The question I pose to you is how many other options do these oil companies have for safe, secure supplies of non-renewable resources? Perhaps Darfur?

    You also seem to be of the belief that for every dollar of money kept in Alberta, that is a dollar the oil companies won’t see. The staggering profits these companies make greatly outweighs the royalties Albertans actual see. These resources are finite, just as the benefits Albertans can gain are. When the oil runs out, will the oil companies stick around to pump the billions they earned back into Alberta?

    As for the oil industry being the strength of this province, that is correct…for now. Alberta will need to diversify it’s economy as the transition from an resource based economy occurs, and that transition takes money.

  4. Natasha says :

    Nice liveblogging and summary. Steady Eddie just stood up my university today. For the fourth time. Gah.

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