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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Energy Industry Credibilty in Alberta is in Shreds.

So the polls showed Albertans did not believe Big Oil as to the “sky is falling and we are leaving Alberta rhetoric of the “Our Fair Share” Royalty Review. The Stelmach response on royalties shows the government did not believe Big Oil either.

And today the markets showed they did not believe Big Oil either. The markets were normal in the face of this “catastrophe,” even as of some “analysts” engaged in a pending disaster feeding frenzy to the business media claiming the markets were destined to be a disaster due to a new royalty regime.

So the energy sector has a credibility problem now. Not all of the companies in the sector deserve the growing public disdain that has been brought on the energy sector but tar and feathers are not often discriminating and tend to cover the entire sector.

So now the energy sector in Alberta might be well advised to do some serious soul searching and maybe engage in a bit of real honest communication with their landlords. Not any campaigns based on slick PR exercises or full page media ad-buys based on misinformation and “messaging.” I am talking about a genuine and authentic effort to reach out to Albertans to understand how the industry is perceived. I am talking about the Alberta that is outside of Calgary, and about Calgarians who are outside the industry.

It is time the energy industry started focusing on proving to us that they are appropriate and responsible resource developers and know what sustainable stewardship of this public nonrenewable resource is. For example, if the drilling is down now why are you not focusing on catching up on some long over due well site reclamation and site contamination clean up. There will be rig workers looking for work I hear. Why not use them and start a renewed focus on responsible stewardship fixing your shredded image in this way

The Alberta forestry industry has made that shift in consciousness to responsible, sustainable stewardship already. Surely the mighty energy industry in Alberta is at least as smart and as capable of adapting as the “Lumberjacks.”