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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not Everyone In the Oil Patch is Threatening to Leave Alberta

It appears that the energy industry is not of one mind when it comes to the impact of increased royalties recommended in “Our Fair Share” review report.

The Calgary Sun is reporting that Enbridge is not following the herd using the same speaking points in the news releases that have recently been promulgated by some energy industry doomers and gloomers.

Interesting in this same Calgary Sun story is comments that clarify (sic) Talisman’s position. They are now repositioning their attempts to punish Alberta. Now they believe “…that public opinion isn’t fully informed.” They say “One of the reasons for Jim’s letter is to educate and inform – it’s important for the public to be aware.” “Jim” I believe is a former Talisman CEO. Shareholders must be wondering why is he still speaking for Talisman instead of the current CEO?) Could there be a difference of opinion between them?

So are we to understand that, as a public service, Talisman issued a news release saying they are pulling $500m of investment out of Alberta because of the “Our Fair Share” Royalty Review Report. Of course that is the reason. What else could it be?

Yes, upon reflection, I do feel much more “educated and informed.” I have a much more educated and informed. Now, thanks to Talisman tactics, I am much more capable of forming an “opinion.” I have a much clearer and more committed opinion of the kind of company Talisman is and how they “communicate.”

They say Talisman’s vow to divestment “is not meant to be threatening.” I don’t feel threatened. I feel insulted. And I think the recent polls showing 88% of Albertans - who actually own the oil and gas - and who believe the oil patch should pay more – are all also insulted.

Citizens of Alberta have never been so focused, so furious,at so many levels and in so many ways over their government's incompetence and the arrogance and intimidation efforts by some energy industry players.
Please appreciate this public opinion poll result is not intended to be threatening to Talisman or the Government of Alberta. It is meant to be a clear message that things are about to change. Those changes will be in royalties, revenues and relationships with both our government as our trustee and the energy sector as our tenants.