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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Talisman Says Its Reducing Alberta Investment Too - But Is It Really Due to Royalties?-

Here is the continuation of the energy industry political strategy – unnerve small town and rural Alberta – the Stelmach “base” - with fear mongering. Talisman is now musing in yet another “open letter,” this time to Premier Stelmach about withdrawing $500m of activity from Alberta if royalties go up.

It is a mere coincidence I am sure that on September 7th Talisman signalled in the Financial Post they were already thinking of cutting spending in Canada and the US by as much as 32% “…due to weak natural gas prices.”

This is positioning and posturing and classic issues framing to divert attention for the real issues. Royalties are too low and there is lots of room for them to go up. Secondly, our government have been breathtakingly inept at reviewing them and collecting them.

The Federal LIbera Adscam was touted as a $250m scam that was proven to be more like $40 million by Gomery in the end - and much of that loss was due to fraud. But it brought down a government, crippled the Liberals and may well have destroyed that political party in the process.

We have no indications of fraud at all in this Alberta royalty sham. But the Auditor General says we have about a $6BILLION loss due to royalty leakage caused by governance drift, incompetence and ineptitude.

Step 1 for Stelmach was to set up the royalty review. Good for him.
Step 2 for Stelmach is to implement it becise it is timely and fair and Albertans want it to happen. Otherwise;
Step 3 will see a lot of PC MLAs cleaning out their Legislature desks after the next election.