New Study Shows Billions in Lost Royalty Revenue After Northern Gateway

Industry data shows Alberta should have $1 trillion in Heritage Fund by 2045

Edmonton – The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and Parkland Institute released a joint study today, showing Albertans will let billions slip through their fingers if the Northern Gateway Pipeline is approved and constructed.

The study showed that if Alberta met the royalty targets in place when Peter Lougheed was Premier, the province would have $1 trillion in the Heritage Fund by 2039.

According to oil industry data generated by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), Alberta will collect an average of only 18 per cent of the revenue generated in the oil sands as royalties.

The data covers the 2012-2045 forecast period and assumes the Northern Gateway pipeline will be constructed and operational.

In the 1980s, Alberta collected 35 per cent of oil industry revenue as royalties. The target was lowered to about 25 per cent during the Klein era.

AFL Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Furlong says any discussion of the Northern Gateway pipeline should involve Albertans getting their fair share first.  

“Albertans only get value out of the oil sands in two basic ways – royalties and jobs.”  “This study shows Albertans are being fleeced on our fair share of royalties.”

“The Northern Gateway pipeline will also ship thousands of upgrading and refining jobs down the pipeline to Asia, leaving Canadians with only 104 permanent jobs, most of them in B.C.  Albertans are not getting their fair share from this pipeline,” adds Furlong. The Alberta Federation of Labour represents 150,000 Albertans, including 25,000 working in the oil sands and energy-related construction.

Furlong adds that Alberta’s oil sands wealth could – and should – be used to build the economy in the rest of the country.

“In the Lougheed era, when the Heritage Fund was growing, it was used for loans to other provinces and for infrastructure projects. There is no reason why – if we collected anything approaching appropriate royalty rates – Alberta could not lead the country toward a greener economy.

“There are certainly ways Alberta could lead a real conversation about a national energy strategy, which would insulate us from demands from other provinces. But instead we’re following oil industry orders for more pipelines, fewer royalties and taxes, and zero plan for how we might transition our economy and protect jobs while we address climate change.”

“What we have now is not an energy strategy.  It’s surrender,” concludes Furlong.


MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Furlong, AFL Secretary-Treasurer, 780-720-8945

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