The Alberta government’s subsidies to the fossil fuel sector are increasing and surpassed $2 billion in the last fiscal year, according to a report released this morning by Environmental Defence and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
Premier Rachel Notley has invested in helping oilpatch companies reduce their greenhouse gas emission intensity and help fund the construction of new petrochemical facilities and bitumen upgrader facilities, to name a few of the subsidies listed in the report.
Just this week, Notley announced a $3.7-billion deal to lease 4,400 oil tank cars to boost rail exports from the province and $80 million in royalty credits for Nauticol Energy’s $2-billion methanol plant near Grande Prairie.
The report finds over the last three fiscal years, the government has subsidized the fossil fuel industry by $1.6 billion a year on average.
“We know that there are lots of different programs between royalty credits and tax incentives and different research opportunities for oil and gas companies in Alberta to receive funds from the government,” said Joshua Buck, with Environmental Defence, in an interview.
“That’s a lot of money at a time when our province is running a deficit and there’s lots of things that we could use scarce resources for.”
The authors of the report say some of the subsidies make sense, such as phasing out coal-fired power plants and reducing methane emissions.
“Anything that helps to transition away from a carbon intensive economy to a low carbon economy, we do support,” said Buck. “But a lot of the subsidies that are being given out are not helping to reduce emissions.”
Just about every industry receives some level of subsidies or government support, but environmental groups say subsidies for the fossil fuel sector will make it harder for Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet its climate change targets.
Over the last four years, Notley has introduced several environmental policies such as a carbon tax and a cap on oilsands emissions. She has also supported the development of several utility-scale solar and wind projects throughout the province.
Oil production in Alberta is increasing every year, however the industry has struggled since the oil price crash in late-2014.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers did not comment on the report, but supplied previous commentary it has made on the topic. The industry group has stated, “In Canada, all businesses can deduct certain expenses and the oil and natural gas industry is no different. Tax measures of the oil and natural gas industry are not subsidies.”
In the past, the group has also said “Fossil fuel consumption subsidies are not prevalent, and in fact, the consumption of fossil fuels are heavily taxed which discourages consumption, the opposite of a subsidy.”
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.
Originally posted 2019-02-21 04:48:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter