Thursday, September 08, 2005

It's Time to Take Back Our Oil and Gas


Nationalize Oil and the Oil Industry
Under Community and Workers Control


Nationalize oil firms, almost half of Canadians say

Montreal — Almost half of Canadians wanted to see their petroleum resources and their gas companies nationalized as fuel prices hit record levels, a new poll suggests.

The Leger Marketing telephone survey of 1,500 people was conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 31, the bulk being done before the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina were felt.

n the Leger poll, which was provided to The Canadian Press, 49 per cent of respondents wanted petroleum resources nationalized while 43 per cent said they would like to see the same fate for gas companies.

Quebeckers were the strongest supporters of resource nationalization at 67 per cent, followed by residents of the Atlantic provinces at 53 per cent, Ontarians at 45 per cent and British Columbia at 42 per cent.

Forty per cent of respondents on the Prairies and 36 per cent of Albertans were in favour. Among those opposed, Albertans led the way at 49 per cent followed by British Columbians at 39 per cent.

Quebec led in support for nationalization of oil companies, with 61 per cent in favour, followed by the Atlantic provinces (46 per cent). Alberta was most opposed at 59 per cent, followed by the Prairies (49 per cent), B.C. 46 per cent and Ontario, 41 per cent.

We need to seriously look at the success Venezuala has had with its nationalization under workers control for a model of what to do in Canada with our Gas and Oil Reserves, the majority being in Alberta, and the American Oil companies.

In this case it should not be about the Federal Government owning the resources, but the people, under a Prodhounian share capital model, with workers on the boards of directors and acting along with the public as share owners of the nationalized industry.

First Nations peoples need to have a direct ownership in the resources, which are all situated on their lands and which they have not been compensated for by the Provincial government.

And as the Globe and Mail reported this spring; Crude awakening
The world's thirst is not sustainable as experts predict an imminent decline and fall in oil production. In this seven-day series, the Globe investigates what awaits the world as the reserves dry up.

In this age of Peak Oil, with a decline in reserves that will bottom out in 2010-2020 the price of oil and gas will only continue to rise. Despite the previous two oil driven recessions, 1974 and 1984, that was not about declining reserve stocks, but about at the well head price increases by OPEC. Today with China, India and other newly industrialized (read Fordist automobile production) countries vying with the US for market share of oil and gas, prices will continue to rise. See the Economist article below.

This rise in oil and gas prices has effectively made the Alberta Tar Sands a viable economic operation. While it has put royalties and tax funds into the Alberta economy giving us ten years of surpluses, in actuality Alberta Royalties and Taxes from Oil and Gas are the lowest in the world. In fact we make more money in VLT's and Tabacco taxes then we make off the Tar Sands.

This is the essential reason that our resources need to be taken out of the hands of the State, in this case the Alberta Government, and put back in the hands of the people, us the citizens, the first nations, and the workers who construct, produce and deliver the oil and gas.

The success of Petrocan which the Liberals just sold off the last Federal investment in, proves that a nationalized oil company can weather the storms of volatile markets.

And there is the irony as the Edmonton Sun editorial below points out. That in order to fund its Kyoto targets the Liberals cut their nose to spite their face and sold off the public's shareholdings in Petro Canada as oil prices began to skyrocket.

Clearly we cannot trust politicians whether Ralph or Paul, to keep the public's best interests in mind. It will take real public ownership of our oil and gas resources as well as the secondary, tertiary production, refining and distribution to benefit all of us.

Gas prices ease, but not before new record reached

CALGARY -- Gasoline prices across Canada and the United States are expected to ebb this week from their current record levels, but the worst may be yet to come for the cost of heating oil.

As of yesterday morning, the nationwide average cost of a litre of regular gasoline jumped by 22 cents -- a record -- to $1.26, also a record, according to a weekly survey from M.J. Ervin & Associates Inc. that substantiated earlier anecdotal reports of surging prices.

The sudden and rapid rise in the cost of gasoline sparked calls for government regulation or investigation into the oil industry

The highest prices were recorded in Newfoundland, which also regulates the cost of gasoline. Gander had posted prices of $1.496 a litre, while St. John's was slightly lower at $1.481 a litre.

The single largest increase was in PEI; for free-market prices, the biggest jump was in St. Catharines, Ont., where the cost of gas jumped 35 cents a litre to $1.334.

Drivers in Edmonton were the least worst off in the country. Prices rose by 11.5 cents to $1.098 in the Alberta capital, where lower provincial taxes keep down the cost of a fill-up.

The smallest increase was in Whitehorse, where prices barely budged, rising just 0.8 cents to $1.175 a litre.

From Thunder Bay westward, price increases were much more muted, with no city recording a rise of more than 16.9 cents a litre, well below the national average.

The Edmonton Journal Friday, September 02, 200

EDMONTON - Motorists may have to put up with erratic prices at the pump for a few more days as gasoline supplies remain tight in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

Regular gas prices in Edmonton ranged Thursday from below $1 to $1.29 a litre, an overnight jump of 29 per cent, the greatest one-day price hike in recent history.

This came in spite of a moderation in world oil prices, which have dipped just below record prices of $70 US for a barrel following a steady climb.

About 1,000 trucks blocking roads in N.B. over soaring gas prices

Protest organizer Eric Bijeau said refineries are raking in excess profits and governments aren't doing anything about it.

Likely to show U.S. stocks fell from Katrina

Edmonton Sun EDITORIAL: Waiting for the Oil Fairy

Ironically, most of our oil and gas resources are "nationalized" in that they belong to the people of Alberta, who license energy companies to exploit them. Albertans will collect over $10 billion this year in royalties. Back in the terrible days of the NEP, Pierre Trudeau imposed his own royalties on Alberta's resource in the form of two confiscatory taxes, and force-fed the industry with massive tax incentives to move their exploration activities away from Alberta and onto remote federal lands.

A slightly smaller number of Canadians (43%) told Leger they'd go one step further and nationalize the oil companies. Presumably this government agency would dispense gasoline at rock bottom prices and basically ignore world market forces. Where the bargain-basement crude would come from is never really answered. Our best guess is the Oil Fairy

Albertans have seen all of this before. The NEP was a partial confiscation of the province's resources. Ottawa's integrated oil agency, Petro-Canada, was supposed to act as Trudeau's "window" on the oil industry.

PetroCan was created with massive amounts of Canadian taxpayers money in several controversial takeovers. Ironically, it was only a few months ago that Ottawa sold off the remainder of its Petro-Canada shares so it could have billions of dollars available to implement its equally controversial Kyoto accord, which is seen by many as another assault on Albertans' oil and gas riches.

My Response to this bit of Son of NEP hype appeared today as well as this editorial.

The Edmonton Sun published my letter to the Editor today.

RE: PAUL Stanway's Sept. 4 column. The real issue in Alberta, from the time of Peter Lougheed until today, is that the people of this province who own the resources do so in name only. Instead of worrying about a new "son of NEP" we should be concerned that this tired old Tory government has failed to secure our resources. They have sold them off to monopoly oil interests for a song. We need to put our energy resources directly under provincial control - that is, nationalize them as they have done in Venezuela and other countries, which get much higher royalties than we currently do.

Eugene Plawiuk

(Petro-Alberta?)-Sun editor comment

And even the Sun website poll shows that Canadians support Nationalization:

Should Canada's petroleum resources and oil companies be nationalized?
Yes. 55%
No. 40%
Not sure. 5%

Total Votes for this Question: 329

As for the Sun's blithe comment about the Oil Fairy lets look at what the much vaunted uber-capitalist magazine the Economist says about that, shall we. And low and behold guess who does not set their oil and gas prices by the much vaunted free market, well the Good Ol US of A.

LEADERS

Oil

The oiloholics

Aug 25th 2005
From The Economist print edition


Oil prices could yet go higher—unless the world's biggest gas guzzlers curb their thirst



THE price of oil affects the cost of almost everything. It helps determine not just the cost of driving to work or flying off on holiday, but also the cost of furniture, food and anything else which has to be transported from factory to shop floor. The past three global recessions were all triggered by a jump in oil prices. Thus, it should be alarming that oil prices have more than tripled since late 2001. So far, though, the world economy has held up remarkably well: global GDP growth is strong and inflation remains modest. How long can this continue?

The optimists point to a host of reasons for why “this time is different” and why high oil prices will not trigger a global downturn. For example, it is claimed that in real terms, adjusted by consumer prices, oil is still cheap. Most businessmen reckon that is tosh: relative to producer-output prices, real crude oil prices are now close to a record high (see article). In any case, the notion that rising oil prices have no economic impact until they hit the previous peak in real terms is ridiculous.

Related Items
From The Economist
Oil and the global economy
Aug 25th 2005
Oil and exchanges
Aug 25th 2005

Country Briefing
China, United States

More articles about...
Oil

Websites
The New York Mercantile Exchange has information about oil prices. The US Department of Transport announces proposed fuel-economy rules. See also the IMF.

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The main reason why high oil prices have so far not kiboshed the world economy is that cheap money has supported spending sprees and housing bubbles in many countries, notably America, which have offset the impact of dearer oil. The two main engines for the world, the United States and China (also the two biggest oil consumers), have both had their growth boosted by lax monetary conditions in the past couple of years. Indeed high oil prices can partly be seen as a consequence of low interest rates. The two most important prices in the world economy are the price of oil and the price of money, and they are linked. If interest rates are abnormally low (in bond yields as well as short-term rates), then as global demand increases in response, oil prices should rise—especially if production capacity is tight, as it is today.

So referring to the recent climb in oil prices as a “shock” is misleading. The market is simply responding to stronger oil demand on the back of a strong world economy. The increases in both global GDP and global oil consumption last year were the biggest for almost 30 years. Rising oil prices may even be read as a signal that global economic growth has been more rapid than existing output capacity can sustain. Normally, bond yields would perform that role. But the bond market has been behaving mighty oddly, with yields falling over the past year. The rising oil price is thus taking some of the job of constraining the world economy away from higher interest rates. From this point of view, a high oil price is quite healthy, a way of helping to prevent the global economy from overheating. A much more efficient solution would be tighter global monetary conditions. But tighter money now risks pushing the housing and borrowing booms into reverse, tipping economies into recession.

Moreover, even if rising oil prices are a natural market response to rising demand, they can still have nasty consequences for slower-growing economies, such as Europe's. Excessive growth in demand in America and China is, in effect, imposing a tax on others by pushing world prices higher than they would otherwise be. Even more serious, with little spare capacity in the oil industry, such rapid growth in consumption leaves the market vulnerable to any supply disruption, like those that initiated previous oil shocks.

This effect is exacerbated by the fact that the economies that are currently growing the fastest tend also to be the least efficient users of oil. To produce one dollar of GDP, emerging economies use more than twice as much oil as developed economies. Many emerging economies, including China and India, subsidise oil. Insulated from the reality of rising world prices, consumers guzzle more oil than if they had to pay full market prices. This, in turn, pushes global oil prices higher.

Such pressures are likely to grow. The IMF forecasts that over the next five years emerging economies could account for almost three-quarters of the increase in world oil demand. China has single-handedly accounted for one-third of the growth in global oil demand since 2000. With China's oil consumption per person still only one-fifteenth of that in America, it is inevitable that its energy demands will increase over the coming years if its income does too. But China's consumption is also being inflated because domestic petrol prices have not been allowed to rise as fast as crude prices. It is time for governments to scrap price controls and subsidies to allow the market's price signals to get through to consumers.

It is easy to point a finger at China's growing oil demand (which has in fact cooled off this year), but America remains the biggest consumer, using one-quarter of the world's output of the black stuff. America uses 50% more oil per dollar of GDP than the European Union, largely because consumers pay less. As petrol prices have hit $3 a gallon in some cities, there has been an outcry from motorists. Even so, petrol remains dirt cheap in America, compared with Britain or Germany where prices are above $6 a gallon. America's heavy dependence on oil not only leaves the economy more vulnerable to a supply shock, it also pushes prices higher for the rest of the world.


The best long-term solution—for America as well as the world economy—would be higher petrol taxes in the United States. Alas, there is little prospect of that happening. America, unlike Europe, has preferred fuel-economy regulations to petrol taxes. But even with those it has failed abysmally. These regulations have been so abused that the oil efficiency of its vehicles has fallen to a 20-year low. This week, the Bush administration announced proposals for changing the fuel-economy rules governing trucks and sport-utility vehicles, but failed to close loopholes that allow these gas guzzlers to use more petrol than normal cars, a shameful concession to carmakers.

America and China, in their different ways, are drunk on oil consumption. The longer they put off taking the steps needed to curb their habit, the worse the headache will be. George Bush once learned that lesson about alcohol. It is time for him to wean America off oiloholism too.

Here the scion of Capitalism is calling for an INCREASE in TAXES. Whooa. And yet in Canada across the board governments provincially and federally are wringing their hands saying there is nothing they can do about the increases we are facing at the pumps, for home heating and of course for electricity and other utilities that are gas fired.

Gas tax cut call falls on deaf ears
Canadians are wasting their breath calling on governments to cut gasoline and home heating oil taxes, say economists and tax experts.

Ever since the price of gasoline burst through the $1 per litre barrier earlier this summer, pleas and demands for tax relief have been rising with each increase at the pumps. With the exception of Nova Scotia, which is pondering the removal of the provincial sales tax on heating oil, governments across the country have swiftly squelched the idea of lowering fuel levies.

That's because governments are loath to give up any taxing power, said David Perry, an economist with the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Once a tax is removed, "you'll never know when you'll need them again," he said in a recent interview from Toronto.

"Also, if you get rid of a tax, you're throwing the load on other taxpayers. If you drop the tax in one area, you'll have to raise it somewhere else."

There is also the so-called slippery slope argument of bureaucrats who say that once a tax is removed in one area, demand for the subtraction of others would increase, said Perry.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian Automobile Association, a host of other organizations, and opposition politicians have called for the removal of the goods and services tax from fuel - gasoline in particular.

In Alberta the real increases, price gouging, we experience is in our Electrical bills while we get the joy of having less drastic increases at the gas pump. Since the failed deregulation of Electrical utilities in the province we have seen these companies like their oil company counterparts rack up enormous profits, while consumers are paying more and more.

Canadians being social democrats by and large except for those living in Calgary are open to public ownership of our resources. Unlike those neo-cons whose fetish is for the privatization of everything, we recognize the social benefit of public ownership.

Here in the home of the neo-cons the City of Medicine Hat owns its oil, gas and utilities giving it the lowest utility rates and pump rates in the country. Public Ownership works for the benefit of all even in Alberta.

As in the 1970's and 1980's once again the solution to Peak Oil and the crisis we face is public ownership under community and worker control.

This is something that should be rolling off the lips of Jack Layton and the NDP but sadly is not. Instead Jack has called for yet another commission to look into industry collusion over pricing.

While Bloc Leader Gil Duceppe warns against public ownership, a contradiction that, like the NDP he too is calling for yet another commission to investigate prices at the pump and collusion in the industry.

The Bloc leader also rejected the idea of nationalizing Canada's oil industry, saying it would be too costly and would infringe on provincial jurisdiction. "Natural resources belong to the provinces, and to (nationalize oil) you would have to go over Alberta's head and if we go over Alberta's head it opens the door to bypassing Quebec on hydroelectricity, which as clean energy is an energy of the future," Duceppe said.

There are only seven oil companies in the world so of course there is collusion.

That the so called Competition Bureau of Canada, set up by neo-con PM Brian Mulroney after his Conservative party eliminated FIRA, the Foreign Investment Review Board, never finds collusion is an example of Canada's complying with NAFTA and the FTA which Mulroney signed. Of course they will never find collusion anymore than three blind men could describe an elephant.


Big oil's bigtime looting

Of the world's seven most profitable corporations, four are ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Chevron. ExxonMobil is the world's most profitable company, making $25.3 billion last year. It and the other three corporations had combined profits last year of $72.8 billion. ExxonMobil is also the world's most valuable company, with a market value, according to Forbes magazine, of $405 billion. The combined market value of ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron is nearly $1 trillion.

And that was last year. A month ago, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips announced record second-quarter profits of $7.6 billion, $3.7 billion, and $3.1 billion, respectively. Royal Dutch Shell's quarterly profits of $5.2 billion were up by 34 percent over the same period last year. Other well-known companies like Sunoco also had record second-quarter earnings.

If ExxonMobil were to maintain its current pace of profits, it would cross the $30 billion barrier for 2005. The company's chief financial officer, Henry Hubble, bragged in classic corporatese, ''Our disciplined project management and operating practices deliver the benefits of strong industry conditions to our shareholders."

Duceppe's reluctance to embrace 'nationalization', because he fears it would apply to hydro electricty in Quebec, despite being a Quebec Nationalist, and a marxist lenninst at that, is predictable, it is also laughable as he becomes a centrist politician like the rest.

Bloc Quebecois hopes to boost its numbers in the next election, Duceppe says

The Bloc plans to resume its attacks of the government when Parliament resumes Sept. 26 by focusing on the fiscal imbalance, softwood lumber and mad cow.

The high cost of gasoline is another subject over which the party hopes to score some political points.

Duceppe has accused Martin of not having the courage to confront the refineries, which he claimed are making enormous profits.

This is why Public Ownership not State Ownership is needed.

It's an idea whose time has come again, despite the thirty years of neo-con counter-reformation in Canada.

If you wish to support this idea the Socialist Caucus of the NDP is conducting a mail/petiton campaign to get the Federal NDP to move on the idea of Public Ownership and sending the following letter to Jack and the caucus.

To NDP Federal Leader Jack Layton and the NDP Parliamentary Caucus:

I am writing to request that the New Democratic Party of Canada immediately
initiate a major campaign to win:
1. a twenty-five per cent reduction in the retail price of gasoline, then
to be capped at that price, and
2. public ownership of the oil industry in Canada, from oil well to
gasoline pump, under democratic workers' and community control.
Compensation of the current industry owners ought to be in the form of
long term, low-interest-bearing government bonds.

In its September 1, 2005 lead editorial "Gas price increase defies
explanation", the Toronto Star showed that Hurricane Katrina could account
for, at most, an 8 per cent price rise, not the 20 per cent-plus hike that
has occurred. Indeed, the Star did explain the jump as a function of
"company profits or .... price gouging".
That's putting it mildly.
But the most that some politicians in Ottawa and the Toronto Star call for
is "price regulation" and lowering of federal taxes on gas sales.
The obvious immediate and long-term answer is public ownership.
Poor and working class consumers need immediate price relief, which should
be ordered by the government. As for the long term, public ownership is
required because the world's oil supply is being depleted, and current
stocks should be carefully managed in the public interest while every
effort is made to replace oil with environmentally-friendly, alternative
energy resources and systems as rapidly as possible. Commitments to Kyoto
demand it. If consumer prices must eventually rise to fund an energy
transition, the money should go into the public purse, for use in the
public interest, not into private pockets.
Public ownership of energy resources, total transparency and
accountability, and genuine democratic management are needed now to grapple
with our share of one the world's gravest crises. Regulation of the oil
barons just won't cut it.
It's high time that Big Oil in Canada become a public asset, under
democratic public stewardship, put to work for a safe, clean and
sustainable energy and transportation future.
I look forward to your acknowledgement and response to this appeal.

In solidarity,

Send to:
laytoj@parl.gc.ca, blaikb@parl.gc.ca, daviel@parl.gc.ca, godiny@parl.gc.ca, angusc@parl.gc.ca, broadbent.e@parl.gc.ca, chrisd@parl.gc.ca, comarj@parl.gc.ca, crowdj@parl.gc.ca, cullen@parl.gc.ca, desjab@parl.gc.ca, juliap@parl.gc.ca, martipd@parl.gc.ca, martito@parl.gc.ca, masse.b@parl.gc.ca, mcdonough.a@parl.gc.ca, siksab@parl.gc.ca, stoffp@parl.gc.ca, wasylj@parl.gc.ca



NEW

Petition:

To NDP Federal Leader Jack Layton and the NDP Parliamentary Caucus:
We, the undersigned, request that the New Democratic Party of Canada
immediately initiate a major campaign to win:

1. a twenty-five per cent reduction in the wholesale and retail prices of
gasoline, home heating oil and natural gas, then to be capped at those
prices, and
2. public ownership of the oil industry in Canada, from oil well to
gasoline pump, under democratic workers' and community control.
Compensation of the current industry owners ought to be in the form of long
term, low-interest-bearing government bonds.
Name Signature Address
Phone / E-mail
1._______________________________________________________________________________


2._______________________________________________________________________________


3._______________________________________________________________________________


4._______________________________________________________________________________


5._______________________________________________________________________________


6._______________________________________________________________________________


7._______________________________________________________________________________


8._______________________________________________________________________________


9._______________________________________________________________________________


10.______________________________________________________________________________


11.______________________________________________________________________________


12.______________________________________________________________________________


13.______________________________________________________________________________


14.______________________________________________________________________________


15.______________________________________________________________________________






9 comments:

Larry Gambone said...

I agreee with you 100% and I am going to quote this excellent article in my own blog. Things are changing!

eugene plawiuk said...

Leger Oil gas nationalization poll details

1. Study Highlights


Opinions divided when it comes to nationalizing Canadian oil resources and
oil companies. N=1500


Oil Resources Oil Companies
Agree 49% 43%
Disagree 34% 41%
Don't know 17% 15%


Following hikes in the price of gas, the government of Canada should lower
gas tax and set the price of gas at the pump.

intervene low tax set maximum price
Yes 76% 78% 54%
No 20 19% 33%
Don't know 4% 3% 13%



Oil companies: mainly responsible for the recent gas price increase.


According to you, who is most responsible for price increase?


Oil companies 26%
oil producing countries 18%
the United states 14%
governments 10%
the war in Iraq 10%


2.4 Gas consumption has remained the same for the majority of Canadians
since the recent gas price increase.


According to 63% of people surveyed, their gas consumption has remained the
same since the recent gas price increase; while for 25% of respondents said
it has diminished and for 9% of them gas consumption has increased since the
sudden rise in prices.


Also, 27% of Canadians who have a car say that their consumption has
diminished since the recent gas price increase compared to 11% of Canadians
who do not have cars.


Among people who claim that their gas price consumption has remained the
same since the recent gas price increase, there are stronger proportions of
men (67%), people with a household income of $80,000 or above (70%),
professionals (69%) and university graduates (69%).



2.3 According to 26% of Canadians, oil companies are mainly responsible for
the recent gas price increase.


One Canadian out of four (26%) says that oil companies are mainly
responsible for the recent gas price increase. Moreover, 18% of people
surveyed think that it is oil producers and 14% say it is the United States
who is mainly responsible for increased gas prices. Moreover 10% of
Canadians claim that it is a combination of all these factors responsible
for this gas price increase.


There are more francophones (33%), Quebeckers (34%) and people whose
household income is between $40,000 and $59,999 (32%) who believe that oil
companies are mainly responsible for the recent gas price increase.



2.2 Following hikes in the price of gas, the government of Canada should
lower tax on gas and set the price of gas at the pump.


In fact, 76% of people surveyed are of the opinion that Canada should
intervene following recent hikes in the price of gas as opposed to 20% who
claim othenwise, i.e., that Canada should not intervene. Moreover, 78% of
Canadians are in favour of lowering taxes on gas compared to 19% of
Canadians who disagree.


Women (81%), francophones (86%), Quebeckers (83%), people with a household
income between $20,000 and $39,999 (86%), homemakers (90%) and people with a
high school level education (81%) are significantly more likely to be in
favour of the government intervening following recent gas price hikes.


Finally, as far as lowering taxes on gas, Canadians who are the most in
favour are women (83%), people with a household income between $20,000 and
$39 999 (85%) the unemployed (90%) as well as people with an elementary
(91%), high school (83%) or college (83%) level education.



Don't know 4% 3%


More than half of Canadians (54%) agree to say that the government should
set a ceiling for the price of gas at the pump. Quebeckers (74%),
francophones (75%) as well as people with a high school level education
(63%) are proportionately more likely to be in favour of a maximum gas
price.


Moreover, a third of the people surveyed (33%) do not agree with this
measure it is mainly men (37%), anglophones (37%), Ontarians (38%), people
with a household income of more than $80,000 (45%), professionals (39%) as
well as people with a university education (46%) who are proportionately
more likely to disagree with a ceiling on the price of gas at the pump.



2. Results


2.1 Opinions divided when it comes to nationalizing Canadian oil resources
and companies.


Nearly one Canadian out of two (49%) agrees with nationalizing Canada's oil
resources, 34% disagree and 17% of respondents did not answer.


Quebeckers (67%), people 25 to 34 years of age (59%), francophones (66%),
students (72%) as well as people with a college level education (55%) are
proportionately more likely to agree with nationalizing Canada's oil
resources.


However, men (41%), anglophones (39%), Albentans (49%), people with a
household income above $80,000 (45%), professionals (40%), retirees (39%)
and university graduates (47%) are significantly more likely to disagree
with nationalizing Canadian oil resources.



Opinions are somewhat divided when it comes to nationalizing oil companies.
In fact, 43% of Canadians agree and 41% disagree with nationalizing Canadian
oil companies.


Quebeckers (61%), people 10 to 24 years of age (62%) and 25 to 34 years of
age (51%), francophones (61%) and people with a high school (49%) or college
(49%) level education are proportionately more likely to agree with
nationalizing Canadian oil companies.


Moreover, men (50%), people 45 to 54 years of age (50%) and 65 years of age
or older (48%)/ anglophones (47%), Albentans (59%), people with a household
income above $80,000 (55%), professionals (50%), retirees (46%) and
university graduates (58%) are significantly more likely to disagree with
nationalizing Canadian oil companies.


Gas Consumption has remained the same for the majority of Canadians since
the sudden rise of gas prices.

eugene plawiuk said...

To the editor of the Toronto Star


Re: Ottawa fears petro-rage (Toronto Star, September 14)


Paul Martin and the federal Liberals are trying hard to assuage popular
outrage over the gasoline and home heating fuel price surge, which the
Toronto Star editorial of September 1 pointedly described as a result of
"company profits or .... price gouging".
Yet it seems the most that politicians in Ottawa are willing to call for
is "price regulation" and the lowering of federal taxes on gas sales.
A more effective immediate and long-term answer is public ownership of the
oil industry. According to this month's Leger Marketing poll, that is the
course favoured by Canadians.
It would be long-term effective, as well as immediately so, because the
world's oil supply is being rapidly depleted, and that must be addressed
sooner rather than later. The energy resource must be carefully drawn,
processed and utilized, in the public interest. Profits should go into the
replacement of fossil fuels by environmentally friendly, alternative energy
sources and systems as rapidly as possible. Commitments to Kyoto demand it.
Still, the price of gasoline and home heating fuels are artificially
inflated now and should be rolled back. But if consumer prices must rise
in future to fund those commitments and energy alternatives, the money
should go into the public purse, for use in the public interest -- not into
private pockets.
Only public ownership of our energy resources, total transparency and
accountability, and genuine democratic management by energy sector workers
and communities can advance the public interest. Nothing less will satisfy
the pressing need to grapple responsibly with our share of one the world's
gravest crises.
Mere regulation of the oil barons just won't cut it.


Sincerely yours,


Barry Weisleder

eugene plawiuk said...

See my blog article for more on this:
Jack reigns in Caucus on Public Ownership of Oil and Gas

Hi Jack and all NDP MPs,
I sent a version of the message below to all of you on September 8. No
one has replied so far. Would you mind acknowledging this letter and
giving a substantial response? -- Barry Weisleder

To NDP Federal Leader Jack Layton and the NDP Parliamentary Caucus:

I am writing to request that the New Democratic Party of Canada immediately
initiate a major campaign to win:
1. a twenty-five per cent reduction in the retail and wholesale prices of
gasoline and home heating fuels, then to be capped at those prices, and
2. public ownership of the oil industry in Canada, from oil well to
gasoline pump, under democratic workers' and community control.
Compensation of the current industry owners ought to be in the form of
long term, low-interest-bearing government bonds.


In its September 1, 2005 lead editorial "Gas price increase defies
explanation", the Toronto Star showed that Hurricane Katrina could account
for, at most, an 8 per cent price rise, not the 20 per cent-plus hike that
has occurred. Indeed, the Star did explain the jump as a function of
"company profits or .... price gouging".
That's putting it mildly.
But the most that some politicians in Ottawa and the Toronto Star call for
is "price regulation" and lowering of federal taxes on gas sales.
The obvious immediate and long-term answer is public ownership.
Poor and working class consumers need immediate price relief, which should
be ordered by the government. As for the long term, public ownership is
required because the world's oil supply is being depleted, and current
stocks should be carefully managed in the public interest while every
effort is made to replace oil with environmentally-friendly, alternative
energy resources and systems as rapidly as possible. Commitments to Kyoto
demand it. If consumer prices must eventually rise to fund an energy
transition, the money should go into the public purse, for use in the
public interest, not into private pockets.
Public ownership of energy resources, total transparency and
accountability, and genuine democratic management are needed now to grapple
with our share of one the world's gravest crises. Regulation of the oil
barons just won't cut it.
It's high time that Big Oil in Canada become a public asset, under
democratic public stewardship, put to work for a safe, clean and
sustainable energy and transportation future.
I look forward to your acknowledgement and response to this appeal.


In solidarity,


Barry Weisleder,
Federal Coordinating Committee member, NDP Socialist Caucus,
and NDP member in Trinity-Spadina

pointswest said...

Nationalize the oil and natural gas industries in B.C. and Alberta?

Really?

Do you Mr. Pawliuk and your confederates plan on 'expropriating' all of the corporations (owned by shareholders, domestic and foreign) or do you plan on paying market-priced-value for all of these corporations?

We're into the Trillions of Dollars here should you and your confederates plan on purchasing in order to nationalize the industries in B.C. and Alberta.

Or, is the plan to simply enact legislation in Ottawa by the Liberal-NDP coalition government to expropriate all of the industry's corporation's shareholder's interests in B.C. and Alberta's energy resources?

Well, good luck to you Mr. Pawliuk and your comrades in arms.

In British Columbia you would be met with instant separation from what is now known as Canada.

Your musings would be humorous if they were not so outrageous!

eugene plawiuk said...

Dear PointyheadWest

What shareholders are you talking about, they are insignifigant in comparison to the fact that a small elite own the corporations in fact.
Elites you know they guys you hate.
Not liberal elites, no sir, real elites, power elites, a small clique of capitalists who stole land, resources etc. by exploitation, confiscation, guns and blood.
Yep nice guys eh.
Of course we would expropriate them, not an unusual idea, even good old Social Credit approved of expropriation in both Alberta and BC.
And my name is spelled Plawiuk
I know you were in a rush to type so I forgive you, and by the way please turn off the lights when you leave B.C. though I don't know where you might move too.

Ablokeimet said...

Comrade Plawiuk has contradictory arguments. On the one hand, he recognises Peak Oil as a reality, while on the other, he calls for a 25% cut in the price of petrol. It's time to realise that oil is a precious resource that's being wasted in enabling inefficient transport structures for the whole society and extravagant lifestyles for the rich & fatuous. Petrol is cheap - and would still be cheap at twice the price.

This doesn't mean that many people, mostly workers, won't suffer from the coming higher prices of oil. They will suffer. The solution is not, however, to subsidise unsustainable lifestyles & economic structures. Rather, the solution is to use the windfall profits from the high oil prices to finance the transition to a sustainable energy base.

This would entail, amongst other things:

(a) Massive investment in public transport infrastructure and temporary subsidies for operations, before other events make the services economically self-sustaining;

(b) A complete change in town planning, to encourage the consolidation of towns & cities into smaller areas. This will be expensive, since leaving it to the market will merely enable existing owners of inner urban real estate to clean up at the expense of people who need to move further in because they can't afford to drive so far;

(c) Massive development of sustainable energy infrastructure. This will be more difficult in Canada than in many other places at lower latitudes, but a considerable amount can still be achieved; and

(d) A restructuring of the economy to reduce greatly the amount of transport that is required.


Something that will both encourage this & partially finance it is a restructuring of the taxation system to make it penalise the use of precious non-renewable energy resources. The impact on workers could be alleviated by using the money raised to reduce workers' living costs in other aspects.

Nothing substantial, however, could be achieved by leaving the non-renewable energy resources in the hands of private capital. And, as Pointswest notes, the amounts required to buy the blighters out of their fabulously profitable investments would be astronomical. There's nothing to do, then, but confiscate them - and let them scream.

It should be music to our ears. Somebody has to pay for the expensive transition to a sustainable energy economy - and there's no better candidate than the investors who would otherwise reap windfall gains from the unearned legacy of oil created in the Carboniferous Era. If we leave it to the market, the workers will pay - and through the nose.

Dan Tappin said...

I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this one.

Nationalize the oil & gas industry?! Give me a break. Do you remember the NEP? If you offer a product or service and you can sell and make a profit it for $1 why would you continue to be in business if the government forced you to sell it for $0.50 and kept the difference?

You guys... communism does not work - get over it.

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