Friday, September 01, 2006

Ralphs Big D'Oh

Boom caught Alberta off guard, Klein says

As Alberta Premier Ralph Klein left the provincial legislature for the last time yesterday, the retiring politician admitted for the first time that his government wasn't ready to deal with the downside of the province's economic boom.

"The boom came on us very, very quickly," the 63-year-old Alberta Progressive Conservative Party Leader said of the province's record-setting growth that has deepened Alberta's housing and labour shortage and has put incredible pressure on its infrastructure and environment.

"We were prepared for sustainable growth, but not the kind of growth that occurred."

He also acknowledged that the opposition was right when it accused his government of "not having a plan" to handle the growth that was brought on by soaring oil and gas prices. But he vowed one would be unveiled this fall to assist the communities such as Fort McMurray and Calgary that are suffering the most.

Sure and his governments plan is.......more of the same....

Outgoing Alberta leader wants industry to set pace

Oil sands developers, not the Alberta government, must decide when multibillion-dollar projects should go ahead amid a squeezed labor force that has led to huge cost overruns and delays, the Canadian province's outgoing leader said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Edmonton after his final legislative session, Premier Ralph Klein said it would be a mistake for his successor to assume Alberta's booming economic growth is not a problem.

Cause thats all they can afford.....

They have not had a plan since Klein took office in 1995....when they gave away the Goose that laid the Golden Egg......

Taking the short view

Alberta's premier Ralph Klein says he doesn't give a "tinker's damn" about whether his province is getting a fair share of its energy wealth. "We do get our pound of flesh," said Klein while answering questions, in mid-July, about royalty reviews.

Tinkers, you'll recall, mended pots and swore like sailors. So a tinker's damn doesn't amount to a hill of beans. But that's exactly what Albertans are earning these days from their natural resource wealth. In June, Canadian Association of Petroleum Products figures revealed Alberta's share of the energy pie reached a high of 40% during Peter Lougheed's era. But over the past five years under Tinker Klein, the province's return dropped to 15% from 22%. That's below the government target of 25%.

Alberta's 1% royalty giveaway in the oilsands partly explains this folly. The government approved the royalty in 1995. Since then, oilsands revenue fell by 30%, while production grew by 133%, according to Amy Taylor, an economist at the Pembina Institute. (The royalty eventually increases to 25%, but that doesn't kick in until project developers have recovered all costs plus a return on investment.) Result? Between 2001 and 2004, Alberta made more from VLT proceeds than it did from the oilsands, according to Alberta Gaming and Revenue and the Alberta Ministry of Energy.

But more stringent regulation of the industry that is fueling the boom is not the answer, Klein said. He declined to say if royalty incentives for oil sands projects should be removed with oil prices at $70 a barrel and higher.

Oh wait here is their plan another focus group....just like the ones they have had on public healthcare......the ones that told them what to do but they ignored.......

Looking for feedback

EDMONTON — Representatives of the Alberta government will tour the province starting next month to get public input on oilsands development.

The panellists, from government, industry and aboriginal groups, will hear submissions in seven open forums over a three-week period ending Oct. 4.

They will then submit a report with recommendations to the government.

The oilsands are the engine propelling Alberta’s swiftly moving economy.

But they have led to questions about environmental impact, infrastructure and whether taxpayers are getting value for money on royalties.

Premier Ralph Klein has said there will be no brakes put on oilsands development.

Also See:

When will the bubble burst?

Ralph Klein


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