Private Oil Resources

Alberta's oil sands are predicted to be the next major oil source in the world. And it's in the private sector.

Compare this with Norway's off-shore oil. Norway has been building it's national infrastructure for years with oil revenues and is one of the most prosperous places to live in the world. And they share their money too through foreign relief and development. They have much better universal health care than Canada has. They have free education right up to doctoral studies. Even the welfare program pays higher than minimum wage! (at least it did back in 1997 when I was there)

So, what is Canada going to do about it. It's going to tax it. Of course, it will tax it at a lower rate than other corporations because that way we (I mean the private investors) will be able to get the oil out faster. We aren't going to foster a healthy working atmosphere in the sector either. We're going to let many of the workers languish in drug and alcohol addiction and let their marriages fall apart. Oh, and my favorite part - we're going to sell the oil to the USA at their set price because they won't let us sell it to anyone else. If we do try, we'll get labled communists and they'll try to kill our Prime Minister (see Venezuela). Oh, wait, they might not attack us because we're predominantly white.

We should just start using other energy sources anyway. Less politics.


robtherockeet said...

You know, the more I find out about American policies, I dislike American politicians less and less. I just watched "Syriana" about greedy Texan oil lords and their shady ways of dealing with Middle Easterners to get oil.

Zaak said...

I think you mean:

you like them less and less
you dislike them more and more

me too.

Sirdar said...

Of course being one who benefits from the oil sands development I am torn to between preserving muskeg or getting oil off the ground. There is no doubt that it benefits us Albertans but lets face it, most people don't really know much about it unless you are in the industry and actually see the enormity of it. Not to say it could be better for the environment, but if you've ever stepped into the forest in the summer time you'll be lucky to have blood left when you get out :-) OK...off topic...back on topic.

Doesn't Norway, Sweden, and most of the Scandinavian countries pay some of the highest personal income tax in the world? The get great benefits but they are paid for by high taxes. Am I right on that?

Also, Norway can probably fit inside Alberta. Infrastructure is a big undertaking in Canada due to it's size. Take the Netherlands...they have a lot more infrastructure in terms of public transportation. But it fits inside Alberta 14.5 times.

I do know that Ft. Mac is a highly transient city. Yes there are social problems up there...but there are social problems most anywhere.

I don't know where you got the info that Canada was going to sell the oil to the US as a set price. Never heard about that.

Does Guatemala have lots of oil?

robtherockeet said...

Yes, the more I know the more I dislike. It scares me to think of the Conservatives winning this election. We will become an extention of the USA!

Zaak said...

Thanks for your thoughts Lorne. It's true that many of my thoughts come more from idealism than from reality. But I think I can defend some of my positions in response to yours.

My point isn't so much that we should stop pumping oil out of the ground, though, sure, let's do it more carefully and respectfully in regards to the land. There's always room for improvement and there will always be someone on the sidelines calling for it ;)

What I do feel is that rather than having private enterprise reaping the huge benefits of this natural, non-renewable resource, lets share it between all of the owners, the citizens. Of course there would be many workers, likely very well paid too! There would be heaps of subcontracting in the field, many entrepreneurs would definitely benefit from that too. But the last $5 or $40 per barrel should be shared among all Canadians. As this is rated one of the largest reserves in all the world, it could help pay for our huge infrastructure, as huge as our nation is.

In regards to the USA - why are they in Iraq? Why are they harrassing Venezuela? There is a desire to have control of the worlds oil resources - and a desire to sell the price high if they own it and low if they don't. I'd like to see a % on how much of Canada's oil industry is backed by American dollars.

Scandinavian countries do have higher taxes. They do have a smaller infrastructure. But they are excellent places to live. I'd be willing to pay higher taxes and not come out of university with a $30 000 loan, have my wife go on extended maternal leave, have superior courts, rehab programs and prisons, have superior educational facilities, put forth a stronger presence for good in the world.

There are too many hoarders of wealth in our country.

Oil is a natural resource, like water. Where do we draw the line between private and public resources? I'm inclined to push it to the benefit of the public sector.

Guatemala has a bit of oil. They are building a brand new refinery about 50 km (90 km by road) south of where I live. The oil comes from north of where I live - the Peten (where the most recent Survivor was filmed). Not sure who they will sell the oil or who has the rights for it.

Sirdar said...

Respect for the land...there is a mandate that any land that the oil sands companies mine has to go back to it's 'natural state' when they stop mining that area. I know Suncor has actually piled the old muskeg/top soil and have actually put some back. It is not perfect I'm sure but the Alberta Government made them do it in order to mine the tar sands.

It costs a few billion to actually get a plant up and running. If private enterprise didn't get it started, who would? If you owned a business and put up the money I'm quite confident you would want to have some return on your investment. If you personally wanted to give it away that would be your prerogative. With the way the companies are set up there isn't just one owner, there are many and all have a huge investment.

It would be nice if we could do some of the things that the Scandinavian countries do but with the current political and cultural system it would be considered political suicide. Of course if the federal governments would quit wasting our money one their friends and other soon to be found out scandal we might have enough to do a lot of what the Scandinavian countries do.

Have a great one!!

PS: I don't get "It scares me to think of the Conservatives winning this election. We will become an extention of the USA!" Why do you think that? Please explain. Sounds like the Martin scare tactics are working on some people.

Zaak said...

I don't disagree with much of what you have to say here, the question is: Where do we draw the line between private and public resources? Should we privatize water resources too? Should non-renewable resources be privatized? Something like forestry is understandable, replanting is possible. Wind, solar, and hydro power - great (though dams do cause a fair bit of a stir)! But mining, oil, and water? Shouldn't there be more care taken in the distribution of wealth and use of these resources?

Sirdar said...

"Shouldn't there be more care taken in the distribution of wealth and use of these resources?"

In a perfect world maybe but then who would get that wealth? In a capitalistic world the person who puts up the money and takes the risk is the one who benefits. I would like to do some alternative energy things to my place here but they aren't cheap. We don't have gas on the property so we heat by wood stove and electric baseboard backup. We don't use a dryer so we save energy that way. We put in those florescent bulbs where possible. I am sure the smoke from the fire isn't good but then 500 years ago everyone did it or froze. Maybe that is why the earth was warmer back then.