Media releases | October 25, 2007

EDMONTON—“Today’s announced royalty shell game has created the illusion that Alberta’s revenues will increase and that we are going to get more from our scarce resources, but when you look under all the shells you can see that the government’s new royalty regime will actually mean less for Albertans” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, PIA’s Executive Director.“Under the new royalty regime, Albertans will go from receiving total royalties of $9.5 billion today to $8.6 billion in 2010. At a time when oil prices are going through the roof and production is increasing, let no one think that we are going to get 20% more out of oil and gas companies – that is the great illusion.”The government will actually be decreasing royalty rates on much of our conventional oil and gas production and has rejected the proposal from the Hunter royalty report for a bitumen tax that would apply to all oil sands production evenly.“The fact that there will be no bitumen tax means that all Albertans will still be paying for the cost overruns associated with an overheated economy as companies are able to further delay when they will be required to pay the higher post-payout rates.”Albertans will also lose out on the development of value-added jobs, as there will be no requirements for companies to upgrade bitumen in Alberta. Rather than follow in the footsteps of former Premier Peter Lougheed, Premier Stelmach has failed to put the long-term development of Alberta’s economy first.“Once this agreement is held up to the light of day, Albertans will not be fooled by the shell game and will come to see the long-term negative implications for the public interest on this issue,” concludes Moore-Kilgannon.- 30 -