November 22, 2018 1:07 pm
Updated: November 22, 2018 8:20 pm

Rachel Notley unveils carbon tax break for oil and gas drilling companies

WATCH ABOVE: Many in Alberta believe the federal government isn't taking the oil patch's struggles seriously. As Tom Vernon reports, that message was delivered to the prime minister when he stopped in Calgary.

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is handing out tax breaks for oil and gas drillers along with criticism of Ottawa’s lack of appreciation for how damaging are current price discounts on western Canadian oil.

In a speech at a Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors event in Calgary, she announced her government would add oil and gas drilling to a list of trade-exposed industries exempt from the province’s carbon tax.

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The exemption, made retroactive to when the tax was introduced at the start of 2017, is expected to provide $750,000 to $1.5 million per year in relief for the drilling industry.

Notley later criticized Wednesday’s federal fiscal report for underplaying Western Canada’s oil price crisis, blamed on insufficient pipeline capacity to take away a glut of crude trapped in Alberta.

READ MORE: Federal government not ‘speaking the same economic language of Albertans’: Finance minister

She told reporters that if Canada’s manufacturing sector was suffering as much, it would have been mentioned in the first paragraph of the update speech.

Watch below: The president of Alberta Chambers of Commerce runs down the economic winners and losers of the federal economic update. Ken Kobly calls for an “adult conversation” about an Alberta sales tax.

The CAODC, meanwhile, says it expects little improvement in drilling activity next year, calling in its 2019 forecast for an increase of 51 wells to about 7,000. That’s down from about 13,000 wells in 2014 before global oil prices crashed.

“Other industries in the same situation would be holding their hands out for a government bailout. Yet instead our industry has only asked for government permission and support to get our products to market,” said association president Mark Scholz.

“The lack of action and attention by the federal government to this pressing issue is deafening.”

READ MORE: Alberta unveils ‘real-time lost-revenue counter’ amid pipeline delays

Watch below – Nov. 21: Alberta’s government and energy sector was watching closely as the federal government’s finance minister delivered a fiscal update in Ottawa. But as Tom Vernon reports, he barely mentioned the growing oil price differential hurting Alberta’s economy. 

 

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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