January 15th, 2021

Attracting diversity requires being competitive

By Letter to the Editor on February 22, 2020.

I read with interest Owen Holmes’s letter in The Herald on Feb. 15, “Do we still wannabe like Texas?” He indicates that Texas is getting away from gas and oil as a major growth industry and has become very diversified.

Some of the information seems to point in that direction but when I read information like this, I always ask the “why” question. Is it because the oil and gas businesses are slowing down, less demand, like so many experts continually say about our gas and oil industry in Alberta? I believe the prevailing information on the demand for oil and gas will continue to grow for the next 20 to 30 years.

So, the first question is, how is the gas and oil business doing in Texas and how much revenue does the state of Texas receive? The answer: The >Texas oil >and natural >gas industry >paid more than $14 billion in >state >and local taxes and >state >royalties in fiscal year 2018, up 27 per cent from fiscal year 2017, and the second-highest total in >Texas >history, according to a >Texas Oil and Gas >Association news release Feb. 17, 2019. Doesn’t seem like a dying industry to me.

Second question: what is Texas doing to attract all this diversity? Answer: maybe it has to do with their approach to corporate tax and income tax. Most businesses in the state are >taxed >at the rate of one per cent. Some small businesses will have a >tax >rate lower than one per cent. >The NDP and their supporters cry about Alberta cutting the corporate taxes in Alberta by one per cent each year for four years, taking us from 12 per cent down to eight per cent. If you want to attract diversity, then you need to be competitive, and even at eight per cent we are not even in the game. In the U.S. there are six states with zero per cent corporate taxes, 30 states below eight per cent and the highest being 12 per cent.

Total >revenue >to the >Alberta government >from >oil and gas >development including royalties, rentals and fees, and mineral rights sales was $5 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year, accounting for almost 11 per cent of the total >Government >of >Alberta revenue.

We are at risk right now on three major projects, a $75-billion investment in infrastructure and tens of billions in tax revenue. We have the resource; we can take advantage of that revenue to diversify or rely on your taxes and government debt to make that happen.

Barrie Orich


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then let us ask: diversity, at what cost? we have already had enough go-rounds with oil and gas cos being exempted from paying even an nth of their fair share; moreover, they have by and large left us with a poisoned mess and on the hook for roughly a quarter TRILLION in clean up costs.
furthermore, why is it the people doing the real work are the ones always paying more in taxes, while the big corp entity pays less? it is curious why so many that work hard seem to feel corps should be exempt from the reality that is taxation. what is it that brings on the self hate, or the loathing for others that deserve a decent living in return for service. is it not time we say no to being held hostage by the big corp? is it not time we demand a fair share for all contributing? take away personal debt and we might already have a society of more than half mired in poverty. what happens when the credit limits can no longer be readjusted?
once again, let me suggest govts need to retain majority owner in all resources. this income would benefit the public good, helping to cover the costs of our collective needs, reducing taxation, freeing up income that would feed back into the economy, and make for a better place to invest for any company with a even a bit of a public conscience.


well put biff. red necks do have some problems with thought processes doing economic analysis., like who is going to pay for it.


As usual the naysayers show up with insults or rants. I find the writer factual and thought provoking. Something lacking from the six gun six commenters on here .

Tris Pargeter

Factual and thought-provoking eh? Everyone who ACTUALLY believes the science on climate change knows perfectly well that we don’t HAVE twenty or thirty years of continued “growth.”
Maybe if the oil industry that is so criminally devoid of the “public conscience” biff mentions, maybe if they hadn’t so successfully tapped into all the denialism at the ready among that predictable segment of the population, that being the conservatives of course, the problem is ALWAYS the conservatives….those people who just can’t wrap their heads around change, despite it being a constant in our lives. They are the naysayers.


Now that Teck has withdrawn from the northern Alberta oil sands project…..Soooo, who is Kenney going to blame now?….Trudeau? AB NDP? Foreign Funded Environmentalists?…..or could it be the global economy of oil….hmmm


h20 – all of the above…and that will justify handing away more public money to his rich buddies.
btw – anyone see scheer in the news today, and of late? whether one is blind con, or just anti-justin, it is ever the more apparent we dodged a bullet of a dweeb for pm.