Thursday, August 18, 2011

SFL challenges influence of big oil

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
August 18, 2011

Energy Corporation donors to Sask Party
We've got to make sure that our regulatory structure is as conducive to non-conventional assets like shale gas and shale oil as it might be to more conventional assets. That will be our focus.
-- Brad Wall, speech to the Calgary Petroleum Club

Members of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour are extremely concerned to learn that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has been intimately involved in setting the energy policy agenda, hand-in-hand with the Conservative Government of Alberta, for our neighbouring province. As the Alberta Opposition parties and the Alberta Federation of Labour have rightly pointed out, under the terms of the New West Partnership, it seems that the CAPP could effectively be setting the energy policy agenda for Saskatchewan.

“We are extremely troubled by the news that we received this afternoon,” said Larry Hubich, president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour. “Not only are we concerned that the Government of Alberta seems to be consulting exclusively with petroleum corporations in formulating policy on shale gas, but also that CAPP’s involvement could impact us here in Saskatchewan. We are concerned that the CAPP is effectively setting the energy policy agenda for Saskatchewan!”

Earlier this afternoon, it was revealed that corporate petroleum lobbyists appear to have been given special undocumented lobby privileges with the Government of Alberta, and that the two sides have been working behind closed doors on a new messaging strategy supporting the use of shale gas. According to the terms of the New West Partnership Agreement (TILMA rebranded), economic regulatory policy becomes binding upon all three parties (B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan) if any two adopt a policy. If corporate petroleum lobby groups were to court the Government of B.C. next, for example, policies regarding shale gas would automatically affect Saskatchewan.

“The fact that closed-door back room dealings between the Government of Alberta and lobbyists from the petroleum giants could effectively alter the energy policy of our province is extremely troubling. It is our hope that the government of Saskatchewan will publically denounce this shadowy lobbying process and insist that the debate over the value of shale gas be conducted transparently, accountably, and in public.”

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