Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Alberta's plan for the $2.4B? Helping defunct oil companies circumvent the Supreme Court

Jason Kenney has been working on multiple fronts to do an end run around the Supreme Court ruling in January that companies are obligated to fund orphan well cleanup before paying back creditors.

Recently on Twitter, Matt Wolf - Kenney's main "issue manager" (propagandist) stated regarding Kenney's request from the federal government for a $2.4B "fair deal" handout:
"Job creation programs". Right.

Who does this help? Not the defunct oil companies, which will go bankrupt paying their creditors anyway. It helps.. the banks, which we discussed a bit in the last post. It sure is interesting how all of Jason Kenney's major economic actions lead back to a single beneficiary.

This comes on the heels of statements made by Kenney last month regarding this decision.

Alberta seeks to lessen financial hit of Supreme Court ruling on orphan wells
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is vowing his government will do "everything" it can to mitigate the impact he says the Supreme Court's Redwater ruling on orphan wells is having on oilpatch investment
Insolvency professionals and banks had both warned prior to the decision that such a ruling could decrease the amount of financing available to the oil and gas industry.

Speaking to members of Canada's oil well drilling sector this week, Kenney indicated the decision is having a harmful effect on the sector and that his government is working on addressing it. 
"We also will be focusing in the next few weeks on doing everything we possibly can to mitigate the unintended consequences of the Redwater decision, which has done so much to restrict access to both capital and credit, equity and credit, for this industry," Kenney said.
If the banks can't stomach responsible cleanup then I'm not exactly sure how Alberta can claim it's oil industry is "responsible". But really this isn't about future oil & gas production, this is about the already existing orphan wells the banks will now take losses to cleanup.

Canada must say no to Alberta's begging. This is an end run around our courts, it's an end run around responsibility, it's an end run around honesty. It's flat-out corporate welfare.

If Alberta's oil industry is so fucking profitable and so fucking responsible, prove it, and clean up your mess.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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