The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is taking aim at corporate taxes, regulatory delays and climate policy in advance of the next provincial election.
The association wants central Albertans to vote for policies aimed at enhancing industry’s competitiveness, as outlined in its Alberta energy platform, entitled Oil and Natural Gas Priorities for a Prosperous Alberta.
Association president and CEO Tim McMillan said global investment in oil and gas has been increasing, but in Alberta, it’s decreasing.
“Most of that capital flight, I would argue, is from self-inflicted wounds from regulatory inefficiencies, raising corporate tax rates and just not being deliberate about our approach to creating jobs,” McMillian said before speaking to the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce at the Radisson Hotel on Thursday.
He said Alberta has seen a 20 per cent increase in corporate taxes, while the U.S., its largest competitor, has done meaningful tax reform. Alberta’s regulations are also working against the industry, he said.
“It takes four times as long to get a well permit in Alberta as it does in Texas or in Oklahoma. That’s just one of many areas where Alberta has a reputation as a place that’s difficult to do business and driving investment out.”
He said global investment in Texas is growing by 10 per cent this year, while investment in Canada has sunk to $40 billion from $82 billion in 2014.
“Alberta is just not competing. We’re seeing the capital going to jurisdictions like Nigeria, Azerbaijan and the Middle East.”
He said when it comes to climate policy, it feels sometimes like Alberta is going it alone.
“This isn’t the time to sit back and hope that the election leads to changes that enable us to have the growth and opportunity that we all expect.”
The association said global oil demand is projected to increase by 10 per cent and natural gas demand is expected to increase by 43 per cent.
“The world today is using more oil and gas than in any time in history. The growth rate of oil and gas is as fast as it’s ever grown,” McMillan said.