Setting the record straight on the day’s top anti-oil and gas media stories
ACTIVIST CLAIM: EcoJustice retweets misleading story that Canada gave away $23 billion over 3 years to the oil and gas industry.
THE FACTS: Even if the oil and gas industry was actually subsidized, it would subsidize itself.
Here are some talking points and sources to have a reasonable conversation about subsidies:
- Of the 23 billion in subsidy claims, 65% relates to governments purchasing pipelines because of government policy that chased interested private sector investors away. Is it a subsidy if you buy something after you coerce the owner to sell it to you?
TMX Pipeline where the Government will charge market rates is $12.6 billion
- Keystone Pipeline, where the Government along with the private pipeline company are taking legal action to recover $1.5 billion. The $6 billion dollar loan guarantee was returned before it was even used but the authors counted it as if it was a cash subsidy anyway.
- The remaining balance of 500 million in misleading claims of subsidies comes from Export Development Canada in the form of a loan. However, Export Development Canada is an organization that is financially self-sufficient and raises money just like a bank, mostly through fees and global markets, not the public.
- The oil and gas industry contributes an average of $26 billion per year in taxes which goes to important civil services like health care and even subsidies to green energy.
Statistics Canada (2020b). Table 10-10-0017-01: Canadian Government Finance Statistics for the Provincial and Territorial Governments
Statistics Canada (2020c). Table 33-10-0006-01: Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises, by Industry Type Statistics Canada (2020d). Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises, by Industry Type (x 1,000,000). Custom tabulation.
Statistics Canada (2020a). Table 10-10-0016-01: Canadian Government Finance Statistics for the Federal Government
Stories that get it right
Even though the project has seen its share of setbacks, the pipeline’s construction is moving along. Contractors are set to bore through Burnaby Mountain to route service lines between the Burnaby tank farm to the Westridge Terminal.