Selling the Family Silver: Oil and Gas Royalties, Corporate Profits, and the Disregarded Public

November 16, 2006

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute of the University of Alberta have jointly published a study by Dr. John W. Warnock on the oil and gas industry, with a special case study of the situation in Saskatchewan. Dr. Warnock recently retired from teachingpolitical economy at the University of Regina.

The broad study covers the history and geopolitics of the oil industry, rising prices and super profits, the issue of peak oil and gas, and the impact on the environment of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Special attention is given to the integration of the industry on a North American basis and the implications for future Canadian needs.

‘Royalties and taxes on the oil and gas industry in Canada are among the lowest in the world,” says Warnock. “The result is that the high level of economic rent (or excess profit) from the extraction of these non-renewable resources is going almost exclusively to the owners of the oil corporations, most of whom do not even live in Canada.”

Peak production of conventional oil and natural gas has come to the Canadian prairies, Warnock adds. We are rapidly running out of natural gas. As Natural Resources Canada points out, Saskatchewan is facing a shortage of supply and much higher prices within a few years. Our governments do not appear to have produced any plan on how we are going to heat our homes and run our businesses.


For more information contact Lynn Gidluck at (306) 924-3372.