County can impose business licence on energy firms: study

County can impose business licence on energy firms: study by John Gleeson, May 29, 2012, Mountain View Gazette
The verdict is in: Mountain View County can impose a business licence on energy companies to recoup costs for road repairs. That was the conclusion reached by two University of Calgary Faculty of Law graduates who undertook a study of the question for county administration. “Nothing we discovered cast any doubt upon this, nor did anyone we speak to dispute this,” wrote Scott Mcleod and Omar Chehade, graduate students who specialize in energy law. The students were approached to research the question after council asked administration to explore any ways available to charge oil and gas companies for the damage caused to county roads by heavy vehicle traffic. Presenting their findings to council’s policies and priorities committee last week, economic officer Doug Erdman said the county could go even further than implementing a fee for service. “In addition to that we can levy a tax … for wear and tear to the roads,” Erdman said. “If our goal is to have them leave the roads in the same condition they found them, we have to look at depreciation.” The fee schedule could be based on the number of trucks being used on a particular exploration job, he said. Asked whether the county should expect pushback from industry if it moved to impose the licensing system, Erdman said: “Yes, we can expect a certain amount of pushback and we should be prepared for it.”

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