Why so many applications by Albertans to chase money, but nothing done about oil and gas industry contaminating water across the province?
Alberta landowners file hundreds of new complaints against resource companies for unpaid rents by Reid Southwick, September 1, 2016, Calgary Herald
Alberta’s oil and gas sector continued to show signs of weakness in August when landowners with wells on their properties filed hundreds of new complaints that resource companies had not paid them rents.
The Alberta Surface Rights Board, the group charged with recovering lapsed oil and gas payments, said the 320 applications seeking compensation in the past month nearly matched what it would typically receive in an entire year.
A sustained spike in unpaid rents in 2016 threatens to deepen the burden on taxpayers who will be on the hook for the outstanding bill. [Set up intentionally this way by the Queen and Canada’s oil-soaked politicians (federal and provincial)?]
Already, taxpayers are under pressure from the oil price rout as rural municipalities face millions in unpaid property taxes from resource companies. Counties say these lapsed taxes have added new constraints on their ability to provide services at a time that any tax increases to cover the shortfall would hurt families already hit by the recession.
“It’s companies in very difficult times making very difficult decisions,” said Brad Herald, a vice-president at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. “It’s not an issue of them sitting on the money and not releasing it.
[Reality Check for CAPP:
End Reality Check for CAPP]
“I would say in most instances, they are really struggling to keep their lights on, and they’re falling behind on their obligations.”
Problems faced by landowners appear to be worsening. [All part of the plan!? Squeeze and shame landowners so that when the next unconventional oil and gas boom begins, frac’ers can rape everything that’s left, smirkingly knowing poisoned and ripped off Albertans will say nothing, do nothing but whine for their lost money and perhaps ask God to intervene] Rising numbers of farmers and ranchers are no longer receiving annual cheques from resource companies compensating them for operating wells on their land.
“It’s pretty much a disaster,” [Really? Why nothing said about the disasters that strikes when companies illegally frac and dangerously contaminate community drinking water supplies?] said Patricia Walker, president of My Landman Group, a company that helps landowners deal with industry. She had 40 new applications from landowners seeking compensation for lapsed rents which she planned to mail later Thursday.
“There’s just more and more of this going on.”
So far this year, the Surface Rights Board has received 1,500 applications from landowners seeking payment, nearly double the record 760 requests it handled in all of 2015.
Officials with the board believe they are on track to receive upwards of 2,500 applications totalling $5 million or more in overdue payments by the end of the year. The bleak outlook far outstrips previous forecasts and records.
Once it approves applications, the board sends the bill over to the province to pay it, but the government often struggles to recoup the costs from industry.
In 2015 alone, the Alberta government paid landowners $1.7 million in overdue rents, but it recovered just $121,500 in all of the past seven years. [“Best in the World” “Best in Class” Alberta model. The model AER preaches and cons other jurisdictions to embrace]
A spike in unpaid rents from resource companies comes as rural municipalities are scrambling to recoup millions in unpaid taxes from the industry.
The provincial government has struck a working group with the Alberta Energy Regulator and an association that represents rural municipalities to find some ways to deal with lapsed tax bills, which is another worsening problem. [Why not do something real and effective, rather than work with the dirty fraudulent AER that enables all the problems in the first place? Why is the government not working with the courts to find legal ways to punt the bad companies out and take over all remaining assets to use to pay to clean up after the greedy sods pack their cowardly unethical lying bags and hustle over to pastures that haven’t been raped to Alberta Hell yet?]
“Our members have shared with us that it was already escalating last year,” said Al Kemmere, president of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties. “We fully expect it will not to be resolved this year, and probably has even grown more as companies have found themselves in tougher times.” [But not a damn given about the many families in Alberta with no safe drinking and bathing water contaminated and or run dry by oil and gas companies?]
The association is still collecting data on how much back taxes are owed to its 69 member municipalities, but the first 10 to respond to the survey said they are out $500,000. The tally is only expected to grow.
Vulcan County and the Municipal District of Foothills told Postmedia that oil and gas companies owe them more than $1 million each in unpaid taxes from 2015. [If citizens refused to pay their taxes because of counties and municipalities failing in their duties to protect groundwater from the oil and gas industry, the citizens would be quickly kicked out of their homes and farms, all assets seized/auctioned off to pay the back taxes. Easy solution. Why are the counties and municipalities doing nothing to hold the bad companies to account, but wring their hands and whine, a lot? Because they know the complicit Alberta government and banks will never let the counties and municipalities take any responsible action?]
A critical concern at the centre of talks between counties and the province is that municipal governments are required to collect $2.4 billion in property taxes for Alberta’s education services. They are on the hook to cover that bill even if taxpayers, such as resource companies, don’t pay theirs.
At the same time, the Alberta government is facing a record $10.9-billion deficit, with mounting pressures to cut costs, not introduce new ones.
Still, one of the proposals floated by municipalities is to excuse them from paying educational property taxes that they could not collect from bankrupt resource operators.
“When you can’t collect on taxes, it is a burden because then it falls on all the other ratepayers,” said Mark DeBoer, director of corporate services at Vulcan County. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2016 08 16: More and more energy companies not making payments to Saskatchewan, Alberta landowners. Why would they? Landowners, urgent with greed, signed leases they didn’t read, with few legal protections. Multi-billion dollar profit-taker CNRL asks for 30% property tax cut. Do landowners ripped off by oil companies get tax cuts? Do citizens and communities with their water, land and air poisoned by frac companies get tax cuts?
2016 07 20: “God We’re Dumb!!” Enbridge to pay $177 million for 2010 USA pipeline spills. What does Encana pay for illegally frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers in 2004? Nothing. Does the government, AER & Alberta Environment stop Encana from fracing fresh water zones after contaminating the community’s drinking water supply? No.
2016 06 20: All part of the decades-long plan to hang big oil’s housekeepping on ordinary families while companies run for the hills? Oil bust [Or greed & corruption?] leaves states with massive well cleanup
2016 02 12: Set-up extraordinaire to burden Canadians with cleaning up billion-dollar profit-taking oilfield’s dirty underwear? Alberta landowners fight for enforcement by “No Duty of Care,” legally immune (even for Charter violations, gross negligence, acts in bad faith) regulator. Law violations ignored by AER, as usual
2015 03 01: Coming soon to an Alberta rural home near you: Double property taxes? Triple? Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) not happy with being able to freely destroy roads and other tax payer funded infrastructure, massive deregulation, regulators looking the other way while abusing harmed citizens, now asking municipalities for more
2014 01 25: Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FMC) wants ‘polluter pay’ system [What do they get? Rip-offs extraordinaire and whining begging from billion dollar profit-taking foreign multinationals]