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March 29, 2017

Change is needed as another energy major packs up

Major policy changes are needed following news ConocoPhillips Co. has joined Royal Dutch Shell in selling off the majority of its oil sands assets, Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister Drew Barnes said today.

ConocoPhillips Co. sold $17.7 billion in assets across western Canada today, including more than $13 billion in the oil sands. This marks the second time a major company has divested from Alberta since the NDP brought in a slew of new climate polices.

Barnes said he’s troubled by the fact ConocoPhillips Co.’s stock jumped 6 per cent after it announced the plan to leave Alberta, while Cenovus’ stock fell 8 per cent.

“Investors have no faith in the NDP government’s ability to create an environment for companies to succeed. They’re celebrating this move that relieves their exposure to the NDP’s ideology,” Barnes said. “It has become crystal clear that under the NDP, Alberta is no longer a desirable jurisdiction for major energy companies to do business.”  

Barnes called for a major policy shift to court back business that is no longer interested in Alberta and reassure business that has stayed thus far.

“The $5 billion carbon tax that was never campaigned on and emissions cap should be scrapped immediately. We also need a public sector wage freeze and clear plan to find spending efficiencies across government and return Alberta’s per capita spending to fiscally responsible levels,” Barnes said. “Investors are looking for a steady, strong hand on the wheel, not reckless experiments. We need to start winning back their favour before any more major companies decide to pack up and leave.