Natural Gas Going for Free While Schools Face Budget Cuts

22 OCTOBER 2012

As Education Minister Jody Carr hints at reneging on this year's school budgets, Green Party Leader David Coon has learned that New Brunswick earned absolutely nothing from the conventional natural gas Corridor Resources pumped out of New Brunswick in the second quarter of this year. (http://www.corridor.ca/investors/documents/Q22012FinancialReport.pdf).

"We haven't got a spending problem in our schools, we have a revenue problem from our natural resources" said David Coon, Leader of the New Brunswick Green Party. "It is irresponsible to be giving them away. These are non-renewable resources," said Coon.

The provincial government permits oil and gas companies to deduct some of their costs of doing business from the 10% royalty they are assessed on their total sales. As a result, Corridor resources was not required to pay any royalties on the its reported $2.7 million in sales for the second quarter of this year. For the first six months of 2012, Corridor Resources paid $8,000 in royalties, and effective royalty rate of one tenth of 1%.

"Premier Alward has got to end the practice of allowing oil and gas companies to deduct their field operating costs from the royalties they are supposed to pay," said Coon. "This is loony tunes. We're cutting back our school budgets, and then giving away our natural resources.   New Brunswickers must receive a fair share of the income from the exploitation of our natural resources," said Coon.

The Green Party wants the Legislative Assembly to establish a Select Committee to hold public hearings into New Brunswick's royalty regimes for all its natural resources. Earlier this year, the Atlantica Centre for Energy reported that New Brunswick earns 43% less on potash royalties than Saskatchewan.

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