Independent MLA criticizes Alberta’s plan to give royalty credits for well cleanup

An Independent legislature member is criticizing a plan from the Alberta government that would give oil companies a royalty credit for cleaning up their old wells.

Drew Barnes, who was expelled from the governing United Conservative Party caucus for comments that the government’s COVID-19 restrictions were too strict, says he’s 100 per cent against the program.

The provincial government is planning a pilot project that would give $100 million in royalty breaks to companies that fulfil their legal obligations to restore old oil and gas wells.

Barnes calls the program corporate welfare and says the onus should stay with producers to clean up their messes.

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He says the Liability Management Incentive Program, formerly called RStar, is a $100-million government boondoggle.

Barnes says he believes the program violates conservative principles and will raise concerns within the government caucus.

It has also been criticized by environmentalists, economists, landowners and analysts within Alberta Energy.

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