July 18th, 2018

City should get out of the oil and gas business

By Letter to the Editor on December 23, 2017.

With New Year’s approaching, I would like to suggest that city council make the resolution to form an exit strategy for the oil and gas and utilities divisions.

A civic government is not intended to risk taxpayers’ funds on business investments. The petroleum industry is changing rapidly and there are many experienced players exiting the field. The city is not diverse enough or experienced enough to enter confidently into the upcoming changes. This is demonstrated by the mention of how helium could be our next big resource and the great opportunities this could offer. Apparently, no one has informed the mayor of the very large discovery in Tanzania 18 months ago. If city council wishes to invest in these markets then they should take their personal funds and do so but to continue risking public money is foolish. I feel that the city needs to divest the city of these assets and then place the funds in a more balanced investment where they could count on the dividends every year.

I have heard the argument — how can you sell an asset that is losing money and we were drilling wells when no one else was. This demonstrates exactly why the city needs to exit this industry. The city should be investing on infrastructure that will attract new business to the city, not based on oil and gas.

Alan Rose

Medicine Hat

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