The majority of British Columbians who participated in the oil and gas royalty review public engagement are in favour of a revamped royalty system that puts the interests of British Columbians first and eliminates outdated, inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies, according to results published in a followup What We Heard report.
“The message is clear: What may have worked 30 years ago does not work today and a new approach is essential for our future,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate, helping to shape the way we move forward.”
The review of B.C.’s oil and gas royalty system is a mandate commitment for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. As part of the review, the Province commissioned an independent assessment of the current royalty system. A subsequent discussion paper was released in November 2021, which began the public engagement process that concluded in December.
The Province gathered feedback from 938 respondents through the EngageBC website, 4,632 emails and 98 written submissions.
The survey asked questions about respondents’ understanding of the oil and natural gas industry in B.C., and specific questions regarding the Independent Assessment and Discussion Paper (e.g., level of agreement with the conclusions of the independent assessment, opinions on overarching goals for the Royalty Review Project, alternative royalty structures, and transitioning to a new royalty framework).
The majority of participants, at 77%, agreed with the conclusions of the government-commissioned independent assessment that the natural gas royalty framework is outdated and needs comprehensive reform with environmental protection being the most important overarching goal. More than half of respondents also felt transitioning to a new royalty structure should be a priority.
The outcome of the royalty review is expected this spring.
The Royalty Review Engagement What We Heard report can be found here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/121/2022/01/Royalty-Review-WWH-Report-Jan2022.pdf
For more information about the Province’s Royalty Review, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/royaltyreview
A backgrounder follows.