A new report released by the Pembina Institute and Equiterre focuses on economic debate surrounding the oil sands, updating In the Shadow of the Boom, published by Pembina in May 2012.The new report,Booms, Busts, and Bitumen examines several economic risks associated with natural resource booms, including the decline of the manufacturing sector, known as Dutch disease, and GDP instability caused by Alberta’s overreliance on the oil sands. The report questions the benefits accrued outside of Alberta, stating that only 14% of the employment opportunities created by oil sands development will be outside Alberta, and citing a CERI analysis that indicates the U.S. may stand to gain more than the rest of Canada. It also points to increasing worldwide pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the uncertainty of future oil sands markets. Finally, the report calls for better government management to ensure long-term gain from the one-time exploitation of non-renewable resources, for example through capital investment that focuses on reducing fossil fuel dependency in Canada, elimination of preferential tax treatment for the fossil fuel industry, and a mandate for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to study the current restructuring of the Canadian economy, and the associated regional disparities, with an aim to identify a course of action to diversify economic growth and aid competitiveness across the whole country.
Booms, Busts, And Bitumen: The Economic Implications of Canadian Oilsands Developmentis available in French and English versions from: http://www.pembina.org/pub/2494