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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Gas producers dismayed by 'Instability' In Tories' new royalty plan CALGARY (CP) The Alberta government's plan to raise gas royalties substantially, announced Thursday, was met with dismay by spokesman for the oil and gas industry who condemned it as impractical. Charles Dunkley, president of the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada, said the industry's main objection to the plan is the lack of stability it produces. The government said the new royalties may be changed at any time, in response to developments. Mr. Dunkley said the situation is one of "extreme uncertainty" where the ground rules can be changed at the whim of the cabinet. In addition, the industry objected to a government plan to provide incentives for new drilling by setting a lower rate cf taxation on newly-discovered gas than on existing wells. "We object to the concept of new and old Mr. Dunkley said. "Lack of cash flow from old gas will inhibit development." John Poyne, president of the Canadian Petroleum Association, said the concept "penalizes established companies for their success." A newcomer to the province who found gas would have an advantage over established companies, he said. Mr. Poyen said the Canadian Petroleum Association "heartily endorses the provincial government's actions to get fair value for natural gas and a greater return for Albertans." However, the government "has not taken a very practical view of the sharing of gas revenue." Under the new plan, gas royalties a form of tax on production increase on a sliding scale as the price of gas increases. Royalties, currently averaging 16 per cent, would increase from 22 per cent for the lowest-priced gas to 65 per cent for gas prices at more than 72 cents per cubic feet. At levels over the minimum, companies would continue to pay 22 per cent on that portion of their prices below 26 cents. Mr. Poyen said the government is thinking in the short-term, not in the long-term interests of the provincial economy. He called the royalties "rather lacking clarity and practicality. He called for reopening of meaningful negotiations with the government on the regulations "I have never seen a group of oil men who were so depressed and concerned." The Lethbridge Herald VOL. LXVII 43 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1974 24 Pages 10 Cents Nixon sees economy upturn at mid-year WASHINGTON (AP) The United States will be pounded by powerfully rising prices and increasing joblessness until the economy takes a mid-year turn for the better, President Nixon's annual economic report said today. Conceding the economy is caught in the worst inflationary spiral in a generation, Nixon urged patience by consumers. "To correct a powerful trend of the economy which has been going on for some time requires he said in a message to Congress. The grim, but somewhat hedged, outlook by his three- man Council of Economic Advisers: A six-per-cent rise in con- sumer prices in 1974, compared with 8.8 per cent last year, with the economy growing by only one per cent for tfie entire vear. The jobless rate will average 5.5_per cent but-will rise close to six per cent in the first half of the year as economic outputs dips to near- recession levels. He reaffirmed his faith in a free economy and said the sys- tem of w'age-price controls he established in 1971 to corral inflation would continue to be phased out When, he didn't say. The lengthy economic report also scooped the president's budget message, scheduled to go to Congress Monday. It showed the budget for fiscal 1975 will total 1304.4 billion, with a deficit of billion. The council raised the spectre of international economic recession if the industrialized nations fail to deal with spiraling oil prices properly. Nixon said worldwide recession can be avoided with international co- operation. The budget includes an all- time high billion outlay for defence. Defence spending will be up by billion, reaching a total of billion, the report said. Quake jolts Turkish port A strong earthquake jolted Izinir, the port city in western Turkey, early today, killing at least two persons, the Anatolia news agency reported. Dozens of persons were believed to have been injured, and heavy property damage was reported Kandilli observatory in Istanbul said the quake measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and was centred about 245 miles southwest of Istanbul. No doubt about it, it9s cold You don't need sun dogs to tell .you. The sun refracting off predicting Chinook conditions, he is forecasting a high Saturday of ice crystals in the air just confirms what all of Southern Alberta- 20 may drop to 10 below, is well aware of the cold. Although -the weatherman As Canada ducks overtures for U.S. oil sands share WASHINGTON (CP) Canada and the United States have agreed to work closer to help tesolve their oil differences but they remain far apart on the merits of the 40-a-barrel Canadian oil- export tax that goes into effect today. At the same time Energy Minister Donald Macdonald shied away from fresh Ameri- can overtures to share oil from the Athabasca tar sands and indicated Canada remains cool to the idea of a major increase in oil exports to the U.S. "We're not saying no" to the possibility of some exports from the oil sands, Macdonald told reporters Thursday after five hours of talks with U.S. chief William Simon, "but there would be very serious problems in this area." As for the ex- port tax, Macdonald said the reasons for U.S. dismay will evaporate if the Feb. 11 Wash- ington conference of oil-con- suming countries and sub- sequent meetings succeed in bringing world oil prices down. Macdonald indicated that the high Canadian export price relates not only to current world prices but to the Canadian need for cash to help finance the Athabasca o: sands project and to develop oil and gas supplies from the Far North and other remote regions. The two sides also agreed to establish a series of meetings to deal with immediate and longterm trans-border energy problems. At the same time Simon as- sured Macdonald that, while the U.S. is aiming at self-suffi- ciency in energy, this won't 'No proof Dean lied9 prosecutor maintains WASHINGTON (AP) -The White House has not turned over any evidence that presi- dential accuser John Dean lied under oath, an assistant Watergate prosecutor says. "Based on the evidence we have accumulated so far we have no reason for believing that Mr. Dean has committed perjury in any assistant special prosecutor Richard Davis said Thursday. Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott has said the White House showed him evidence refuting Dean's claim that President Nixon knew of the Watergate cover-tip. Scott avoided reporters after Davis's statement. necessarily mean termination of imports from Canada. In fact, the U.S. wants continue to co-operate closely with Canada because cf their close trade and other associations. Macdonald seemed to sense in this approach another U.S. attempt to get assurance of another major slice of Canadian resources through President Nixon's long- proposed continental energy policy which Ottawa continues to resist. The first major step in closer liaison on trans-border problems will be an Ottawa meeting headed by Macdonald's deputy, Jack Austin, and Stephen Wakefield, assistant U.S. secretary of the interior. Wakefield said the meeting will discuss problems of allocating supplies, pipelines that cross borders, Canada's reserve situation, the Athabasca oil sands program and such American programs as off-shore oil leasing. Another series of meetings will involve the Canadian Energy Board and Simon's Federal Energy Office as well as the U.S. Federal Power Commission. They will deal with such immediate disagreements as energy supplies for paper mills in Maine or insufficient supplies of oil and gas on the West Coast or the Great Lakes area. The idea of these meetings is to get quick action on trans- border problems as they may develop, Macdonald said. The light at the end of the tunnel Inside Classified........20-23 Comics............18 g .Comment...........4 District............15 Family ........16, 17 g Joan Waterfield.....5 Local News.....13, 14 Markets...........19 Sports...... Theatres.... Travel..............9 Weather............3 At Home...........6 LOW TONIGHT -10; HIGH SAT., 28; CLOUDY PERIODS. 10, 11 ....5 At least 40 die in Sao Paulo blaze SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) Officials said at least 40 persons were kilted when fire swept through the upper floors of a 22-storey bank building bere today. Some of the victims jumped to their deaths. Mayor Miguel Colasuonno said, the fire spread rapidly through the upper 14 floors of toe building because it was built with Targe amounts of flammable plastic, Colasuonno, an engineer, said plastic was used in the new building's paint, windows and flooring. Because of the heat and smoke, the helicopters were unable to land on the building until nearly two hours after the fire started. When the flames stopped licking up the side of the structure, the helicopters took tarns landing on he roof and carrying away survivors. Dozens of occupants of the building waited on he few bal- conies engulfed in flames as firemen put up ladders. The ladders reached only to the llth floor, and many persons on higher balconies tried to lower themselves by sheets and ropes. Other persons jumped to the street Some bodies lay among the debris and broken glass that showered from the "I saw several bodies being picked said police Sgt AlicioZanca. "The bottoms of their feet were burned. That made them desperate." Zanca said he saw "15 per- sons, more or less." jump to their deaths. "I presume there are more dead above." Heath wins last chance to bargain LONDON (CP) Trade union leaders agreed today to meet Prime Minister Edward Heath for lltn-hour talks that may avert a national strike by coal miners. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) which represents 10 million workers, decided to accept Heath's invitation for new talks, but with no pre-commitments on his proposals. Nurses9 claim EDMONTON (CP) A lawyer said today an out-of- court settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against an Edmonton airline and pilot Marten' Hartwell, who survived for 32 days in the Arctic after his plane crashed on a mercy "flight Lawyer Philip Ketchum, who represented the estate of a 27-year-old British nurse, Judith Hill, who was killed in the accident in November, 1972, said in an interview that one of the conditions of the settlement was that the amount of money involved would not be revealed. He said all money received will go to the Judith Hill Me- morial Fund, established by the nurse's parents to assist northern nurses. Miss Hill died along her two Eskimo patients in the crash of a Gateway Aviation plane OB a wooded hill in the Northwest Territories. Mr. Hartwell, the only survivor, was found 32 days later, camped beside his plane which had crashed 180 miles off-course. The suit was filed by the estate of Miss Hill. Kissinger 'optimistic9 about oil WASHINGTON (AP? State Secretary Henry Kissinger says he is "quite optimistic" that the Arab oil embargo against the United States soon will be lifted Kissinger said he also is confident several oil- producing Arab countries will recommend such action at a Feb. 14 oil conference in Tripoli. Ending the embargo will be the principle item on the agenda at the conference. Calgary women die when New Zealand flight crashes PAGO PAGO. American Samoa