Note 11 from a study by John Calvert and Marjorie Griffin Cohen of Simon Fraser University, Climate Change and the Canadian Energy Sector:
In this regard it is interesting to compare the approach of Alberta with Norway. While the timing of their respective production rates varies, both jurisdictions have produced about the same volume of oil over the past four decades.
According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, as of December, 2010 Norway has over US$512 billion in its ‘rainy day’ pension fund for future generations — a fund built up principally from its oil and gas revenues. (Editor: By June 2014, Norway’s public fund was valued at US$893 billion, which is $1 trillion Canadian. In early 2018, it reached C$1.3 trillion.)
In comparison, Alberta’s Heritage Savings Trust Fund, which was started in 1976, had accumulated assets of $14.8 billion as of September 30, 2010.” (By June 2014, Alberta’s public fund was valued at CAN$17.5 billion.)
In British Columbia, nothing has been set aside from the extraction of natural resources worth hundreds of billions of dollars. All the province has is Christy Clark’s now empty promise of a $100 billion “Prosperity Fund” from natural gas extraction.
What Norway did with its oil and we didn’t, Esther Hsieh, Globe and Mail, May 2013
When oil was discovered in the Norwegian continental shelf in 1969, Norway was very aware of the finite nature of petroleum, and didn’t waste any time legislating policies to manage the new-found resource in a way that would give Norwegians long-term wealth, benefit their entire society and make them competitive beyond just a commodities exporter.
‘Norway got the basics right quite early on,’ says John Calvert, a political science professor at Simon Fraser University. ‘They understood what this was about and they put in place public policy that they have benefited so much from.’
This is in contrast to Canada’s free-market approach, he contends, where our government is discouraged from long-term public planning, in favour of allowing the market to determine the pace and scope of development.
‘I would argue quite strongly that the Norwegians have done a much better job of managing their [petroleum] resource,’ Prof. Calvert says.
…While there’s no question that Norway has done well from its oil and gas, unlike many resource-based nations, Norway has invested its petro dollars in such a way as to create and sustain other industries where it is also globally competitive…