This morning, the New York Times published an excellent article on Medicine Hat’s relationship with natural gas. Thanks to the City of Medicine Hat owning its own energy assets, Mayor Ted Clugston quipped “we could separate from the world and we’d be totally self-sufficient. We’d be a very wealthy little country.”
Medicine Hat is one of the last cities in North America to own its own energy resources, including 4,000 oil wells. This asset allows the City to keep taxes low and establish a dividend-paying fund similar to Norway’s famous sovereign wealth fund.
The early decision for Medicine Hat to own its own resources appears prescient today, with the New York Times stating
Remarkably, the city turned down a bid by a private company to buy the gas franchise and instead decided to develop it as a public utility. The city raised money to install gas lines that ran through buildings and from home to home. Street lamps burned around the clock because the gas was so plentiful it was less expensive than turning them off and relighting them daily, a reality that earned Medicine Hat a mention in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”
Combine a forward-thinking, business-friendly City Hall with the energy assets of Medicine Hat make the city a great investment destination.