Notley says energy industry must clean up its act

Cited the poor quality of air as a direct threat to Albertans’ health.

September 23, 2015

EDMONTON — The energy industry will be critical to Alberta’s economy for many years to come, but it must “clean up its environmental act,” the province’s premier told business leaders Tuesday night.

In her keynote address to the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, Premier Rachel Notley acknowledged the fiscal challenges facing the province while sounding a note of optimism about its future.

She said her NDP government will work to promote a healthy business climate, noting she will be travelling to New York next week to sell the province as a good bet for investors.

“Supporting oil sands projects, establishing new opportunities in our energy economy and pioneering advanced technologies, all of this requires investment on a significant scale,” she said, promising to boost exports by seeking out new relationships and enhancing old ones.

But while signalling the need to diversify the economy, she said there’s little doubt its centrepiece will continue to be the oil and gas industry.

“Albertans feel strongly, as do many business leaders across the province, including the energy industry, that it is long past due for Alberta to clean up its environmental act,” said Notley. “The poor quality of air in this province, as an example, is a direct threat to the health of our children and our seniors, and we need to do something about that.

“If we don’t get our act together on this issue, a solution is going to be imposed upon us, sooner or later, by others – by the federal government, and by the markets who will increasingly insist that energy products that they buy be mined and processed responsibly.”

Speaking to reporters after the event, Notley admitted she had not expected Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton to take the stance she did Tuesday against the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Alberta oil to Gulf Coast refineries in the US

Clinton told a town-hall meeting in Iowa that she opposes the project because it’s not in the best interest of “what we need to do to combat climate change.”

Notley said Clinton’s stance “doesn’t have a significant impact” for her government.

“Their politics are their politics,” Notley said. “I continue to be very focused on trying to find a way to get a pipeline to tidewater, because I understand that’s important for our energy market.”

Notley had previously said she wouldn’t advocate for either the Keystone XL pipeline or Enbridge’s contentious Northern Gateway proposal across British Columbia, but has given qualified support to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion to the Vancouver area and TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline to New Brunswick.

“Our concern about Keystone is what that particular pipeline … meant for our capacity and the economic viability of more upgrading in Alberta. I was never really convinced that the people in Washington were spending a lot of time listening to what Alberta had to say. It was a question of whether we were using our resources wisely.”

© 2015 The Canadian Press

1 Comment » for Notley says energy industry must clean up its act
  1. Colleen Haison says:

    OK so Notley has decided to be ashamed of Alberta’s Oil program. She sounds like she has never lived in this province. Most of the rhetoric given about the Oil Sands are from people down east or out of country who think they have been given proper information. So their error is easier to forgive BUT Notley, wow, spreading misinformation on purpose – definition propaganda. Now check out the ALBERTA GOVERNMENT WEBSITE where you can find lots of information regarding Alberta and the OIL business.

    start with this progress report

    Key points:
    -Over the next five years, Alberta is expected
    to invest $6.1 billion in green technology.
    -The plan demonstrates leadership
    by creating effective policy responses to ensure effective
    planning and management of the province’s valuable oil
    sands resource.
    -Together with Alberta’s Provincial Energy Strategy,
    Responsible Actions prioritizes clean energy production,
    wise energy use, and sustained economic prosperity.
    -In year three of Responsible Actions, more than 50 projects
    and initiatives are well underway and will help ensure we
    are developing our resources in a responsible and
    sustainable way.
    -Short, medium, and long-term outcomes have been set to
    help guide the government’s efforts to balance environmental,
    social and economic impacts of oil sands development.

    still need more check this out, same website:
    Key points:
    -The oil sands region is Alberta’s most heavily monitored region for air quality.
    Air quality in the oil sands region is managed through a strong regulatory approval process, a variety of air quality management frameworks, several air monitoring stations and the use of best available technology. Industry is held accountable through ambient air quality objectives.
    -The Government of Alberta regularly audits monitoring
    stations and data throughout the region for accuracy (does she even know this?)
    -Annual average concentrations of sulphur dioxide and
    carbon monoxide are decreasing in Fort McMurray.
    Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are increasing,
    while ozone shows no clear trend. This indicates that
    while Fort McMurray is growing, air quality is not being
    substantially affected.
    -The Air Quality Health Index is available for five
    communities in the oil sands region, and it indicates
    ‘low risk’ air quality more than 95 per cent of the time.
    -Industry has invested heavily in emissions abatement
    technology to ensure that regional air quality remains
    within regulated limits.
    -The government holds industry accountable for emissions
    through regulations and approvals. Environmental Protection
    Orders may be issued in instances of noncompliance,
    which require industry to solve air quality issues.

    Had enough? no ? ok Try this out:

    Development Regulations
    The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) ensures appropriate precautions are taken to develop oil sands resources in the interests of all Albertans. This happens through regulation, reviewing applications, managing conditions and approvals, surveillance, and enforcement.
    AER oil sands requirements, which industry must abide by, exist to maintain public safety during mining and extraction, in situ injection and production, and upgrading.

    Environmental Legislation
    Industry reporting is just one tool to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. The second layer is that government completes its own monitoring to verify industry’s numbers and to conduct trend analyses. Third, we also work with a number of partners, such as the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (with more than 100 water quality stations in the region), the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (air is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year), and others to develop comprehensive data.

    Just something else you may want to think about. Would you invest in a project that needs a lot of work, or would you rather invest in a project that is top of the line, like we have in Alberta. Stop slandering this province or industry, stop speaking for me, I am an Albertan an I am not ashamed, and I know we have the best environmental plan there is. Could we work on it, sure, but to outright lie about it, come on, we are not stupid, we can look things up for ourselves. You will not get investors this way.

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