BROOKS, AB (January 24, 2014): Today, Wildrose Energy Critic Jason released the following statement in response to the proposed Lethbridge urban drilling project: “The oil and gas industry is one of the major driving forces of our economy, but all projects need to follow applicable regulations and best codes of practices to ensure that public safety and their interests are protected.
“On April 22,2013 the Legislative Assembly of Alberta considered Motion 509 which read: ‘be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the government to establish a working group to review whether adequate policies are in place for urban communities with regard to oil and gas development.’ I went on record during this debate to support this government motion to form comprehensive policies, “‘We must ensure that the regulations are in place so everybody can be safe. Safety is the number one concern. We have to come up with the right balance between industry and the population in our communities. We're going to continue to see [this issue] as the province grows, you know, that for many wells that are drilled now, in ten years the encroachment of the communities will be coming up to them. It's something that's going to have to continuously be watched and monitored to ensure that our communities are safe.’ April 22, 2013 Alberta Hansard “Despite Motion 509 being passed by the Legislature, this government has taken no reasonable step to address this issue. “Wildrose is very displeased with the lack of oversight and general disregard for the citizens and Lethbridge City Council's concerns. This PC government has failed to ensure its regulatory branches, in this case the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), are operating in an open and transparent manner for the best interest of Albertans. The AER has the ability to hold a public hearing on drilling applications, but has not done so. Wildrose believes that before any decision is rendered in this case, the AER must hold a public hearing to allow the community an opportunity to bring forward their concerns. “I will be urging newly appointed Energy Minister Diana McQueen to bring the AER back to the table with the community and City Council. If you have not already done so, please write to the Minister of Energy and your local MLA.”