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NDP appointee compares oil sands to "Mordor," calls industry "toxic"

Following the establishment of the Oil Sands Advisory Group (OSAG) by the NDP government, there are serious concerns about why Ms. Tzeporah Berman has been appointed as co-chair of the panel, given the fact she is an active anti-pipeline activist and equated Alberta’s oil sands to feeling “a bit like Mordor,” the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Ms. Tzeporah Berman has released several tweets advocating against Alberta’s industry, including celebrating the defeat of pipeline projects.

Following the creation of OSAG, there continues to be great uncertainty surrounding the modernized royalty framework that is resulting in a loss of investment capital. Now, to make matters worse, an influential co-chair of the OSAG panel is openly at war with the energy industry.

“Appointing a co-chair to the OSAG who is vocally opposed and has made a career off of opposing our oil sands industry is deeply disappointing,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Particularly in this time of economic uncertainty, we need to find a balanced approach of being both environmental stewards and ensuring the success of the energy industry while securing the economic wellbeing of our province.”

Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister Leela Aheer said that while a wide ranging group providing oversight on the OSAG is in the best interests of our energy industry, it’s wrong to have an out-of-province activist co-chairing who is against the development of our resources.

“What Albertans have long known is that environmental protection and growth of energy industry can go hand in hand,” Aheer said. “To see that this NDP government have appointed an individual from Ontario who openly opposes Keystone XL, Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan and Energy East is deeply disappointing. Hardworking Albertans and their families deserve better.”