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NDP need to clarify what new Ottawa 'national standards' on Alberta mean

Following a meeting between Alberta’s Environment Minister and her federal counterpart on Wednesday, questions are being raised about who exactly is controlling the direction of Alberta’s energy sector, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Federal Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters that Ottawa will, “have a national target and each province and territory is going to contribute its part.”

The NDP government are preparing to present a climate change strategy with significant input from Ottawa for the COP 21 conference, but has to date kept Albertans in the dark about what it will entail, only threatening a carbon tax and the rapid phase out of coal-fired power plants.

“Without question an aggressive carbon tax and an impending national standard enforced by Ottawa will hit Alberta’s energy sector the hardest,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Most Albertans remember what happened the last time Ottawa was able to unilaterally implement policy affecting Alberta’s most important industry, except this time the NDP are in charge in Alberta and are more than happy to go along.”

At least 40,000 Albertans have lost their jobs in the energy sector this year, and many more jobs that support the sector have also been lost. In a time of economic uncertainty, any additional burdens placed on the industry, like a drastic climate change strategy, will have severe consequences for job prospects in Alberta.

“Alberta has one of the best environmental regimes among oil producing jurisdictions in the world. But they cannot continue to implement policies that hurt the economy when our province is already suffering,” Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister Leela Aheer said. “Wildrose knows there must be a balance. But we need someone who can stand up and fight for our province’s best interests, not against them.”

Wildrose will continue to focus on and suggest ways to get Alberta back to economic stability while standing against the NDP government’s ideological experiments.