Our environmental and economic fortunes are inextricably linked, and we must ensure government and industry understand this to the fullest extent. The Wildrose environmental policy is founded on three platforms – clean air, clean water and clean land.
Every Albertan has a stake in the quality of our air and it is imperative that economic growth not infringe on the right of every Albertan to breathe clean air. Greenhouse gases are just one of many pollutants. We need to broaden our emissions strategy and stop focusing on unproven technologies like carbon capture and storage and expensive schemes like cap and trade.
Water is the lifeblood of our two most important industries – energy and agriculture. Without a reliable supply of water, economic growth is simply impossible. The water issue in Alberta breaks down on regional lines. In the south, the issue is water use. In the north, the issue is water quality. We would tackle both.
We must accept the reality that every new oilsands project is going to have environmental impacts. The key is making sure each project begins in timely fashion with a clear strategy of how to return the land to its natural state as quickly as possible.
- Implement a natural gas strategy achieve real emission reduction results, while at the same time supporting local industry and saving Albertans money.
- Promote investment in research, development, equipment and upgrades through tax incentives made available to all businesses.
- Repeal Bill 50 to ensure that new and costly transmission capacity it approves is subjected to an objective and impartial needs assessment.
- Implement a strategy that would substantially accelerate the elimination and reclamation of new and existing tailings ponds sites.
- Strictly enforce existing regulations on effluent-producing industries.
- Revisit the use of dams and reservoirs to improve fresh water storage.
- Promote conservation by eliminating burdensome regulations that discourage new technologies.
- Establish a one-window policy for fast regulatory approvals.
- Set up an Environmental Ombudsman to foster open communication between the public and the government on emerging issues.
- Ensure private landowners are respected and private land used for development is returned in the same condition and value as it was prior to development.