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Responsible Energy Development: Protecting our environment and ensuring prosperity

CALGARY, AB (July 8, 2014): A Wildrose government will work with industry to eliminate all industrial tailings ponds, implement independent water quality testing downstream from industrial projects, ensure Alberta’s standards for CO2 emissions and pollutants meet national and international standards and grow Alberta’s energy sector through pioneering the creation of a National Energy Corridor, the Wildrose Official Opposition announced today.

The commitments are just part of Moving Alberta Forward: Responsible Energy Development – the fourth of nine policy initiatives Wildrose will unveil this summer and fall.  It was announced this morning in Calgary. 

“In a province defined by our beautiful landscapes and entrepreneurial spirit, now is the time to propel Alberta forward in this century as global leaders in responsible resource development,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “With the eyes of the world watching, Alberta deserves this type of bold and ambitious leadership to secure our long-term economic prosperity.”

The work to eliminate all industrial tailings ponds will be done collaboratively with industry and includes accelerating development of the technology necessary and the recovery of land used in an environmentally responsible fashion.  Through independent water quality testing, Albertans can be assured whether or not water quality downstream from an industrial project is being affected.

With pioneering the creation of a National Energy Corridor, Smith said the Wildrose will work vigorously with the federal government, other provinces and First Nations.

“This could be the project that defines Canada for the coming century and it’s necessary that Alberta be a leading voice,” Smith said.

Under the Wildrose policy, overall greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants will be reduced in part through tightening regulations regarding air quality, the development of a natural gas and propane strategy and by improving the regulatory and business environment for hydroelectric and renewable energy.

“Given the importance of our environment and our hydrocarbon industry, it’s important we work now to reduce our emissions to ensure we meet our international obligations while expanding markets for our energy products,” Wildrose Energy Critic Jason Hale said.  “These are practical strategies that will stimulate economic growth for all Albertans to enjoy, while protecting the quality of our air, water and land.”

To read the entire policy document, click here.

Other highlights of Responsible Energy Development include:

 

          Promote industry investment in environmental research, development, equipment and upgrades through industry specific tax incentives

 

 

          Reduce electricity demand by developing market based mechanisms that encourage conservation and efficiency, and allow businesses, co-ops and individual Albertans to sell locally-generated electricity from co-gen, wind, solar, biomass and other alternatives back to the grid

 

 

          Ensure all oil and gas development conducted on privately owned land is done in an environmentally responsible fashion, and that such properties are returned to landowners in essentially the same condition and value as they were previous to development

 

 

          Cut red tape to streamline our energy-related regulatory regimes without compromising the safety of Albertans or the health of our environment

 

 

       Reduce price volatility for consumers and businesses who have not signed a fixed price contract for their electricity

 

 

          Ensure transmission costs are properly worked into planning and delivery, so that generators and transmitters are encouraged to minimize costs instead of ratepayers subsidizing inefficiency

 

 

       Maintain Alberta’s current royalty and tax regime for oil and gas

 

 

          Cancel the $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage initiative, and redirect a portion of this funding to initiatives that will reduce CO2 emissions & pollutants while improving the economy and lives of Albertans, such as improved mass transit