After a rigorous two days of exploring heavy oil sites in Fort McMurray late last week with our Alberta Liberal Energy Critic, Dave Taylor, it’s clear to me that advances have been made by some in the heavy oil industry to reduce their water and energy use through innovative processes. I witnessed tremendous progress in the reduction of tailings ponds at the Suncor site, towards the goal of producing dry tailings. The industry representatives we met with at ConocoPhillips’ SAGD site demonstrated that they are making real efforts towards reducing their carbon emissions through corporate investment, due to changing government standards and global pressure.
This is good news, but both industry members and the Liberal party know that we can still do better in terms of reducing our industrial footprint. As signs of an economic resurgence are showing, it’s time to reassert our commitment to work with industry to learn from the past and foster innovation for the future. A responsible government will work constructively with the Alberta energy industry to ensure return on investment and good stewardship of the environment.
My time in Fort McMurray was also a reminder to me that industry accounts for 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, while consumption makes up the rest. Investment in infrastructure, like public transit, is crucial if we are to make strides towards slowing down our use of this non-renewable resource. We all share in the responsibility of reducing greenhouse gases.
To read what the press said about my visit, click HERE