Mr Stelmach indicated yesterday that he had a nice “free-flowing” chat with Nancy Pelosi and Senator Markey on our oilsands problems. No doubt he avoided discussing the uncomfortable science around heavy metals leaching into the Athabasca River, the hundreds of reported and unreported spills, inadequate water monitoring and deficient health studies on the downstream First Nations.
I doubt also that he discussed the wasteful and damaging PR war between Alberta and other countries, which can only be avoided by strong leadership – setting high standards, monitoring those standards independent of industry (not depending on industry reports) and enforcing standards with a consistent and significant consequence for failing to meet the standard. More media spin will not improve our international reputation – or the local reputation…
Mr Stelmach’s response is embarrassing… embarrassing not only to our major industry and our international consumers but more profoundly to Albertans who care about our future.
Negligence and denial are a serious threat to our future.
Alberta has an unmatched energy industry known around the world for its commitment to efficiency, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They should also be recognized for the very real commitment they have to the environment. I would work with the industry to ensure the highest standards in oilsands and tailings waste management, cap emissions in the next 5 years, invest substantially more in clean energy and energy efficient technology. Given the abilities of Alberta and Albertans we could be producing the cleanest oil in the world within 10 years.
I want Albertans to be proud again of our province in both oil and gas development and new technology that honors our commitment to our children.