Strengthen our energy industry through environmental leadership
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Meagan Parisian
It's not a choice between a healthy environment and a healthy economy
Alberta is blessed with a beautiful natural environment and abundant natural resources. We take pride in our land, air and water, and we are equally proud of our dynamic and innovative energy industry. Some people will tell you that we have to make a choice between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.
The Alberta Party believes that's a false choice.
Under the PCs, Alberta has earned a reputation as an environmental laggard
Under the PCs, Alberta has earned a reputation as an environmental laggard, notwithstanding the efforts of the energy industry to develop and implement cleaner technologies and techniques. That reputation has resulted in tremendous opposition to the Keystone Pipeline in the United States and the Northern Gateway Pipeline in British Columbia.
The PCs have forgotten that we can’t force consumers to buy our energy, and their record speaks for itself. The greatest threat to our energy industry is not taking climate change and pollution control seriously. Only by having a reputation as a leader in environmental stewardship can we ensure market access for our resources.
The continued viability of Alberta’s oilsands depends upon the province taking bold measures to demonstrate we are committed to strong environmental practices.
The Alberta Party will strengthen our energy industry through environmental leadership.
The Alberta Party would implement meaningful measures to protect Alberta’s environment for generations to come, while rebuilding trust in the province’s energy industry.
1. Accelerate the phase-out of coal power to reduce Alberta’s carbon footprint.
Alberta is Canada’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due in large part to our dependence on coal for electricity. Coal-fired electricity plants produce almost 40% of our CO2 emissions, nearly as much as the oilsands.
Alberta has an abundance of cleaner-burning natural gas and wind. We must aggressively shift the basis of electricity production to gas and renewable energy.
2. Implement a $30 price per tonne of carbon for large emitters who don’t reduce their emissions by 30%.
Under current PC policy, Alberta will not meet our 2020 emissions reductions targets. The Alberta Party would implement a $30 price per tonne of carbon for large emitters who fail to reduce their emissions by 30%. This would increase the incentive to reduce emissions, while generating more funds for green technologies and carbon offsets.
3. Implement a clean energy standard that requires 25% of electricity generated in Alberta to come from renewable sources within ten years.
Clean energy standards are a proven market-driven solution that will diversify our energy portfolio with renewables and have been implemented around the globe, including 36 American states. Policies that add renewables to the grid can act as a low-cost form of emissions reduction and can even lower the price of electricity.
4. Implement accurate and transparent environmental monitoring and effective enforcement mechanisms.
The Alberta Party would strengthen the Alberta Energy Regulator by providing the organization with greater capacity and resources to create a truly world-class monitoring system and rebuild trust in our energy industry. A more robust energy regulator would not only serve the environment but will better serve the industry.
5. Improve regulatory response times to create certainty for resource companies that meet all regulatory criteria.
The Alberta Party would take steps to improve regulatory response times to create certainty for resource companies that meet all regulatory criteria.
6. Investigate the potential of geothermal energy in Alberta.
Geothermal facilities can use wells drilled by oil and gas companies to produce relatively low cost electricity. While geothermal energy is being produced in Alaska and throughout the United States and Mexico, we have not done enough to exploit this rich renewable resource in Canada. The Alberta Party will commission a thorough geothermal survey of the province to give entrepreneurs improved data on the resource and take measures to update Alberta’s convoluted permitting process. With the right leadership and our abundance of drilling expertise, we can kickstart the industry.
The Alberta Party has as better way.