The Coal Policy Committee is working to review and establish a modernized coal policy for Alberta.
The Coal Policy Committee was established in March by the Minister of Energy, Sonya Savage, to address questions associated with the development of a modernized coal policy for the province.
“We contacted individuals closely involved with coal policies in Alberta, then went to a much broader engagement process,” said the Chair of the Coal Policy Committee, Ron Wallace.
“The conversations we’ve had are wide-ranging. The topics span the ecological impacts of coal mining, responsible resource development, effective regulatory regimes, water quality, fish and wildlife conservation, jobs, economic activity, and specific concerns from municipalities, towns, and cities,” he said.
The Coal Policy Committee has conducted meetings, tours, and inspections since March, and is to report to Minister Savage, on the elements that would be used by the government and provide recommendations to formulate a new Alberta coal policy.
The Coal Policy Committee is continuing to meet with individuals and groups that they hope will include expanded engagements with Indigenous interests, and they recently undertook informative tours of communities in southwest and central Alberta.
“Looking into the history of this, the government chose to reinstate the coal policy and the Eastern Slopes Policy. There was a lot of public concern raised by municipalities, communities, non-government organizations, interest groups, and the coal association, and as a result, the government of Alberta chose to reinstitute the coal policy but established a committee to examine the parameters in which a new modernized coal policy could be developed for Alberta,” Wallace said.
“The committee is providing an opportunity for engagement, not only for Albertans, municipalities, and communities affected but also those effected by the potential environmental downstream effect, including ranchers, agriculture communities, interest groups, and Indigenous people to come forward and talk to the committee about their views, not only about the development of coal policies for Alberta, but possible development for major resource applications,” he said.
The Coal Policy Committee is very gratified by the trust shown by communities, and individuals all across Alberta who come forward to the committee.
“It’s been an overwhelming success in terms of the way that Albertans have embraced the work of the committee and come forward,” Wallace said.
The Coal Policy Committee is now working to summarize and bring forward their final recommendations to the government of Alberta.
The Coal Policy Committee welcomes Albertan’s thoughts by email at, email@example.com.