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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oil Sands Survey Comments Reveals Concerns.

As of last Friday we had 556 comments on the Oil Sands Survey. They cover a wide range of opinions, just as you would expect around a serious economic, environmental and societal concerns like the development of the Alberta oil sands.

I thought I would give you a sense of what people are saying through a smattering of the comments. The survey went live October 22 so the comments changed a bit over time. We can’t tie the comments to participants. They are anonymous and not traceable by us or anyone else. Here is some of what Albertans had to say when they took the survey.

“I have never lived in a more money hungry province. All "oil sand" workers are in it for the money and to get ahead. Eventually, you will not be able to compete with our dying world and be FORCED to stop drilling. If people conserve more, drive less and stop drilling, maybe our children's children will be able to enjoy our dying world!”

“I wish 'ED' would back off on the royalties’ issue. He's only causing bigger problems. Thanks for your time.”

“I wish we could find a way that the development would not hurt the environment and that there would be more funding and help available for disabled people and seniors in Alberta.”

“I'm tired of the businesses and government ALWAYS getting the royalties and then hiking prices of gas, electricity, natural gas, food, clothing, housing...all the necessities. They know we can't live without the necessities so they keep increasing them and tell us to deal with it. Meanwhile they are lining their pockets and keep getting raises!! Where's ours???????”

“Royalties need to be increased; more environmental thoughts need to be brought into play and good old fashioned common sense.”

Some people loved the survey technique and others distrusted it:

“This was an extremely unfair survey. Totally biased towards oil and gas. I didn't want to choose either one or the other, but had to. To me, this will be a totally unfairly represented survey. The results are not conclusive. Ridiculous.

“As in real life, you have given us several ugly choices in the options you offered. What will it take to make environment, long-term planet benefits, and community capacity the primary factors in business, rather than exploitative, market-driven decisions?”

“That was a good survey. It made one think.”

“A very interesting and thought provoking survey.”

The Survey is a challenge because the technique requires hard choices and trade offs to be made. Never an easy task! It is being done independently by Cambridge Strategies Inc. and will be used to try and inform government policy and industry practices around responsible and sustainable oil sands development. It is available on www.policychannel.com until December 7. Take a bit of time and do the survey yourself.