Here is a very interesting article by Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute on the reality of government and industry actions on addressing the obvious challenges in responsible development of our oil sands. As owners of the oil sands we Albertans have to start demanding more attention to the key issues of oil sands development beyond getting rich quick.
We need to ensure we realize the wealth from this resource for the development of Alberta and to respect the birthright of future generations of Albertans. This has to be done through a realistic royalty regime. We had a modest increase in royalties recommended by an independent review but the current government retreated from the recommendations 7 times so far. We now get lower revenues from royalties with $75 oil that we did at $40 oil. Go figure.
We need to ensure and be assured that the development is done with the best evidence and science based eco-conscious extraction techniques. We need to ensure that there is more benefit to Albertans coming out of the oil sands than investment and jobs, important as those are. We need to ensure the pace of growth, the commitment to reclamation is real and that land, water and air as well as wildlife habitat are monitored, and damaged mitigated, fixed and aggressively protected.
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