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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Canada Touted as a Green Energy Powerhouse

Interesting quote in the Calgary Herald today.  "The most pressing business challenges in the Alberta oil sands are the same ones the environmentalists have identified" according to Samir Brikho, the CEO of the international engineering firm AMEC PLC.

Looks promising to see some of the energy industry talk be about transforming Canada into a clean energy powerhouse.  That is the central premise of the book Green Oil written last year by my business partner Satya Das.  We published it through the Cambridge Strategies Inc. imprint Sextant Publishing so you can buy it at better book stores and online in hard copy or by digital download at the Cambridge Strategies Bookstore

Ironically the government of Alberta has the policy positions in place to promote this objective but is seems that there is insufficient focus and political will to design and execute an proactive plan to those ends.  Check out the report "Responsible Actions: a Plan for Alberta's Oil Sands"  This document outlines six integrated strategies to optimise economic growth, reduce the environmental footprint and increase the quality of life in Alberta.

The Strategies are:

  1. Develop Alberta's oil sands in an environmentally responsible way;
  2. Promote healthy communities and a quality of life that attracts and retains individuals, families and businesses;
  3. Maximize long-term value for all Albertans through economic growth, stability and resource optimization;
  4. Strengthen our proactive approach to aboriginal consultation with a view to reconciling interests;
  5. Maximize research and innovation to further support sustainable development and unlock the deposit potential;
  6. Increase available information, develop measurement systems and enhance accountability in the management of the oil sands.
The resent values research we did with OSRIN on what Albertans want to see guide and drive the development of their oil sands...remember Albertans own this resource...track very well with this "Responsible Actions" policy proposal.  

The Priority Actions in the plan for a focused implementation include:
  1. Revise the current environmental impact assessment process to support cumulative effects management;
  2. Increase the pace of reclamation in the oil sands areas;
  3. Continue implementing the Fort McMurray community development plan to address housing shortages and investigate opportunities for regional service delivery;
  4. Leverage bitumen royalties to develop value-added oil sands products;
  5. Develop a regional plan for the Lower Athabasca Region within the Land Use Framework
  6. Conduct a pilot project to assess the cumulative environmental impact of oil sands development on the rights and traditional land uses of aboriginal people.
Some significant progress is being made in some of these Priority Action areas notably #3 and #5.  I am not sure of the progress in the other areas. I just don't know.  Strange we don't hear more about the progress in the work in these areas and less about multi-million dollar taxpayer paid advertising campaigns that we hope will counteract the negative messages of some aggressive ENGOS.

As an owner of the oil sands and a citizen of Alberta I want more updated information on this policy and its implementation.  If it is being attended to aggressively it would go a long way to assuring me that the right things are being done.  I want to know my government, as my proxy holder, and the industry, as my tenant, is doing the right things in the right way and right now to promote integrated action in create responsible prosperity from this enormous advantage we have from the oil sands.


If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at www.rebootalberta.org