Head of coal-mining panel says Albertans’ trust in resource regulators to be examined, Ron Wallace says public’s low confidence in regulatory body is ‘a major thing’ by Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, May 31, 2021, CBC News
A public consultation committee on coal mining in the Rocky Mountains will consider why Albertans’ level of trust in the province’s regulatory bodies is so low, the panel’s head said Monday.
In an hour-long CBC Radio phone-in show, Ron Wallace said he’s concerned by results of a recent government survey on coal mining. Wallace pointed out that of about 25,000 respondents, 85 per cent said they were not confident that the industry was being adequately regulated.
“If people have diminished confidence that the regulators are protecting the public interest, then that’s a major thing,” he told CBC Calgary’s Alberta@Noon program. Wallace and his panel don’t even know AER has no public interest mandate? Where did Kenney pull them from? A Disney baking contest?
Wallace and his panel are consulting Albertans on how the government should develop coal resources. Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives had planned an extensive expansion of the industry, which would have opened tens of thousands of hectares of foothills and summits to open-pit mining.
Environmental concerns top economics in Alberta coal survey, results show
The panel was struck in response to vocal outcry over the plan, which was announced before any feedback or advice had been sought. Energy Minister Sonya Savage also stopped the sale of any new exploration leases, as well as exploration work on the most sensitive land — although work proceeds in other areas.
Wallace said his committee has reached out to industry and environmental groups. Municipalities concerned about the proposal have been asked for a combined response.
He said the panel is also reaching out to First Nations but will defer most of those consultations to separate talks.
Water contamination, damaged landscapes
Most of the calls he took were from people fearing contamination of water supplies and damage to one of Alberta’s best-loved landscapes.
“The entire watershed is going to be at risk from the coal mining,” said one caller from Lethbridge. “Our property, our irrigated agriculture, are all going to be worth less if this thing goes ahead.”
Another caller gave qualified support to coal development.
“These resources are extremely important,” he said. “In a province where the majority of public opinion is in favour of oilsands mining, to say we don’t like coal … mining is somewhat hypocritical.” Where the hell did Mr. Wallace pull that “fact” from? The ass of a chicken? Please email me the evidence to support that most of public opinion is in favour of tarsands rape & pillage (my email address is on the contact page). Most Canadians I know, including many Albertans, are vehemently opposed to Alberta’s polluting tarsands operations, mining and SAGD.
Alberta announces committee to consult public on future coal mining policy
In response to one caller who said coal mines “aren’t worth the risk,” Wallace said Albertans have to be able to trust those charged with protecting the land and water. I am so sick of bullies! Trust is earned. I do not have to trust anyone, unless they have proven to me that they are trustworthy! I know from decades of experience that AER is not to be trusted. AER has no credibilty, no trustworthiness, no integrity, no frac’ing balls to hold law-violating companies like Encana/Ovintiv to account, abuses harmed Albertans, and lies, non-stop. Where does Mr. Wallace live? Paris? He said it was “very troubling” that trust seems to be in short supply.
“We are going to look very, very closely at understanding how that dynamic has happened.”
Wallace said regulatory confidence is fundamental to the public and to industry.
“The public has got to have assurance that its regulators are in fact working on behalf of the broader public interest. Mr. Wallace, you need to read REDA! AER has no public interest mandate. Of course AER screws Alberta landowners and the public interest to serve the mega rich, and industry. If that’s diminished in any way, then you’re going to have problems giving regulatory certainty to any investors that are coming in to the province.”
‘Great deal of scrutiny’
Coal mining is regulated by the Alberta Energy Regulator, which also governs the province’s oil and gas sector. Industry must abide by both provincial and federal environmental law. Pfffffffft! FFS! Spend a day in a frac zone, and watch the endless law violations by companies harming air, land, water, public health, Alberta families, farms, communities.
Wallace acknowledged his own group faces suspicion.
“Anyone that’s associated with government agencies is under a great deal of scrutiny,” he said.You patronize Albertans, you lie, you pimp the lying abusive law-violating corrupt AER – of course we suspect you and yours!
He pointed out that, within days of receiving the government survey results, it was his panel that recommended Savage pause exploration activity while consultation occurred.
Wallace promised that all submissions made to the panel will be made public. The panel is accepting all comments through its website.
It is expected to report in November.
A few of the comments:
By all appearances, the role of the AER (and EUB, ERCB, etc) has always been to help industry roll over public concern and opposition. (Have these bodies EVER met a proposal they weren’t anxious to approve?) It’s no wonder there is little trust in the energy regulators.
Trust in AER to be examined? Pretty clear that there is none, the deck is stacked with pro industry and UCP cronies…what honest and unbiased decisions are coming out of that group? None…
How about all the orphaned wells that need cleaning up, where were regulators preventing those? Yet, Wallace can’t figure out why we don’t trust regulators. No, to any coal development and while we’re at it stop subsidies to the tar sands and any new development or expansion. Just my opinion, of course.
Dave Mack Reply to @Sue Larcheveque:
Wallace knows why we don’t trust government. He doesn’t care. He’s going to check a few boxes and then present a conclusion that everyone in Alberta supports mining
Trust is earned, and if ever a government is not to be trusted with the public interest, this is it. 200-300 BILLION $ orphan and closed wells, plus the oil sands ponds are now leaking into ground water which is migrating into the river systems. Plus zero deposits in the kitty to clean up these ponds. . For decades they have allowed pollution producing industry a free ride and this past year waived the cleanup cost deposits as the poor oil companies could not afford it, as if we the taxpayers can.. Selenium, two minor rivers in the NW have been over the limit for decades, not even reported, let alone dealt with. Business and UCP donors come first, the heck with the public. Trust us, not on your life. Also trust applies to health care, education, supporting our smaller rural communities and dealing with a pandemic. Trust Us, nonsense. UCP has failed in every aspect of the public interest and the common good. There are no royalties for coal, so like so many other decisions, the UCP is driven by ideology which means development, no matter the cost. We’d be better off and further ahead financially by paying the miners not to mine but pay them for 23 years and actually get something cleaned. A thousand year legacy of dirty coal is what they stand for. Trust., not for one minute
You just have to research the appointment of the CEO who Kenney brought in from Saskatchewan after he was embroiled in a major scandal there, to see what the prime purpose of AER is. They are not here for Albertans interests.
From the article “We are going to look very very closely at how that dynamic has happened “
Sure you are ….
George lawrence Reply to @John Edwards:
I’m sure that they’ll be checking behind the couch for enviro-radicals. **too funny!**
So many examples in Alberta where the people paid to enforce rules are compromised.
When the regulators and inspectors get paid by the companies they are supposed to monitor how can there be any trust?
Also fire inspectors in Calgary who allow for no fire lanes because builders have paid politicians to allow that rule to be unenforceable.
Why building codes are so lax in Calgary that builders build homes so shoddy that one weather event causes a billion or more in damages.
mia stalling Reply to @Gary Tee:
greed rules in Alberta
Trust those knowingly gutting the planet …
the industry is regulating itself, like all other resource gluttons: leave that coal in the ground.
After decades of the AER selling out Albertans with the orphan well shell game con game as another way to subsidize O&G, why is he surprised?
The AER , is that the Real Estate Salesperson from Sask? ** Roaring laughter!**
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