Tories crafting policy for urban oil well drilling

Tories crafting policy for urban oil well drilling by James Wood, June 25, 2012, Calgary Herald
The government wants to address areas such as setbacks, transportation of product and “what kind of development is appropriate within proximity to human residences,” he said. … The government wants the policy in place within the year. How the rules will be developed hasn’t yet been determined but there will be consultations with stakeholders, said Hughes. The government’s plans are being closely watched by the energy industry and opposition parties. Dave Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said Monday the issue of how local communities intersect with the energy industry does need to be dealt with, but it raises thorny questions around reconciling public and private interests. “We need to look at the nature of the activity, look at the risks associated with it and decide . . . how far do we wish to go to mitigate this risk? Obviously, you can absolutely mitigate it if you don’t allow the activity to occur. Sometimes it’s going to be appropriate, sometimes it’s not,” he told the Herald editorial board Monday. “If mineral leases have been granted and then you preclude activity, then you have to deal with, we believe, the government’s got to deal with compensation issues.” Hughes wouldn’t comment on the issue of potential compensation of energy companies. … Ned Beattie, Kaiser’s general manager, said protesters from the Rocky Ridge and Royal Oak neighbourhoods are misrepresenting the project and the concerns are unwarranted. “This is a sweet oil well that is in a class of well that has never caused any kind of harm to the general public,” he said in an interview. “It’s no different than any other sweet oil well in this province and there are thousands of them in this province, many of them much closer to homes and businesses than this one.” … But he said the current system already has a good balance between the interests of energy rights-holders and communities.

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