Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips release Alberta's climate change plan.

Pigs fly as oil industry and environmental groups endorse NDP’s ambitious Made-in-Alberta Climate Change Plan

Pigs continued to fly in Alberta politics today as energy industry leaders and environmental groups joined Premier Rachel Notley and Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips at a press conference to release Alberta’s much anticipated plan to take action against Climate Change. The Alberta government received the final report from the independent panel led by University of Alberta economics professor Andrew Leach and announced its plans to phase out coal burning electricity plants, phase in a price on carbon, introduce a limit on overall emissions from the oil sands and introduce an energy efficiency strategy.

Ms. Notley will now take the report and the made-in-Alberta plan to address climate change to a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other premiers tomorrow and to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris next week.

Here is what energy industry executives, environmental leaders and opposition politicians had to say about today’s climate change announcement:

Responding to climate change is about doing what’s right for future generations of Albertans – protecting our jobs, health and the environment. It will help us access new markets for our energy products, and diversify our economy with renewable energy and energy efficiency technology. Alberta is showing leadership on one of the world’s biggest problems, and doing our part.” – Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta (full release)

I thank the panel members and the many Albertans, including Indigenous people, industry, environmental groups, municipalities and other partners and stakeholders for their contribution. This is the right plan for our province, and now is the right time to implement it.” – Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks (full release)

The announcement is a significant step forward for Alberta. We appreciate the strong leadership demonstrated by Premier Notley and her government. The framework announced will allow ongoing innovation and technology investment in the oil and natural gas sector. In this way, we will do our part to address climate change while protecting jobs and industry competitiveness in Alberta.” – Murray Edwards, Chair, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (full release)

Today we are making history, with Alberta taking its rightful place as a leader on the world stage. Premier Notley promised Albertans leadership on the issue of climate change and she and her government have delivered. This is the right thing to do for both for our environment and our economy. The world needs more of this kind of leadership from major energy producing jurisdictions if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.” – Ed Whittingham, Executive Director, Pembina Institute (full release)

We fully support the Government’s new climate policy direction. It enables Alberta to be a leader, not only in climate policy, but also in technology, innovation, collaborative solutions and energy development. I believe it will lead to Albertans and Canadians receiving full value for their oil and natural gas resources, while addressing climate change.” – Brian Ferguson, President & Chief Executive Officer of Cenovus Energy (full release)

After a string of pipeline victories and over a decade of campaigning on at least three different continents, the Alberta government has finally put a limit to the tarsands. Today they announced they will cap its expansion and limit the tarsands monster to 100 megatonnes a year.” – Mike Hudema, Greenpeace (full release)

This new carbon tax will make almost every single Alberta family poorer, while accelerated plans to shut down coal plants will lead to higher power prices and further jobs losses. Wildrose will be looking at every detail of this plan closely, and we will speak out against policies that hurt Albertans and the economy.” – Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose Party (full release)

Canadians have high expectations of themselves when it comes to protecting the environment and managing economic growth, and the world expects much of Canada. Alberta’s new climate change policy sends a clear message that Alberta intends to live up to those expectations. Today’s announcement sets Canadian oil on the path to becoming the most environmentally and economically competitive in the world.” – Lorraine Mitchelmore, President and Country Chair Shell Canada and EVP Heavy Oil for Shell (full release)

Now it’s time for the government to unapologetically promote Alberta’s emissions reduction successes to date and clearly articulate support for the long-term growth of Alberta’s energy industry, including the oil sands, conventional production, natural gas power, cogeneration and renewable energy.” – Greg Clark, leader of the Alberta Party (full release)

Today we reach a milestone in ensuring Alberta’s valuable resource is accompanied by leading carbon policy. It’s time that Alberta is seen as a climate, energy and innovation leader. This plan will make one of the world’s largest oil-producing regions a leader in addressing the climate change challenge.” – Steve Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer, Suncor (full release)

“On a public policy Richter scale, Alberta’s new Climate Leadership Plan is an 11. It is enormously positive and forward-looking and will yield measurable benefits for the health and quality of life of Albertans. Significantly, the new plan is supported by oil industry leaders, environmental organizations and other important stakeholders.” – Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute

Alberta’s decision to move away from coal-fired electricity generation and dramatically increase its use of renewable energy reflects a trend happening in countries all over the world. More renewable energy in Alberta will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean the air, and produce significant new investment and jobs – particularly in rural areas of the province.” – Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA (full release)

As Premier Notley said today, we expect today’s announcement to further enhance the reputation of our sector and improve our province’s environmental credibility as we seek to expand market access nationally and internationally. As well, the province’s climate strategy may allow our sector to invest more aggressively in technologies to further reduce per barrel emissions in our sector and do our part to tackle climate change. That’s what the public expects, and that’s’ what we expect of ourselves.” – said Tim McMillan, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (full release)

16 thoughts on “Pigs fly as oil industry and environmental groups endorse NDP’s ambitious Made-in-Alberta Climate Change Plan

  1. Diane Marie

    I/we are quite prepared to pay 4.7 cents more per litre and more for home heating if that’s what it takes to give the Alberta economy a jolt. Because that’s what it boils down to. If Alberta doesn’t “green up”, perceptions will eat our economy alive.

    Reply
    1. Darren

      Keep in mind, those are your “known” costs. There will likely be additional costs that weren’t anticipated. If you’re paying more for gas, so are those companies that transport goods to outlets (retail stores, grocery outlets, etc). Those same stores will also be paying higher costs to light and heat their stores so it’s reasonable to assume the total increase will be higher.
      Not sure how they plan to replace coal since it supplies half our power. There’s no way they can do that with wind so that leaves natural gas. (There’s no way in hell they’d approve a nuclear plant). Natural gas is like oil in that the price changes based on supply and demand so its reasonable to assume that gas prices will rise again and that might make for some very painful power bills in the future.
      That said, it’s good they recognize that it’s not just the oil industry that contributes to GHG emissions in the province. This plan wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

      Reply
      1. Diane Marie

        I see it as user-pay. If a person doesn’t like the size of their bills, they can take steps to reduce their energy footprint, consumption. Price is the mechanism by which new supplies or alternative methods reach the market. It’s all fine by me.

        Reply
  2. leftdog

    My fave quote is by Ezra Levant … (that oil companies don’t represent the oil ‘industry’ 🙂
    @ezralevant
    Suncor, CNRL, Shell & Cenovus don’t represent the industry. They represent themselves, hostages who decided to collaborate, not fight.

    Reply
  3. HLM1982

    more hemp production and manufacturing can replace the jobs lost in the oil sector
    And the new Edmonton plant which converts trash into energy, or the waste water solids into energy concepts can completely replace coal and clean up our trash dumps
    we have a fantastic recycling program in canada which means we have recycled plastics, metal and fibers available to manufacturing corps who want to produce renewable energy tech like bladeless wind turbines for the sides of sky scrapers or solar cells for our rooftops
    Lets do this Alberta! Go NDP!

    Reply
  4. Brad

    This Albertan is proud he voted NDP. Looks like the Whiny Rose party is still sitting with the climate change deniers from 1952. Fort McMurrays biggest oilsand companies are behind this plan but Brian Jean is against doing anything.

    Reply
  5. Travis

    to all lefties, go pound salt, this is a disgusting attack on Albertans. You will end up freezing a lot of people through taxation.

    People are suffering enough without the likes of you greedy socialist creeps.

    Reply
  6. Jerrymacgp

    They must be doing something right if extremists on both sides of the issue (Greenpeace on one, Brian Jean on the other) are flinging arrows at this plan …

    Reply
  7. Sunray

    Wait, aren’t cows one the of the leading producers of methane…? Are we re-tooling from beef to tofu as well? Looking forward to the new Planet Organic tax credit to offset the cost of increased bean sprout consumption – consumption that will inevitably lead to more methane…a vicious cycle in more ways than one…

    Reply
  8. Phil Elder

    Kudos to Premier Notley for her deft compromise on this policy. My two caveats are disappointment with permitting present oilsands GHG emissions to increase by some 40% – ideally, the present level should have been frozen and increased production contingent on reducing emissions intensity, but then the patch wouldn’t have endorsed the policy.
    My other criticism is the absence (I believe) of any mention of Alberta’s geothermal potential. Hopefully this deficiency (there isn’t yet even a regulatory framework for developing this) will be remedied soon.

    Reply
  9. Dave

    This was necessary for Alberta to be able to continue to sell its most valuable resource: Oil.

    This is not perfect, but Alberta is suffering from the Saudi led glut of oil on the world market and we have to get our oil to market to improve/rebuild our economy. Doing nothing which was the Conservative policy wasn’t working.

    Premier Notley is just keeping one of her election promises and this is part of her plan to rebuild Alberta’s economy after four decades of leaving economic planning to the whim of oil companies.

    People have to start looking beyond their ideological blinkers and start looking at what really has to be done to get Alberta’s economy humming again.

    The 4.7 cents a litre for the price on carbon is no worse than a price increase at the pump caused by the oil companies, none of whom reinvest the profits on behalf of Alberta’s citizens.

    Reply
  10. jes

    For the first time in Alberta since Lougheed we have thought out policy that is for people and thankfully industy is with it.What is mind boggling is the winers and nay sayers. Nothing seems to please them except theirway. Guess what people the majority of Albertans want this, my children want this and my grandchildren want this. Hopefully when we are gone future generations will thank God. Not a politician. Not a onesided nay sayer. Not agready businessman who will never be able to spend the money he made on backs of everone who has ever bought gas. And thats the way it should be.

    Reply
  11. Ezra Lee Vent

    If you are a proud, clever and reasonable follower of the Wild Rose Party you have figured out that the oil companies are out to destroy Alberta and move the oil sands to Bermuda. We should boycot them and start producing hemp

    fuel, cloths and building material. This plant grows well on the praries

    Reply
  12. Trevor Marr

    OK Rachel, can you get the confidence back in Alberta? Remember that ‘new pipelines to new international markets’ idea that you said during the election?

    How about working with industry on getting more quality imroving upgraders in the system to improve the pipeline contents?

    How about you formally show tax reduction incentives for emissions reductions, efficiency increases, reclamation of land, reforestation, tailings pond reductions, wildlife stewardship, job creation, etc.

    There are some innovations and optimizations that your NDP gov’t is overlooking!

    The 2015 oil sands are not your Grandma’s tarsands!

    Promote, rather than destroy.

    You are embarrassed by us, but truthfully, it goes both ways!

    Let’s get busy Alberta, build it all safe, strong and soon! And when it gets old, replace it!!!

    Reply

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