With your input, we will develop a modern coal policy to protect the areas Albertans cherish while allowing responsible resource development in appropriate places. Your feedback will inform our long-term approach to coal development.

To help ensure the views of all Albertans are represented during the process, we’ve established the Coal Policy Committee, an independent group to lead a comprehensive engagement.

The committee will consider feedback provided by Albertans through an online survey while they create a detailed engagement approach.

We will also work directly with Indigenous leaders and communities throughout the engagement to ensure their perspectives are heard and considered.


  • Open

    Initial survey closed April 19, 2021

  • Results under review

  • Completed

Who is listening

Ministry of Energy

Reinstatement of 1976 Coal Policy

As a result of concerns raised about potential coal development on sensitive lands, we reinstated the 1976 Coal Policy, including the 4 coal categories, as of February 8, 2021. Coal categories set where and how coal leasing, exploration and development can occur.

We are also reinforcing restrictions by providing specific direction to the Alberta Energy Regulator.

  • All restrictions under the 1976 coal categories are to apply, including all restrictions on surface mining in Category 2 lands. In addition, no mountain top removal will be permitted.
  • All future coal exploration approvals on Category 2 lands will be prohibited pending widespread consultations on a new coal policy.

Coal lease sales in Category 2 lands also remain paused while we examine Alberta’s long-term approach to coal development.

Coal exploration halted on Category 2 lands

Based on input from Albertans, the initial survey results and a recommendation from the Coal Policy Committee, the Minister of Energy has directed coal companies to halt exploration on Category 2 lands, effective April 23.

Get involved

The engagement will have multiple phases, check back for more opportunities to participate or sign up to get notified on updates.

Get informed

Read the Coal in Alberta fact sheet (PDF, 699 KB)

Online survey

Albertans shared feedback to help inform the next steps of the coal policy engagement through an online survey from March 29 to April 19, 2021.

Thank you for your input. The committee is currently reviewing feedback.

Indigenous engagement

Alongside the committee-led engagement, the Minister of Energy will engage directly with Indigenous communities to ensure their perspectives on coal development are heard and considered in the development of a new coal policy.

Indigenous Peoples are welcome to participate in the committee-led engagement process, including the initial survey.


Feedback will help ensure coal development reflects the best interests of Albertans and continues to balance stringent environmental protections with responsible resource development.

What we heard

  • Preliminary analysis of initial survey results
    • The majority of Albertans feel the management of the province’s coal resources affect them.
    • “Environmental impacts of coal development” and “if and where coal development takes place” were ranked by respondents as the most important issues when discussing Alberta’s coal policy.
    • The majority of respondents feel there are areas of the province that are not appropriate for coal development, while almost one-third of respondents say that there are areas of the province where development could be appropriate.
    • Albertans would like to participate in additional online surveys and virtual meetings, as well as provide input directly to the committee.
    • Respondents want to learn more about the approval processes for exploration and development, as well as the coal categories, which dictate where and how coal leasing, exploration and development can occur.
    • The majority of respondents expressed concerns about coal exploration. 

Coal Policy Committee

A committee has been established to develop and lead a widespread engagement process that captures the views of all Albertans. The committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Energy. Their final report is due November 15, 2021.

See the committee's terms of reference (PDF, 77 KB).

Committee members

The members represent a wide-range of perspectives on coal development.

Ron Wallace, chair

Ron Wallace is an internationally recognized expert in regulatory policies associated with environmental assessment and monitoring. He has served on numerous regulatory boards dealing with energy and environmental issues, in addition to extensive experience in the private sector. He was also a permanent member of the National Energy Board.

Fred Bradley

Fred Bradley is a former Alberta minister of the environment under Premier Peter Lougheed and served as MLA for Pincher Creek-Crowsnest. He has previously served as the chair of the Alberta Research Council and chair of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Board.

Natalie Charlton

Natalie Charlton is the executive director at Hinton and District Chamber of Commerce. She has served on various boards and has experience advocating for alternative energy resources.

Bill Trafford

Bill Trafford is the president of the Livingstone Landowners’ Group, which represents landowners and supporters of the Livingstone-Porcupine area of Alberta. He has 35 years of experience in the IT industry and the health sector.

Eric North Peigan

Eric North Peigan is a member of Piikani Nation, a jeweler and silversmith by trade, and a small business owner. He has operated a jewelry business for more than 30 years and, more recently, has opened White Buffalo Tipi camp, which provides an immersive cultural experience for tourists.



Connect with the Coal Policy Committee:

Email: [email protected]

Sign up for updates

Sign up to get notified on coal policy engagement updates.

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

The personal information collected through www.alberta.ca/coalengagement will be used for the purpose of providing you with coal policy engagement updates.

This personal information collection is authorized under section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

If you have any questions about this collection of personal information, you may contact [email protected].

Last updated: April 20, 2021