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The Coal Policy Committee, comprised of Albertans with various backgrounds and perspectives, has been established to ensure all Albertans will have an opportunity to contribute to how the province will manage coal development.
“Albertans have made it clear they want a say in where and how coal is developed in our province. By establishing an independent committee, everyone across the province will have their voices heard during this engagement process. This is an essential step in ensuring a new modern coal policy is developed by Albertans for Albertans.”
The committee is responsible for designing and conducting the engagement. To help inform their engagement approach, Albertans are invited to share their thoughts in an initial survey. The survey is available online and will be open until April 19. Further details about the engagement process will be designed and shared by the committee following the survey closing.
“I am honoured to serve as chair of this committee and look forward to working with the members as we engage with Albertans over the next several months. It’s important that a wide range of perspectives are understood and respected as we move through this process. We will review the results of the initial survey as we begin the work of developing an engagement plan that provides an opportunity for Albertans to have their voices heard.”
Alberta’s government will also work directly with Indigenous leaders and communities to ensure their perspectives are heard and considered.
Following engagement, the committee will provide the Minister of Energy with a report that describes Albertans’ perspectives on coal development, and provide recommendations about the province’s development of a modern coal policy.
The committee will provide a final report to the minister by Nov. 15.
Members of the Coal Policy Committee
Ron Wallace, chair, 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 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 Foundations Board.
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 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 is a small business owner and a member of Piikani Nation. He operates a teepee camp that provides an immersive cultural experience for tourists.
- On Feb. 8, the government reinstated the 1976 coal policy after Albertans raised concerns about surface mining in the Eastern Slopes.
- This includes reinstating the four coal categories, which dictated where and how coal leasing, exploration and development could occur.
- The Alberta Energy Regulator has also been directed to ensure that:
- All restrictions under the 1976 coal categories are to apply, including all restrictions on surface mining in Category 2 lands. In addition, no mountaintop removal will be permitted.
- All future coal exploration approvals on Category 2 lands will be prohibited pending widespread engagement on a new coal policy.
- Coal lease sales on Category 2 lands remain paused.