Claims are circulating online about a proposed Grassy Mountain Coal project in Southern Alberta that has been under environmental regulatory review since the NDP was in power.
Now that the NDP are in opposition, they’ve made outrageous claims that United Conservatives want to “scrape off mountain tops” across Alberta.
Other claims are circulating about the rescission of the 1976 Coal Policy as assisting the Grassy Mountain project go forward and the project is being rubber stamped with no stringent environmental protections or review process in place. Wrong.
United Conservatives, just like the vast majority of Albertans, care about protecting our environment while finding common sense ways to ensure our economy can grow.
Here are the facts.
- At the beginning of the NDP term, a joint review of the Grassy Mountain Coal Project. Both the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada are conducting an independent review of the project. These reviews are required for large-scale resource development projects to meet strict environmental standards
- Alberta has strict environmental laws in place for large-scale development projects. Only projects that are safe, responsible, and in the public interest are permitted to move forward.
- In June 2020 the 1976 Coal Policy was removed. This has no bearing or impact on the Grassy Mountain Coal project as the regulatory reviews began in May 2015. It also does not grant new permissions for coal development or strip environmental protections. Removing the policy removes regulatory uncertainty for companies looking to develop high-quality metallurgical coal.
- Metallurgical coal is different from low-quality thermal coal used in domestic electricity production. Metallurgical coal is an essential component in making steel and has the potential to help with the development of jobs and provide economic benefits to the province and local communities
- All existing laws and regulations related to coal development remain in place. Removing the 1976 policy provides companies the opportunity to obtain mineral rights before they enter the regulatory process, like all other natural resource commodities in the province
- These considerations are all taken into place as United Conservatives remain committed to ensuring Alberta remains a world leader in responsible resource management and development.
Thankful for the support of the Piikani Nation in the modernization of Alberta’s outdated 1976 Coal Policy.— Sonya Savage (@sonyasavage) June 3, 2020
All existing regulation and guidelines relating to coal development remain in place and unchanged. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/2Xh5heElkB