30 Fairmont Park Lane S
Lethbridge, AB T1K 7H7
Phone: (403) 328-1704
Monday, May 19, 2014
The Lethbridge Herald
P.O. Box 670
Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3Z7
Re: No Invite for Environmentalists
A Canadian press article, titled; “No Invite for Environmentalists” was
published in the Herald on May 7. The article cites, in part, a 9 page letter
which rejects an Oilsands Environmental Coalition “Statement of Concern” dated
March 26, 2012. Much of the article is devoted to the cries of outrage and
indignation from the environmental organizations involved.
I’ve reviewed the letter from Mr. Wilkinson to Jennifer Grant at the Pembina
Institute dated March 27, 2014. Statements of Concern need be accepted only from
“directly affected” persons or organizations. Mr. Wilkinson provides a thorough
review of the applicable portions of the Environmental Protection and
Enhancement Act and the Water Act. He explains in great detail why the Pembina
Institute’s and the Fort McMurray Environmental Association’s “recreational
lease” acquired for $200 in 2008 does not qualify them as “directly affected”.
Mr. Wilkinson also points out in the letter that First Nations who submitted
Statements of Concern were found to be “directly affected”.
That is as it should be. Alberta citizens elect representatives to manage
provincial issues. One of their duties is to establish regulations and rules for
safe and environmentally sound development of our resources. In turn they have
established government departments to ensure the rules are established and
followed. Mr. Wilkinson provides a fine example of a professional provincial
employee doing his job.
We don’t need to have organizations like the Pembina Institute, and others of
their ilk, insinuating themselves into the details of the process. Their goal
seems to be to try and waste time through micromanagement to support an
underlying theme that we, and our customers, don’t need these energy resources
and they should be left in the ground.
Our representatives have been doing a good, if not perfect, job of managing oil
and gas resources over the past several decades. They try to balance energy
resource contribution to the economy and impact on the environment. As their
managers, we need to provide them with the freedom to continue to do their work,
unhindered by frivolous and unhelpful dilettantes and meddlers.
If our representatives fall short of our goals, we have the option and
responsibility to fire them at election time.