She also suggested the province needs to handle its issue with tailings leaks and emissions, which could include tighter regulations. She explained that, considering oil and gas companies have been raking in record profits, they should be investing that money in cleaning up or addressing some of the issues that come along with fossil fuel extraction, rather than pushing it onto taxpayers.
“We believe it’s time for that sector to do its part. Other parts of the economy and industry are doing their parts to reduce emissions,” she said.
Meanwhile, Simon Dyer, deputy executive director of the Pembina Institute, said he hopes the province will push for more renewable energy. In a post-election press release, the non-profit urged the governing party to “capitalize on momentum around the clean energy economy.”
Part of the rationale, Dyer explained, is that investments in renewable energy are increasing globally. According to a recent International Energy Agency report, for every $1 USD invested in oil and gas there is $1.70 USD invested in renewables.
Additionally, he said it’s “inevitable” that the world will continue to decarbonize, and that low-carbon energy sources will look more and more appealing — so it would help Alberta, which produces 80 per cent of Canada’s oil, to diversify its economy and foster jobs in new fields like industrial emission reductions and renewable energy. Thanks to hearty amounts of sun and wind, Alberta is also poised to become Canada’s renewable energy capital.
“So it’s a huge opportunity. And so the new government Alberta really needs to embrace that opportunity,” he said.