Pembina reacts to new Alberta oilsands mine reclamation security policy

Nathan Lemphers, policy analyst with
the Pembina Institute, responded to the Government of Alberta announcement of a
new oilsands
mine reclamation security policy.

On the new Mine Financial Security Program:

"Although this reclamation
security policy has some improvements in transparency over the previous
version, one of the fundamental principles of this policy is flawed — that the
assets of the mine, which created these liabilities in the first place, can be
used to pay for the cleanup.

"Under the new security program, the amount of reclamation security
collected will remain constant for at least 10 years, while oilsands production
and liabilities are set to double in the same period. The current unaccounted
liabilities are upwards of $15 billion. It makes no sense to lower the amount
collected from industry in the short term even further.

"The ability to penalize companies for lack of reclamation
progress is an important new element, but we are concerned Alberta is still not
collecting enough reclamation security overall to protect citizens."

On improved reclamation reporting:

"The proposed reclamation
reporting process provides much-needed clarity to industry on the reclamation
expectations required of them. Now the real challenge is to increase the rate
of on-the-ground reclamation."

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The
Pembina Institute is a non-partisan sustainable energy think tank.

Contact:

Nathan Lemphers
Technical and Policy Analyst, Oilsands, Pembina Institute
Phone: 403-269-3344 ext 124
Cell: 403-370-9292

Background:

  • Pembina report on oilsands mine reclamation liability.
  • Pembina blog on the Royal Society of Canada oilsands report and
    its take on oilsands liability management.
  • Pembina blog on the Alberta Government putting industry
    interest ahead of public interest on oilsands liability management.

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