Seven out of 10 Albertans say province too dependent on oil & gas

New polling shows Albertans want government to prepare for future job opportunities as energy system changes

October 19, 2023
Media Release
Pembina Institute

Photo: Pembina Institute

CALGARY — Recent polling released by the Pembina Institute today shows that 70% of Albertans think the province’s economy is too dependent on the oil and gas industry. What’s more, 82% of Albertans polled said the provincial government should take an active role in planning for future job opportunities for energy workers.

The Pembina Institute commissioned the study from Janet Brown Opinion Research. The research was conducted between September 13 and 26, 2023.

Other notable polling results include:

  • 58 per cent of Albertans say that the province's economy will benefit if the oil and gas industry reduces emissions.
  • Albertans are split 50/50 on their perception of global demand for oil and gas, with 48 per cent agreeing with the statement “In 15 years' time, global demand for oil and gas will start to decline,” and 48 per cent disagreeing.
  • 94 per cent of Albertans say oil and gas companies (not taxpayers, through government subsidies) should pay for cleaning up inactive and abandoned oil and gas wells
  • 77 per cent of Albertans say oil and gas companies (not taxpayers, through subsidies) should pay for the costs associated with reducing emissions.

Polling data methodology
Survey questions were administered through the TrendWatch Alberta Omnibus Survey under the direction of Janet Brown Opinion Research between September 13 and 26, 2023. TrendWatch Alberta is a monthly omnibus survey of 900 Albertans, ages 18 and over. The margin of error for a probability sample of 900 people is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 (i.e., at a 95 per cent confidence interval).


 “It’s clear that while oil and gas remain key drivers of the economy today, Albertans recognize that the province must be ready for the future, and they look to their government to chart a direction to help us get there.

“There are clear signals globally that demand for oil and gas will start to decline over the next ten years—whether those be energy forecasts from the International Energy Agency or surging sales numbers for electric vehicles. As a major producer of both fossil fuels and renewables, Alberta has an opportunity to come out a winner if it makes the responsible, ambitious choices today.”
— Jan Gorski, Director, Oil and Gas, Pembina Institute

“Preparing workers for the energy jobs of the future should be the number one priority for all levels of government in Canada, and polling indicates this is what an overwhelming majority of Albertans want from their provincial government.”

“The investments required for Canadians to grasp the opportunity of net-zero will range from specific regional economic diversification to individual re-training and more. Ultimately the energy transition will unfold differently for every community across the country. Alberta needs to work with the federal government to ensure Alberta workers can continue to be innovators in the energy sector.”
— Megan Gordon, Senior Analyst, Equitable Transition, Pembina Institute



Karen Garth
Senior Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Polling Results: Oil and Gas, Jobs and Targets

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