Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann issue the following release on the Redwater Supreme Court decision.
Khan stated, “We believe in the polluter pay principle. We also believe Alberta taxpayers must be protected from massive liabilities. This historic Supreme Court ruling goes a long way to strengthening safeguards for our environment and Alberta taxpayers. Bankruptcy can no longer shield irresponsible energy companies.
“Alberta Liberals believe more must be done to address the province’s estimated $260 billion in cleanup liabilities. We have to adopt proactive measures against worst case scenarios.
“We are renewing our call that Alberta energy companies be mandated to purchase reclamation and cleanup bonds as insurance against financial catastrophe.”
An Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) senior official offered up the estimated $260 billion cost of cleanup.The NDP government admits that a mere $1.6 billion has been collected from industry. It’s about 0.6% of the total bill. That just won’t do.
Swann stated, “The court decision is good news. But it is not a complete solution to one of the biggest environmental and financial issues facing Albertans. We must not pass this massive burden on to future generations. Cleanup bonds are about taking responsibility today. The Alberta Liberal proposal brings us in line with other jurisdictions where bonds are an effective measure.
“We also believe greater transparency is needed. Albertans deserve independent verification of liabilities and regular public disclosure of progress.”
Khan added, “It’s time to take Alberta taxpayers off the hook. It’s time industry steps up to shoulder more of the financial responsibility. Alberta Liberals believe it’s the right thing to do.”