Alberta touts environmental stewardship

Feb. 25, 2013 at 7:28 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Economic development goes hand-in-hand with environmental effects but so does risk management, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said.

Redford and provincial Environment Minister Diana McQueen attended a weekend U.S. governors association meeting in Washington. Redford said Alberta was taking an honest assessment of the risks associated with oil and natural gas development.

"We have been pretty honest about the fact that if you want to have economic development, there is environmental impact, don't deny that at all, you have got to talk about the fact that you can manage that ... that you can reduce the impact of that," she told U.S. news website The Hill.

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada plans to send tar sands oil from Alberta to southern U.S. refineries using the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline is controversial because of the environmental risks associated with the transshipment of that type of oil.

McQueen said the Alberta government is "very much committed" to environmental stewardship, noting there are plans for new greenhouse gas rules for tar sands developers.

Last week, the Canadian National Energy Board signed a measure with the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to ease the sharing of information on matters related to regulatory practices and "where appropriate, specific energy projects."

Keystone XL requires the approval of the U.S. federal government because it would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

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