Alberta’s coal industry fired back at the Notley government’s climate change plan, suggesting the province should be working with the companies to find cleaner ways to burn coal for electricity — rather than speeding up the phase out.
The NDP’s climate change strategy unveiled on Sunday will see the province eliminate pollution caused by burning coal and a shift to more renewable energy and natural gas power generation by 2030. Although it’s being touted as a benefit to public health, the plan raises concerns for the coal industry.
“It has been single-handedly targeted to resolve all of the issues of greenhouse gases in Alberta,” said Robin Campbell, president of the Coal Association of Canada, noting 90 per cent of coal in the province is used for power generation.
“If we are going to shut down coal-fired generation in this province, the operators have two choices: find new markets on the export side for the coal or we’ll be looking at mine closures.”
Campbell, a former Alberta environment and finance minister, said the province should be investing in new technologies to burn coal.
“It’s been a stable baseload in Alberta for decades and it’s one of the ways we’ve been able to build the industrial strength we’ve had in this province,” he said.
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