Alberta Premier Jim Prentice told a crowd made up of representatives from the oil industry there are challenges being the largest land locked oil producer in the world, but he has a plan.
Prentice was a keynote speaker at the World Heavy Oil Congress taking place in Edmonton, Alberta. Climate change and the environment are pillars to his plan, “threats to climate change are too urgent to ignore …”
While short on details, Prentice wants to see greenhouse gas emissions reduced, old tailings ponds to disappear and he wants solutions, so new ones are not created. The Premier’s future vision of Alberta also includes “developing a new framework for water usage”. This would include stopping water withdrawals during low flow and setting limits on water usage in the oil sands.
When it comes to pipelines. Prentice remains optimistic Keystone will eventually be approved in the United States. He will continue to push for routes east and west out of Alberta and also look into a northern route through Alaska to tankers on the state’s coast. This method of moving oil is clearly the Premier’s preferred, “pipelines are the past, present and future of safe transportation of oil.”
While acknowledging this is a difficult time for the oil sands with the price of oil so low, the Premier refuses to just sit and wait for something to happen, “we will adjust and must be prepared to be patient and flexible while pursuing new opportunities…we can’t afford to rest easy”.