Coal

Continuing the Sacrifice of the Eastern Slopes to Old King Coal

Yesterday, the Alberta government took another step towards turning Alberta’s Eastern Slopes into little more than a string of coal mines. Nearly 2,000 hectares of coal leases were offered for sale in the Rockies of southern Alberta. This offering, together with existing coal leases and applications for coal leases, confirms the government’s ambition to sacrifice the southern Alberta mountain landscape for coal. Read More

Locals and Conservationists raise concerns ahead of Grassy Mountain hearing

Ranchlands, Alberta – On October 27th, the joint Federal-Provincial review hearing will commence for the Grassy Mountain Coal project. Several groups are concerned how the mine will impact the environment and way of life. Benga Mining Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Riversdale Resources Ltd., is proposing to construct and operate an open-pit metallurgical coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass, approximately seven kilometres north of the community of the town of Blairmore. Read More

Issue Brief: Vista coal mine expansion

Updated: September 3, 2020

The Coalspur Vista mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Canada, and the proposed expansion could almost triple its capacity. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined in December 2019 to order a federal impact assessment, but he reversed this decision on July 30 so the project will undergo a federal impact assessment. Coalspur Mines has launched a legal challenge to the Minister's decision.

Latest updates

Canada agrees federal impact assessment necessary for mine expansion near Hinton, Alberta

EDMONTON, AB – CPAWS applauds the decision by the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, to approve the request for a federal impact assessment for a proposed thermal coal mine expansion near Hinton, Alberta. The decision shows Minister Wilkinson understands the serious need to assess adverse environmental impacts that result from outdated thermal coal mining. Read More

Alberta Energy Regulator Rules that Coal and Wildlife Don’t Mix

On July 9th, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) denied Horn Ridge Resources Ltd.’s application to explore for coal in the Kakwa wilderness, west of Grande Cache.

AWA commends the AER for refusing this application as it poses a significant risk to valued wildlife populations and the ecological integrity of sensitive alpine and sub-alpine landscapes. Read More

Rescinding the Alberta Coal Policy opens headwaters in the eastern slopes of the Rockies to open-pit coal mining

Calgary – The Government of Alberta has rescinded A Coal Development Policy for Alberta (1976; the Coal Policy). CPAWS Southern Alberta is concerned about the impacts this will have on Alberta’s treasured mountains and foothills along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. “There are currently no other land use plans or policies that directly replace the environmental zoning and restrictions under the Coal Policy” says Katie Morrison, Conservation Director for CPAWS Southern Alberta. “This leaves sensitive headwaters regions and treasured landscapes that provide habitat for species like grizzly bear, elk, and threatened native trout, at risk to the disturbances that come with surface coal mining and increased exploration.”

Since 1976, the Coal Policy has provided important land use zoning frameworks which have informed management and development of coal mines along the eastern slopes region of Alberta.

The Coal Policy’s Land Classification System prevented coal development on Category 1 lands and restricted development to underground or in-situ mining under Category 2 lands along the eastern slopes. The Coal Policy Category 2 covers 1,458,000 ha of the headwaters areas that provide the majority of drinking water to downstream communities in Alberta and across the prairies. With the removal of the coal policy, open-pit coal mines will now be permitted on these sensitive lands. Read More

Alberta Coal Policy scrapped, making open-pit coal mining more accessible than ever along the eastern slopes of the Rockies

Alberta is cancelling a long-standing coal policy that provided broad protections within our mountain and foothill regions, making it easier to develop open-pit mines in more ecologically sensitive areas. 

Edmonton – On May 15, 2020 the Government of Alberta announced that they were rescinding  A Coal Development Policy for Alberta (Coal Policy) which has provided sweeping environmental protections for coal development since the 1970’s. This has raised concerns about how this will impact Alberta’s treasured mountains and foothills along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Read More

Output-based carbon pricing system incentivizes innovation, provides certainty for industry

Pembina Institute reacts to the publication of final standards for heavy emitters under the federal pollution pricing plan

OTTAWA — Isabelle Turcotte, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s announcement about putting a price on pollution for industry: Read More

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