The Governments of Alberta and Colorado have agreed to work together to share ideas, best practices and information that supports a cleaner energy future.
The co-operative efforts were discussed and agreed to after Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Alberta International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas visited the oil sands on March 27.
“We welcomed the opportunity to explore economic development opportunities for Colorado and see first-hand the operations in Alberta’s oil sands,” said Hickenlooper. “Expectations are high for North American energy producers and governments to continue to raise the bar on environmental management. Colorado looks forward to building a co-operative relationship with Alberta that will see both jurisdictions excel as continental leaders in responsible energy development.”
More than 28 Colorado companies provide equipment, parts and services to the oil sands.
Dallas commended Governor Hickenlooper for recently spearheading an initiative between a number of American states to increase the use of natural gas vehicles in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel efficiency at a lower cost to consumers.
Dallas said it’s worth a serious look to see whether Alberta and other provinces can forge a similar agreement under the Canadian Energy Strategy.
“We applaud Governor Hickenlooper’s vision and effort to address emissions,” said Dallas. “Colorado and Alberta have similar goals and show leadership on environmental actions. Alberta is very proud of its leading environmental actions. However, we are fully committed to push the bar higher.”
Alberta and Colorado have agreed to bring the agreement on clean energy collaboration to the summer meeting of Western Governors in Utah in June. Efforts will be made to strike a working group between provinces and states to pursue clean energy initiatives.
Alberta was the first jurisdiction in North America to require by law all large industry to take action on greenhouse gas emissions. Our regulation includes an existing $15 price on carbon. Through this, Alberta has a clean technology fund that has generated $312 million and has already committed $181 million to 49 clean energy projects. This is in addition to a $1.3-billion investment in carbon capture and storage projects.
Over the past 18 months Alberta has taken a number of other leading environmental actions. These include an unprecedented commitment to openness and transparency of energy development and environmental management through an on-line oil sands information portal, a world-leading oil sands monitoring program, an arm’s length governance system and a comprehensive land-use plan for the oil sands region that sets out vast swaths of protected land.
The Colorado delegation of more than 30 people toured Edmonton’s world-class Waste Management Centre and met with several business leaders. Alberta exports, on average,
$2.27 billion in products yearly to Colorado. The state key economic sectors include energy and agriculture. The tour was an effort to foster strong tied between the two jurisdictions.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.