Gateway Gazette

Albertans Firmly In Favour of Increased Energy Processing

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland – Over 90% of Albertans support efforts to increase value added processing of our oil and natural gas resources in Alberta. A telephone survey of 601 Albertans was conducted between June 6 and 22 by Return On Insight (ROI) for Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) exploring awareness and attitudes towards oil and gas value added processing.

When asked about specific policies to help increase value adding, 86% supported creating a natural gas strategy to process natural gas and gas by-products. There was also support for a range of policy options including government investment with industry partners (72%), tax incentives to encourage building value added facilities (70%) and reducing royalties for companies that process resources into value added products in Alberta (60%).

“Albertans’ appetite for government action to set processing targets and develop policies to increase refining capacity stems from two things: a desire to find new environmental solutions, and a belief in the need to diversify the economy by adding value to the raw products we are extracting,” explains ROI President Bruce Cameron.

Poll respondents also believe it is important for Alberta to create new internal markets for products like plastics and petrochemicals (86%), generate new industries and higher revenue through value adding (89%), diversify the economy to include more processing (93%), and most importantly, find better ways of oil and gas processing that reduce the environmental impact (97%).

“This poll demonstrates Albertans strongly support policies encouraging more value added energy processing as a way to improve our environmental performance,” comments Wayne Woldanski, Chair of AIHA. “The Heartland is fortunate to have several value added projects already operating or under construction that will reduce CO2 emissions by a combined 16.2 million tonnes annually.”

Alberta is Canada’s leader in hydrocarbon processing and petrochemical development, with the bulk of activities in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, northeast of Edmonton. With more than $20 billion in current or announced projects in the region, Alberta is poised to be a world leader in energy processing.

“The global investment cycle for new petrochemical and hydrocarbon processing is on the upswing; however, the window of opportunity for Alberta will not remain open forever,” comments Neil Shelly, Executive Director of AIHA. “We encourage the Government of Alberta to move forward with its natural gas strategy and other policies to take advantage of the positive investment cycle. This poll clearly shows Albertans are in favour of the government taking a leadership role.”

The poll supports the Alberta Plus (www.albertaenergyplus.ca) initiative to promote awareness and benefits of value added processing of the province’s energy resources. Its primary members include Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, Agrium, Enhance Energy, North West Redwater Partnership, Nova Chemicals and Williams Energy Canada.

Alberta Industrial Heartland logoFor more information about the poll or Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, visit www.industrialheartland.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association is a cooperative effort of the Counties of Lamont, Strathcona, Sturgeon, and the Cities of Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. The Association is dedicated to coordinating, advocating, and promoting long-term sustainable development of the Heartland.

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