Alberta coal policy panel accused of bias, U.S. influence in letters to government

A group of Albertans are attacking a panel charged with gathering public opinion on coal mining in the province, saying it’s biased against industry and influenced by United States environmental groups.

Members of Citizens Supportive of Crowsnest Coal have been writing letters to Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage that suggest the panel’s report is likely to be skewed and one-sided.

Read more: Hundreds gather in support of coal mining in the Crowsnest Pass

The letters say panel member Bill Trafford of the Livingstone Landowners Group is an activist long opposed to development.

They add the group is linked to the environmental group Yellowstone To Yukon, which has offices in the U.S. and Canada, and has mobilized those members to oppose mines such as the recently rejected Grassy Mountain project.

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They say they want any advice the panel offers to be balanced by pro-industry perspectives.

Livingstone Landowners spokeswoman Bobbi Lambright says the panel’s membership represents a variety of views, including people who have supported the Grassy Mountain project.

The panel is expected to deliver its report to Savage at the end of December.

Read more: 6-week extension granted for panel to deliver its report on Rockies coal mining

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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