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Early survey results show big concerns in Alberta over Rocky Mountain coal mining

Last Updated May 18, 2021 at 8:32 pm MDT

EDMONTON — Early results from a provincial survey on coal mining in the Rocky Mountains show major concerns about expanding the industry.

Ninety per cent of the respondents say there are some areas of the province where surface coal mining should be off-limits.

Less than a third say some areas of Alberta are appropriate for coal mining.

Almost two-thirds say the economic benefits of coal mining in the Rockies aren’t important.

Environmental impacts are ranked the most important of eight factors that regulators should take into consideration.

Almost 25,000 Albertans took part in the online survey that closed on April 19.

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The survey, preliminary results of which were released late Monday, will go to a coal consultation committee, expected to report in November.

“These results strongly suggest that most Albertans don’t want to see coal mining figure anywhere in Alberta’s future,” said Ian Urquhart, the Alberta Wilderness Association Conservation Director in a statement. “They underline emphatically that Albertans don’t want to see coal mining in the Rockies and Foothills and that they don’t have any confidence in the government’s commitment to regulate coal mining in an environmentally responsible manner.”

“The results from the government’s non-scientific sampling of public opinion mirror what the polling company ThinkHQ reported in February.”