Friday, August 19, 2011

Documents Reveal Industry and Gov't Collude on Shale Gas

By Andrew Nikiforuk
Alberta New Dems release secret agreements about handling public opinion.

Alberta's New Democrats have called for a special provincial investigation of controversial shale gas drilling following the release of two leaked government documents showing strong collusion between industry and government on resource development in three western provinces.

A government of Alberta cabinet briefing note dated Aug. 3, 2011 says, "Shale gas environmental concerns in the media and in the public in other jurisdictions are potentially problematic for energy development and environmental management in Alberta."

The note also reveals that one of Canada's most powerful lobby group, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, has approached the Alberta government about shale gas issues in order "to enhance public communication."

"It's another example of Alberta's Conservatives working behind closed doors with industry and keeping it as secret as possible," charged New Democrat MLA and environment critic Rachel Notley. She wants an independent investigation on the technology.

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