Posted February 06, 2018 04:14:58 A Liberal government announced Monday it is setting up a task force to develop a new strategy on the future of the oilsand industry.
The move comes as the province struggles to cope with a rising carbon emissions price and the government’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Premier Rachel Notley says the oilspatch has “an opportunity” to become a major producer and export economy.
Notley has been pushing for the province to open up the industry to the outside world for decades, and she wants to see the industry become a global economic powerhouse.
The NDP, in its 2015 election platform, called for “more than $5 billion in new investment” in the industry.
In its first budget in January, the Liberals proposed to spend $5.5 billion over three years on new projects, including new oilsands infrastructure.
But they have not provided any details on the new strategy.
The new task force will examine the sector’s future, as well as potential economic opportunities, said the government in a statement.
The oilsands, one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters, have been one of Alberta’s most important industries in recent years.
In 2017, oil output in the province was about 4.4 million barrels per day, the highest level since 2006.
Last year, production hit a record high of 7.2 million barrels a day, which is a record for the industry, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
The Alberta oilsands are the world market for Canada’s top-selling oilsands crude.