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Think More Holistically

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Date Submitted
2021-01-15 5:59:29 PM

It should be obvious why this coal mining project is unacceptable from both the social and environmental perspectives. I will therefore not dwell on those here. Rather, I will point out why this project is also unacceptable from the economic perspective. While it is tempting to say that economically-battered Albertans could benefit from the jobs and immediate financial support offered by this project, such support would be temporary and, what is more, it would come with massive financial costs for future generations. These include increased health care costs (to care for those experiencing illnesses related to the harmful health effects of working and/or living near coal), as well as those associated with increased environmental remidiation (once the mine shuts down and/or when groundwater supplies become contaminated from the project). Alberta would also suffer in the form of reduced economic competitiveness: At a time when much of the world is moving toward more sustainable forms of energy production, instead of using its resources to invest in this, Alberta would be using its resources to squeeze out what it can from more archaic energy sources. Clearly, this is a wasteful use of resources and it would position the province behind the 8-ball, so to speak, moving forward. While Albertans are absolutely in need of more jobs and support, there is surely a more responsible and economically sustainable way of doing so. Indeed, from the economic perspective, it is clear that this project is not in the best interest of Albertans.

I would therefore caution the government against using a simple cost-benefit analysis to assess the project (which is outdated and will severely overestimate project benefits and underestimate project costs), and instead look to use a more holistic measurement tool (multi-criteria analysis, multiple account, etc.).





Submitted by
Andrew Faber
Public Notice
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