Coal Policy Committee

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

The Coal Policy Committee was established in March to develop and lead a widespread and comprehensive public engagement to inform Alberta’s long-term approach to coal development. The committee is responsible for ensuring the views of all Albertans are represented. The committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Energy. Their final report is due to the Minister by November 15, 2021.


For general questions and inquiries about this project, please email energy.coalpolicy@gov.ab.ca.

The Coal Policy Committee was established in March to develop and lead a widespread and comprehensive public engagement to inform Alberta’s long-term approach to coal development. The committee is responsible for ensuring the views of all Albertans are represented. The committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Energy. Their final report is due to the Minister by November 15, 2021.


For general questions and inquiries about this project, please email energy.coalpolicy@gov.ab.ca.

  • Update from the committee - July

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    July was another productive month for the Coal Policy Committee. Throughout the month, we continued to meet with interested parties and technical experts who shared their perspectives, concerns and knowledge with committee members. In addition, the committee participated in a virtual Indigenous engagement session held by Alberta Energy at the end of June. These conversations touched on a wide range of topics, including, fish and wildlife conservation, ecological impacts of coal mining, responsible resource development, effective regulatory regimes, water quality and climate change. A full list of stakeholder meetings can be found here.

    As COVID restrictions were lifted at the beginning of July, the Committee was also able to tour southern Alberta. While there, the Committee toured three proposed coal project sites with the respective proponents, and coal category lands with Alberta Environment and Parks. The Committee also met with the Chief and some Council members from the Piikani First Nation, representatives from local municipalities, ranchers, and landowner groups. Stay tuned for more detailed posts about the tour.

    As this month comes to a close, the Committee continues to plan its next phase of meetings and engagement for the month of August, which will include a tour to sites in central Alberta.

    In July, we received another 103 individual submissions from across the province through the mailbox. We encourage Albertans and organizations to submit technical submissions through our website and the coal policy mailbox before the end of August to allow ample time for us to consider your input as we form our recommendations.

    We would like to thank all Albertans who have taken the time to share their views and provide recommendations for a modernized coal policy for Alberta. We look forward to continuing to engage with you.

  • Update from the committee - June

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    June was a fast-paced month for the Coal Policy Committee as it progressed into Phase 2 of its engagement plan. Significant progress was achieved in scheduling and meeting with numerous stakeholders and technical experts who provided their perspectives, raised issues of concerns and offered recommendations for a modernised coal policy for Alberta.

    Conversations touched on topics such as selenium management, access to recreational areas and activities, wildlife habitat, health concerns, responsible resource development, supply and access to fresh water and related environmental issues. The full list of stakeholder meetings held in June can be found here.

    Albertans continue to submit technical information to the committee through our website. In addition, more than 90 individual submissions and perspectives were received in June through the coal policy mailbox. In total, the committee has received almost 400 emails since March.

    Stakeholder materials in support of their positions and the technical submissions can be found here.

    The Committee is currently preparing for the next phase of meetings for July. As COVID measures in Alberta are lifted, the committee is considering selected site-visits.

    We are grateful to have received very informative briefs during our engagement sessions and look forward to continuing with this outreach to Albertans.

  • Update from the committee - May

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    May was another very busy month for the Coal Policy Committee. As a group, we continue to meet on a regular basis and have achieved substantial progress on developing and planning engagements with Albertans on their perspectives and recommendations for a modernized Coal Policy.

    The committee continues to explore other ways to interact with Albertans via this web platform. We were pleased to begin accepting technical submissions when this page launched on May 17. You can view submitted documents here. If you would like to submit a document, learn more here.

    In addition to technical submissions, we have received technical briefings from subject matter experts from organizations like the Alberta Energy Regulator regarding coal exploration and development in Alberta. The committee will continue to meet with experts on a variety of topics.

    Albertans continue to share their perspectives on coal development. We received 63 individual submissions in May, bringing the total to 259 submissions. Thank you for taking the time to send in your thoughts as they greatly enhance and inform our work.

    Engagement sessions and bookings are well underway for the summer months. We have sessions scheduled with a wide range of representative groups, including communities, landowners, industry, non-government organizations and Indigenous peoples. We also understand our engagement with Indigenous communities will need to be closely co-ordinated with the Government of Alberta’s nation-to-nation engagement currently underway.

    We will continue to share updates as the engagement progresses.


  • Message from the Chair

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    On behalf of the Coal Policy Committee, welcome to our engagement website. And thank you for taking time to visit and learn about what we’re doing.

    During March and April, the Government of Alberta opened a preliminary survey about coal and the coal policy and it received nearly 25,000 responses. Our committee has been reviewing those responses to help inform our approach. The responses signal that Albertans are eager for a vigorous analysis and debate about coal development in our province. That’s exactly what we intend to do as an independent committee.

    It’s clear that a lot of people have questions about coal, the different types of coal, how they’re used, how they’re developed, what the risks are and whether technology has changed much since 1976. We share those views and intend to discuss many of those same questions with Albertans. We’re going to do our best to provide information on this website and as we learn more, we’re going to share it with you.

    It’s also quite clear that water quality and land use, as they relate to possible coal development, are of concern to Albertans. Many have said that the potential impacts on water must be carefully examined, as well as the potential impacts on air quality, biodiversity, land disturbance, and culture and tourism. We intend to hear from Albertans, including Indigenous communities, in order to form recommendations about a new, modernized Coal Policy for Alberta.

    We know there are significant concerns associated with the Coal Policy and we understand why. The stakes are high and we want to get this right for all Albertans.

    “It should come as no surprise that in the time since the Eastern Slopes Policy and the 1976 Coal Policy were developed changing times have led to changing perceptions among Albertans. Just as the climate is changing, so is the economy and equally are the expectations of citizens who cherish their futures and that of their children and grandchildren. We openly solicit engagement with those Albertans who choose to embrace constructive dialogue about how our cherished resources are managed and protected. We promise to hear those who choose to participate with us as we develop recommendations for sound policies. This is the single most essential step to the achievement of desired outcomes for Albertans.”

    Our committee is designed to be an independent voice and we’re going to bring that spirit to our work by engaging in an open and transparent process. The committee will be guided by the evidence and by what Albertans have to say.

    This website will be a big part of that. We’ll be posting written submissions that we receive from key stakeholders and subject matter experts, so that you can read what we’re reading.

    We’re also going to meet with many different groups, including Indigenous Peoples, landowners, environmental organizations, representatives from various economic sectors and the research community. Also, importantly, we’re going to ask Albertans-at-large for their thoughts.

    We have many different areas where we need your advice and wisdom, so please keep checking this website. We will be asking questions that require your input – plus we’ll be posting regular updates about what Albertans are telling us.

    Thank you for taking part in our process.

    Ron Wallace, Ph.D.
    Chair, Coal Policy Committee


  • Engagement strategy update

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    As a first step, the Coal Policy Committee has reviewed the feedback from the initial Government of Alberta survey. The survey allowed the committee to take into consideration public concerns about coal development in Alberta and to further develop our plan to engage with Albertans.

    Following these developments and due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the committee proposes to engage with Albertans virtually, as a first step in our process. There are currently two ways to connect with the committee.

    • If you wish to share your thoughts on coal policy with the committee, you can email the committee at energy.coalpolicy@gov.ab.ca.
    • If you have a paper or document on a topic relevant to Alberta’s coal policy, please submit it here. Please note these documents may be posted publicly.

    The committee also intends to gather advice and input from Indigenous communities, technical experts and industry regarding Alberta’s coal policy through:

    • Roundtable discussions
    • Submission of written briefs and presentations from subject matter experts on topics related to coal development such as:
      • Understanding current mining technology
      • Environmental and social effects of mining projects
      • Economic impacts of coal development

    Our engagement process will be responsive to feedback and we hope to design additional opportunities to connect with the committee. These opportunities will be added as needed as we progress with our work.

    More details on engagement activities will be made available soon.

  • Report to the Minister - April

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Since the committee was appointed in late March 2021, the Coal Policy Committee (CPC) has been hard at work, developing a strategy to engage with Albertans regarding the development of a modern Coal Policy. We have held a series of meetings that have informed this work. The following is a summary of the update provided to the Minister of Energy for the month of April.

    First, based on input from Albertans, the committee recommended to the Minister of Energy that exploration in Category 2 lands be halted while the engagement process was ongoing. We are pleased the Minister accepted our recommendation.

    To date, several themes and indications of expectations, as reflected in our initial engagement with key opinion leaders and as a result of the initial survey, have emerged:

    • Transparency of the work of the committee is central to building trust
    • The committee is expected to provide clear information on how, when and where it plans to engage with the public
    • Many expect that our focus should be on factual, science-based presentations


    The committee is committed to ensuring that information gathered during our engagement is broadly available to all Albertans while recognizing the limitations of any engagement during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognize that this may require using web tools where possible while we develop other appropriate engagement options for Albertans who may have difficulty connecting through electronic and/or social media in remote locations, including Indigenous communities.

    We look forward to sharing more updates soon.