By Janet Keeping, Leader
Many people who follow this website will already be aware that an oil and gas company called Goldenkey is planning to drill wells within the boundaries of the City of Lethbridge.
There is a lot of pushback on this from people who live in Lethbridge and organizations based there. “No Drilling Lethbridge” has a great web site with model letters to be sent to a variety of politicians, regulators and people representing the oil company: http://www.nodrillinglethbridge.ca/take-action Lethbridge’s mayor and city council are unanimously opposed to the drilling proposal.
But other people in the province should also express their views on the wells proposed for Lethbridge. If these wells are approved, a dangerous precedent will be set for the whole province.
Directly below you will see the letter I have sent on behalf of the Green Party of Alberta to the Premier on this matter. We have also written to the company and to the Alberta Energy Regulator along similar lines Make your voice heard too!
The Honourable Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Bldg 10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, T5K 2B6
Leader, Green Party of Alberta
STATEMENT OF CONCERN RE: GOLDENKEY OIL’S “PENNY PROJECT” in WEST LETHBRIDGE
Goldenkey Oil has provided notification of its intention to drill 3 exploratory wells from 2 surface sites within the municipality of Lethbridge, Alberta, at the following sites:
5-14-8-22 W4M and 16-16-8-22 W4M.
The purpose of this letter is to express the objections of the Green Party of Alberta to these proposed wells and to state our concerns. The Green Party of Alberta has members from all over the province, including Lethbridge.
We agree with the City of Lethbridge that the restriction imposed by the presence of production facilities and pipelines in this case would impede orderly urban development and could adversely affect property values.
On a more fundamental level, we do not believe that the petroleum industry or any other entity should have the right to impose development on a municipality without regard to its zoning or planning regulations, and that ultimately this principle needs to be reflected in legislation, beginning with a policy of not issuing mineral leases within city boundaries.
We also note that the proposed wells will encounter a sour formation. While we recognize that the formation is not expected to be productive in these wells, it is an additional area of concern, given the proximity of residential areas.
We are strongly of the view that the forthcoming application by Goldenkey to drill these or any further oil or gas wells within the city limits of Lethbridge should not be approved.