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Senior officials of the Energy Futures Lab, Alison Cretney, and the Prosperity Institute, Mike Wilson, write in an OpEd in the Calgary Herald that Alberta needs to move decisively to take the lead in the new economy by taking advantage of the province’s traditional strengths. Their organizations are working with allied institutions to recommend a government policy approach that will facilitate this outcome. They have identified 5 priorities: geothermal energy, lithium mining, clean hydrogen, carbon capture, and “bitumen beyond combustion” (i.e., using oil sands to produce materials rather than fuel).

The researchers have identified several suggested areas for policy action. They recommend developing reporting standards for ESG (environmental, social, and governance) performance and drawing on international standards. The essay’s authors also point to the removal of regulatory barriers to innovative new businesses, as well as fostering transition investment vehicles.

They reject the false dichotomy between those who advocate shutting down the oil and gas industry and those who dismiss the need for more environmentally benign energy sources. Cretney and Wilson argue that Alberta is rich in resources (both natural and human) and the province should take advantage of them to establish a central position in the new economy.