Write a Letter to Oppose Open-pit Coal Mining
Letters to government ministers and MLA's can have a significant impact, as do emails and phone calls.. Below is a sample letter and Minister contact information. What you write should be made to fit on one page as these people are very busy. Please let the Alberta government know how you feel about the prospect of open-pit coal mining in the Eastern Slopes Watershed. We need government policy which is focused on the future and respects the importance of water to that future.
[Your name and address]
Honourable Jason Kenney, Premier
Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Dear Premier Kenney,
RE: PROPOSED COAL MINING OPERATION IN SOUTHWEST ALBERTA
I am respectfully requesting that your government say NO to open-pit coal mining in the mountain foothills. It is my belief that your decision to rescind the Coal Development Policy for Alberta which will open large areas of priceless watershed along the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains for coal exploration, development and mining, was wrong and will have a negative economic and environmental effect on Alberta's future. It is also disappointing that this was done without proper public consultation.
The history of open-pit coal mining in other locations shows that these types of mining operations ultimately fail a cost-benefit analysis. I urge you to delay any approval, and commission such an analysis which will almost certainly show that the long-term economic benefit to Alberta of the proposed coal mines will be minimal, and perhaps even negative.
Open-pit coal mining poses serious threats to the health, safety and security of Alberta's watersheds. In particular, the Oldman River which rises in the valley and which currently provides clean water to towns, cities and agriculture, is threatened by selenium and other pollutants leaching from the mining operation and tailings for decades. People downstream shouldn't have to worry about what is in their glass of water. Ranchers are concerned about the effect of these pollutants on their cattle. This mine will further threaten the survival of the Westslope Cutthroat trout species which is already at risk.
Why would this mining operation be allowed to proceed when it would use a significant amount of water from a watershed when its downstream water supply is alread over-allocated? This is water that will help drive future economic growth in agriculture.
The proposed coal mine will destroy a large area of native fescue grassland, a natural resource that is critically important to ranching in the foothills as well as healthy wildlife populations. Once destroyed, this type of protein-rich grassland is almost impossible to restore.
The valley threated by this mine is a popular place for recreational hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. Recreation contributes significantly to the Alberta economy. In addition, these activities attract people to Alberta, the type of creative and productive people who will drive future economic growth.
I hope that these arguments will cause your government to rethink the new policy on coal mining and not approve any such mine.
cc. Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks
Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
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