No Drilling Lethbridge is pleased that over 11,000 Lethbridge residents signed a petition calling on the Alberta Government to pass legislation that would ban oil and gas development within the City of Lethbridge. This could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of volunteers who went door to door collecting signatures in all weather conditions or posted the petition in their place of business. We are also pleased that Goldenkey Oil has been delayed in making their application to drill in Lethbridge. However, the urban drilling issue in Lethbridge has not yet been resolved and we are still calling on Minister of Energy Diana McQueen to cancel the license for mineral rights that Goldenkey has asked to have extended.
Goldenkey Oil has had a mineral rights license to 23 square km under about 4000 houses in Lethbridge. This mineral license expired on March 24th. Goldenkey has applied to have this license renewed by AB Energy but a decision has not yet been made. Goldenkey must have a current mineral rights license before they can apply to the Alberta Energy Regulator for a license to drill. They originally announced that they would apply for the license to drill in the first quarter of 2014 but did not do so before their mineral rights license expired. We believe that the level of opposition in Lethbridge including the petition and the enormous number of letters and statements of concern that residents of Lethbridge sent to Goldenkey and the Alberta Energy Regulator have caused a delay in Goldenkey’s plans to apply to drill.
Goldenkey now says that they will wait until the AB Gov’t announces their urban drilling policy before they make their application to drill. Although it is great that Goldenkey has been delayed, this is not necessarily good news. What will the urban drilling policy contain? Does Goldenkey know something about the urban drilling policy that we don’t? An urban drilling policy might give more certainty to residents and the industry but will it stop Goldenkey’s proposal to drill in our city? How long will we have to wait to find out?
Despite the fact that the AB Gov’t has been reviewing policies and promising Albertans for two years that they would be coming out with an urban drilling policy, we are still waiting. Minister McQueen recently announced that they would form a task force on urban drilling which they quickly changed to a round table discussion. This has only caused further delay and leaves the people of Lethbridge with the stress of an uncertain future.
No Drilling Lethbridge continues to call on Minister of Energy Diana McQueen to cancel Goldenkey’s mineral rights license. This project is clearly not in the public interest as it only stands to benefit Goldenkey Oil, not the residents of Lethbridge.
No Drilling Lethbridge also continues to collect signatures on our petition with hopes to have a second set of petition signatures presented in the Legislature in April.
As long as Goldenkey Oil continues with their plans, we will continue to oppose them. No Drilling Lethbridge is committed to ensuring drilling for oil and/or gas does not occur within the municipal boundaries of Lethbridge.