EDMONTON – Alberta is changing how it calculates the payments oilsands mines make to ensure there’s enough money to clean up the mess they leave behind.
The province says the decision is in reaction to low oil prices last year, which briefly reached negative values.
Lisa Fairweather of Alberta Environment says keeping the old program would have cost the industry billions of extra dollars, even though the environmental risk of the mines hasn’t changed.
She says today’s move is temporary until a complete review of environmental security payments is held this summer.
Critics say the changes will reduce payments into a cleanup fund that the auditor general has said is already too low.
Under the changes, Alberta will no longer calculate payments based on a company’s environmental liabilities and its assets.
Instead, the calculation will be based on a company’s revenue.