Although the recent information on the Alberta oilsands leaking toxic chemicals into the surrounding water may be bad news for some, it seems to be a silver lining for others. Representatives from the B.C. Department of Sustainable Energy have recently announced their future plans of turning Alberta’s land into a large solar panel farm by 2036, code-named “Operation: Told You So.”
John Berick, the representative of the department, spoke to the public about their plans in a press conference, stating, “We’re really excited that soon we will have the amount of flat land to accomplish this. With Operation: Told You So accomplished, we can see half of our needed energy in B.C. homes being created by solar energy by 2040.”
According to their research, environmental scientists estimate that, due to the oil sands’ toxic chemicals leaking into the water supplies and land, Alberta will become bleak and without any sign of life by 2034. Derrick Volt, head of the environmental scientist team, is excited about the eventual outcome of Alberta. “We really hope that Harper allows the oilsands to expand; that would speed up this process, along with keeping the railways as bad as they are,” said Volt. “Getting rid of gas as a large energy resource for all of B.C. residents is a big number one on our list of environmental priorities.”
Joe Calen, a head representative of the Alberta oil sands, was able to be reached for this story. “We get a lot of flak for destroying the planet, being inefficient, and pandering to an old, outdated energy source,” said Calen. “I’m just glad that some scientists are finally seeing the Alberta oil sands as something positive for our country.” When asked about the plans regarding the expansion of the oil sands, Calen stated that, after hearing the B.C. environmental team’s statements, they are going to work at full steam to increase not only the area, but the speed at which the oil is being extracted from the sand. “Anything we can do to help,” said Calen. “We would like nothing better than to remove the negative stigmas from our industry.”
B.C. environmental scientists are also currently working with the Alberta government to get a petition signed with 10 000 signatures, allowing for a bill to be presented to parliament regarding deregulation of the oil sands to allow for infinite expansion and extraction. Although having all these projects to work on simultaneously is tiring for these scientists, they state that nothing is good enough for the citizens of B.C.
“We just want what’s best for our province,” states Volt. “We will work as hard as we can until our energy crisis is solved.” This survey project is estimated to be passed by 2019, according to survey analysts, and will be starting to circulate in the public in August 2014. If you would like to know more about the petition go to www.operationtrainwreck.ca for future updates as the process continues.