Posted October 03, 2018 12:13:50 The federal government says that while there is no clear evidence of direct or indirect effects from the two Iraq wars on Alberta companies, it is concerned about the impacts on the province’s economy.
In a release to the media Wednesday, the government’s energy department said it is “deeply concerned about ongoing threats to the province” from both the wars.
“Alberta has seen an increasing number of incidents of oil spillage, including the spillage of oil into the Athabasca River in 2010 and the 2010 Alberta spill into the Baffin Bay, and the oil spills into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the St. Mary’s River and the Stampede River,” it said.
“As a result, the federal government is concerned that the impact of these oil spills will continue to have significant negative impacts on economic activity, public safety, health and environment.”
A spill of oil from a tank in the Athawaska River in April 2010, for example, caused $5 million in damages.
The release says it is also concerned about a “dramatic increase in the number of oil spills” from the Iraq war, as well as the possible “negative impact on the safety and well-being of Albertans.”
The release said that the federal department “has recently identified a number of ongoing threats” to Alberta’s economy, including increased reliance on imports of energy products, the “dilution of oil and natural gas” and “a large number of spills that have resulted in significant damage to water resources and infrastructure.”
The government also warned the Alberta industry about “the possible negative impact on economic growth” of increased demand from overseas.
“These economic impacts are directly related to the continued oil and mineral exploration, development and production activities that are occurring in Canada and the region,” it added.
“Given the increased pressure on the economy, the risks and the potential costs of these actions are very high, and Alberta is taking every step to ensure that its economy and people are protected.”
Alberta’s oil production has surged since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when it produced about 9.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
The province also has the world’s largest oil reserves.