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Tar Sands insider to chair the Alberta Energy Regulator

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May 3, 2013

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Thirty six organizations have written to the Alberta Premier opposing her appointment of Gerry Protti as chair of the new Alberta Energy Regulator. The organizations include the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, Alberta Federation of Labour, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the Council of Canadians, Forest Ethics Advocacy and Greenpeace.
 
The letter to the Premier demands that “Gerry Protti be asked to step down.” The letterwritters are concerned that proponents of Tar Sands development will be favoured in the new regulatory process. The new process also means that “fewer people will regulate and enforce Alberta’s environmental regulations.”
 
Gerry Protti's long history working and lobbying for Tar Sands businesses make him unsuitable to oversee the new board which will replace the Energy Conservation Resources Board and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation told The Edmonton Journal, “We question his ability to chair the Alberta Energy Regulator with transparency and accountability.”
 
Rather than seeing Protti's oil industry insider status as a liability, Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes told The Calgary Herald that Protti's past employment as a founding president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers helped qualify him for the post.
 
Protti has also been Executive Director of the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada, and a senior member of the The Energy Policy Institute of Canada(EPIC). EPIC is a think tank funded by energy corporations. He is a past president of EnCana Corporation and former chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The corporations exploiting the Tar Sands can be assured that their interests will be looked after.
 
His salary will be $165,000 a year which would put him well into the top five per cent of income earners in Alberta.
 
You can read the letter on Greenpeace's website here.
 
If you like this article, register now for Marxism 2013: Revolution In Our Time, a weekend-long conference of ideas to change the world. Sessions include "Indigenous resistance, Idle No More and the fight against Harper," "What would it take to shut down the tar sands," and "Marx's ecology."

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