An analysis by the University of Calgary concludes that a coal mine on protected lands on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains would not be an overall benefit to Alberta.
A document from the university’s School of Public Policy says that the overall economic, social and environmental impacts of such development would be negative.
Jennifer Winter, who teaches economics, says she and her colleagues went beyond the usual weighting of wages paid and taxes remitted.
She says her group’s paper, released Wednesday morning, attempts to incorporate non-monetary factors into cost-benefit assessments, usually limited to dollars and cents.
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Winter says the latest information on coal markets suggests that such a mine would be marginally profitable and that its labor and tax benefits would be small relative to Alberta’s economy.
Meanwhile, a mine would displace livestock and tourism, damage water and wildlife, and create the risk that taxpayers end up paying for the cleanup.
The document does not refer to any particular coal project, but relies heavily on information presented at hearings on the Grassy Mountain proposal, which was recently rejected after hearings by provincial and federal regulators.
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– More to come …
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