MLA Mark Smith. File photo.

MLA Mark Smith. File photo.

MLA Mark Smith: Alberta’s geothermal energy sector

Albertans know that 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for families and job creators and that now, perhaps more than ever before, we must boldly pursue new ways to diversify our economy.

I am excited to share with you that Alberta’s government is introducing legislation this fall to attract new investment in Geothermal energy as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

Using emerging made-in-Alberta technology and our decades of drilling experience in oil and gas, we are setting our province up to harness earth’s natural energy and diversify our innovative energy sector.

A strong Albertan geothermal sector has the potential to create jobs and economic opportunity for Indigenous and rural remote communities, while contributing to the global effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Our government is also launching a new plan for diversifying and growing Alberta’s natural gas industry that will position the province as a post-pandemic powerhouse for responsible energy development. The Natural Gas Vision and Strategy is a key part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and shares the actions Alberta’s government will take to grow the sector and seize emerging opportunities for clean hydrogen, petrochemical manufacturing, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and plastics recycling. In addition to fueling countries around the world, natural gas – expected to pass coal as the world’s second largest energy source by 2040 – has many other uses, including being the foundation for creating hydrogen. Alberta’s 300-year supply of affordable natural gas provides significant opportunity to attract investment and job creators back to the province, building back our economy stronger than ever.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis initially reducing demand for pulp and paper products this year, Alberta is now seeing record-breaking solid wood prices at $1,288 per thousand board feet for western spruce-pine-fir.

While competing jurisdictions reduced production levels in reaction to the pandemic, these have proven difficult to reverse as demand for wood products increased. In contrast, Alberta saw limited production curtailments, allowing us to maintain a competitive advantage.

Alberta’s forestry and lumber producers are among the best in the world and through our partnerships they are in a position to keep our forests and communities safe from fires and infestation while supporting jobs and growth.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit alberta.ca/covid19.

As always, it is my honour to serve as your MLA.

Sincerely,

Mark Smith, MLA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP execute search warrant; illegal drugs seized

Two Wetaskiwin residents have been charged with possession and trafficking of Methamphetamine.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

Most Read