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’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

Millet Fire Department 2019. Photo/ Pipestone Flyer.
Millet Fire Department hosts “Light it Up for Liam” event

The Millet Fire Department is lighting up the fire hall this season with holiday spirit.

file photo
Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis RCMP search warrant seize drugs; numerous charges laid

39-year-old Wetaskiwin man, Wayne Wiebe charged with 21 criminal code offences.

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer.
photo submitted
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Traffic crosses over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver on July 2, 2015. Motorists would have to pay a fee to drive into downtown Vancouver under the city's plan to slow climate change but one expert warns it could pose financial hardship for some. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver’s climate plan ‘first 10 steps in a journey of 10,000,’ says expert

Almost 40 per cent of Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from vehicles

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
After COVID-related transplant delays, 16-year-old N.S. girl gets lung transplant

‘This is the difficult time now of seeing Tahlia in ICU hooked up to 15 IVs and sedated’

Most Read