A while back I met with an oilfield engineer and she said something that made me think. She said, “Alberta is not only an oil and gas province it is an energy province.”
Now Alberta is and will remain for many, many years an oil and gas province.
There is no doubt that we need to be ensuring the prosperity of the oil, gas and coal energy sectors that have been so foundational to our economy.
But we are also an energy province and the Drayton Valley-Devon Constituency is ground zero of Alberta energy.
We are oil, we are gas, we are coal and we are electricity but we can and should be adding to this list.
Many communities across this constituency are actively taking steps to pursue opportunities to diversify their economies and build up their tax bases.
Some have been making headway into becoming an industrial hemp cluster attracting businesses that uses the stalk from industrial hemp.
Soon, in Drayton Valley, a company will be putting shovels in the ground to produce not only recreational cannabis but it will also produce CBD’s from industrial hemp.
Thorsby is looking to work with a company that will introduce world leading technology that will be used to clean up waste treatment ponds.
A proposed project North of Devon is looking at a char, organic biomass digester combined with algae to create heat, electricity and healthy soils.
The other day at the pipeline rally in Drayton Valley constituents heard a presentation from Mr. Stephen Lindop of EAVOR Technologies Inc. on the production of emissions free, base load energy from a new Geothermal technology developed right here in Alberta.
To accomplish this all of the world leading skills, technology and businesses that we have developed to access oil and gas will be needed.
We could use the existing infrastructure of wells, roads and electricity to produce not only geothermal electricity but also use the geothermal heat in combination with other opportunities like greenhouse food production.
All of these various initiatives speak to the entrepreneurial skills of our people, the forward looking, solve-a-problem attitude that exists in abundance here.
As these projects move forward we can be proud of our efforts, we can be proud of the fact that we are an energy province.
Mark Smith is MLA for the Drayton Valley-Devon constituency and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.