EUB Ignores Its Own Rules And Fails Public In Compton Decision

Alberta Wilderness Association

News Release: June 9, 2006

The Alberta Energy Utilities Board's (EUB) decision to deny standing to concerned citizens and to allow Compton Petroleum to continue its development in the Livingstone region disregards its own guidelines and fails to protect the public interest. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is joining local residents in calling for a "time-out" on development until the non-petroleum values of this important Eastern Slopes region can be fully evaluated.

"The EUB's decision confirms its growing reputation as little more than a rubber stamp for the oil and gas industry," says Nigel Douglas, AWA Conservation Specialist. "They are refusing to follow their own guidelines which require that development in the Eastern Slopes should be based on cumulative effects and not on a well-by-well basis."

The EUB's Information letter, IL 93-9, states that the Board "expects applications to be submitted as a part of a 'development plan' rather than on a piecemeal or single-well approach." They have ignored this directive by allowing Compton Petroleum to proceed without any cumulative effects assessment.

The EUB says they want an engaged, informed public that has an opportunity for input into decisions. Yet in yesterday's decision, the EUB denied requests for standing by AWA, the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, the Livingstone Landowners Group, the Pekisko Group, the South Porcupine Hills Stewardship Association, and two local families.

The EUB's mission statement says that the discovery, development, and delivery of Alberta's resources takes place "in a manner that is fair, responsible, and in the public interest."

"The guidelines represent a public commitment. It is not responsible for them to proceed without a solid understanding of the effects of the project," says Douglas. "It is not fair, responsible or in the public interest to ignore the outpouring of local opposition to an ill-conceived development."

None of the organizations who argued for standing in the EUB's decision are opposing any development in the region per se. AWA believes that the oil and gas resource is just one of the many values of the area, including the sustainable ranching industry, wildlife habitat and its enormous importance as a water catchment area for southern Alberta and beyond.

"Oil and gas development should not be allowed to ride roughshod over all of the other values of the region," says Douglas.

For more information
Nigel Douglas, AWA Conservation Specialist
403-931-1043 (weekend)