Alberta rescinds decades-old policy that banned open-pit coal mines in Rockies and Foothills - 2020-05-22
Alberta is cancelling blanket environmental protections that have been in place since the 1970s and making it easier to develop open-pit coal mines in some of the province's most ecologically sensitive areas.
For decades, wide swaths of the province's Foothills and Rocky Mountains were off-limits to this type of mining, under what was dubbed the "Coal Policy" of 1976.
The provincial government says the policy is outdated and redundant and eliminating it will encourage substantial new investment. Environmentalists say the move will create a high-level regulatory void, as the policy provided a holistic approach to protecting ecosystems, wildlife and Alberta's headwaters.