survey by EKOS Research Associates commissioned by the Pembina Institute reveals that Albertans' attitudes about energy and climate change are more progressive than many think.
For example, 50 per cent of Albertans support a carbon tax that applies to all polluters, both companies and individuals (38 per cent oppose the tax). Support rises when the revenue is used for projects that help reduce emissions, such as public transit, energy-efficient buildings and reducing emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Two-thirds of Albertans believe the government should prioritize diversifying the economy over improving the efficiency of the oil and gas industry.
A solid majority (70 per cent) support investment in renewables to reduce coal use, and 86 per cent believe the province should do more to support the development of clean energy.
As for further development of the tar sands, Albertans are split: 48 per cent think production should stay the same or be reduced while 43 per cent believe production should be larger. Seventy per cent believe the province should be stricter in enforcing tar sands environmental rules and safeguards.
Support for tar sands production remains higher than a realistic view of climate change can tolerate, nonetheless overall the attitudes are encouraging. There is grist here for the new government's mill for aggressive environmental action.