Lethbridge city council today adopted a resolution stating its opposition to oil and gas drilling and production within the urban boundaries of the City of Lethbridge.
The resolution states council is opposed to such activity out of concern for the negative implications for future development of urban land, including the additional costs associated with continuing to build safe communities.
The introduction of well sites, along with their associated pipelines and other infrastructure, would effectively sterilize developable urban land because of the resulting need for operational and safety setbacks to separate such infrastructure from future residential neighbourhoods, the resolution states.
“Council is taking this position on urban drilling because we see this as an ongoing issue in Alberta. There have already been a number of cases elsewhere in our province involving drilling rights being sought and awarded within urban boundaries,” said Ald. Faron Ellis, who added council members are aware of potential oil and gas industry interest in southern Alberta, including the Lethbridge area.
Ellis emphasized council is not opposed to oil and gas exploration, generally.
“We have a specific concern about negative impacts for urban municipalities and their residents if oil and gas drilling is allowed to proceed within their boundaries. Our concerns have been brought to the attention of the provincial Energy Resources Conservation Board, which regulates oil and gas industry activity in Alberta,” he said.