A group of Albertans have accused a panel charged with gathering public opinion on coal mining in the province as being biased against industry and influenced by U.S. environmental groups, according to The Canadian Press. Members of Citizens Supportive of Crowsnest Coal have been writing letters to Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage that suggest the panel’s report is likely to be skewed and one-sided. The letters say panel member Bill Trafford of the Livingstone Landowners Group is an activist long opposed to development. They add the group is linked to the environmental group Yellowstone to Yukon (YTY), which has offices in the U.S. and Canada, and has mobilized those members to oppose mines such as the recently rejected Grassy Mountain project.
The Crowsnest support group said they want any advice the panel offers to be balanced by pro-industry perspectives. Livingstone Landowners spokeswoman Bobbi Lambright said the panel’s membership represents a variety of views, including people who have supported the Grassy Mountain project. The panel was expected to deliver its report to Savage at the end of December.