Things may look different now given the collapse of oil prices and its impact on Alberta, but in 2014, the oil and gas industry in Alberta was spending a lot of money on environmental protection.
According to new figures from Statistics Canada (StatsCan), Canadian businesses spent $11.8 billion on environmental protection in 2014, and 55% of that, or $6.5 billion, came out of the oil and gas industry’s pocket. Provincially, Alberta was also the biggest spender, accounting for $6.6 billion of environmental protection expenditure. StatsCan says this reflects the oil and gas industry’s prominence in that province’s economy.
By way of comparison, the mining and quarrying industry, which took second place to the environmental spending of the oil and gas industry, accounted for nine percent of the total, or $1.1 billion.
Across the 16 industry groups surveyed by StatsCan, total environmental expenditure growth significantly outpaced inflation. Spending grew by nine percent over the 2012-2014 period, while inflation for that same period was less a little more than three percent, according to the Bank of Canada’s inflation calculator.