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What good can be said about Tar Sands oil?

I’m not one to readily use “good” in the same sentence as “fossil fuels.” But even the most optimistic greenie has to acknowledge that hydrocarbon energy will be with us for decades to come. The best we can realistically hope for is that renewables will capture greater market share to the extent that the environmental impacts of oil and gas will be significantly reduced.

And, we have every reason to insist that extraction, transport, refining, distribution and use be well regulated. Which is why I took the assignment to profile the vice president of legal and general counsel at the Alberta Energy Regulator. This bureau oversees the Canadian province’s oil sands as well as other oil, gas and coal extraction. As the regulator’s chief lawyer, Patty Johnston is responsible to both industry and the people in the province itself, including the environment in which they live. Johnston told me that transparency is essential in this role.

Russ Klettke is a business writer whose experience across a broad range of industries – food retailing, manufacturing, banking, finance, law, architecture and construction included – allow him to look at communications from a variety of perspectives. Feel free to contact him to discuss your communications needs.

Patty Johnston is a lawyer who also has to work with social media, as the lightening rod nature of tar sands oil requires her agency to respond to allegations and misinformation in real time.

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Russ Klettke

Business Writer

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