CALGARY, Alberta The former head of TransCanada Corp, a company that seeks to build a $7 billion oil pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast, has been named to co-lead the Alberta government's new oil sands environmental monitoring panel.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said Hal Kvisle, who retired as TransCanada's chief executive last year, is one of two people appointed to lead 12 experts charged with developing a credible system for gauging the environmental impact of developing the massive oil sands.
He will be joined by Howard Tennant, the former president and vice-chancellor of the University of Lethbridge.
The Alberta government announced it was forming the panel last year as questions emerged over the quality of environmental reporting in the oil sands, the largest crude deposits outside the Middle East and a prime target of environmental groups that criticize the impact of development.
The panel also includes scientists and policy experts, including Gregory Taylor, a biologist and dean of science at the University of Alberta; Ron Wallace, an environmental consultant; and David Pryce, a vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Last month, a federally appointed panel said there were major flaws in environmental monitoring around the oil sands, especially for the impact on waterways.
TransCanada aims to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project awaiting approval by the U.S. State Department.
The panel is to report back to Renner in June.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)