12/14/2012 00:19 EST | Updated 02/12/2013 05:12 EST

Oilsands policy group faces massive budget cut

A policy group that plays a role in developing environmental policy for Alberta’s oilsands says it is in danger of disappearing after a massive budget cut.

The Cumulative Environmental Management Association’s executive director, Glen Semenchuk, says his group still has an important role to play in the industry.

“Industry's going to lose,” he said. “There's a lot of companies that give us really good expertise in our working groups and as individuals these people have been able to have a big impact on policies and guidelines.”

CEMA receives funding from oilsands companies. Semenchuk said that this year, they’re set to get a about $2.5M, which is about half of what they received last year.

A spokesperson for the an oilsands industry group said that CEMA has accomplished much of the work that it set out to do when it was founded 12 years ago.

But Semenchuk said his organization still has a lot to do.

“The death of a thousand cuts is that what the intent is,” he said.

“I don't know, but it comes to the point where we'll have to say we cannot continue to sustain CEMA in a way that the members think is reasonable. If we can't do that, then probably the best thing is to wind it up.”