The Alberta government's release of the Coal Policy Report was good news for High River's mayor.

Craig Snodgrass says the biggest takeaway for him was that now this is going to be dealt with through proper land use planning.

"The department of energy did as much as it possibly could on this and as much as we all wanted a hard 'no' on future coal mining on the Eastern Slopes it wasn't going to come the department of energy, so the fact that minister Savage showed the leadership and knows how to do the right thing and has pushed this over to Alberta Environment to get land use planning done is the best we could possibly hope for right now," said Snodgrass.

The mayor, who's spearheaded much of the municipal opposition to the government's moves last year, says he is confident this will get dealt with properly.

"It's going to get pushed to the next government, whoever's elected as the government in the next year is going to be the one that's responsible for this, so minister (Jason) Nixon, he still wants coal mining to happen, I can't believe for a second he's in favour of anything that's going on right now so we'd love to see him removed and new ministers put in place that'll deal with this file properly so this will be a major election issue and all the parties will have to answer to the issue of coal mining not like the last time where they all hid from it," he says.

Snodgrass says the premier and environment minister made an amateur mistake and it was arrogance that got them into this situation where they thought they could do this behind closed doors.

"It was the removal of the coal policy that started all this and created a lot of problems for projects that would have quietly continued on, being Grassy Mountain and Tent Mountain, now those projects are in huge jeopardy and I highly doubt either of them will go," he says.

He gives credit to energy minister Sonya Savage and the coal policy committee she put together under Chair Ron Wallace for doing the right thing.