High River's mayor has been an outspoken opponent of coal mining on the eastern slopes.

Craig Snodgrass says the new Alberta cabinet announced Friday by Premier Danielle Smith had one particular piece of good news with Sonya Savage moved from the energy portfolio to environment.

"That's the key position that helps us move the protection of the eastern slopes into play and because Sonya was involved with getting all that stuff in line through the energy department, now that she's in environment that just continues the continuity for that whole piece, so I was very, very happy to see Sonya in environment," he says. "All this coal mining stuff with the coal policy committee recommendations, all their recommendations moved the Land Use planning programs, and the South Saskatchewan Plan is up for a re-write in the next year and all that falls under Alberta Environment, so it's excellent that Sonya is in that position."

He says he spoke with Savage immediately after the cabinet was released and says they have a great working relationship so he's more than happy with what happened.

Snodgrass says he doesn't know the new energy minister Pete Guthrie or the new infrastructure minister Nathan Neudorf who the Town will be interacting with on some projects.

He's not holding Premier Smith to the things she said at a couple pro-coal meetings where she spoke during the leadership campaign.

"I know what happens when you go to pro-coal rallies down in in the Pass, they've got a great way of selling snake oil to you, and the coal companies are very good at that as well, but we'll get things educated and I'm hopeful she's got her eyes and ears open to learning her way through this one," Snodgrass says.

He says she's in a tough spot wanting "to come in hot" but reality hits when you're the government instead of the opposition and you don't have to deliver on whatever you've said.