Alberta's proposed energy "Superboard" update

May 20, 2011

Further to our update on January 28, 2011, Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert continues to develop plans for a single energy regulator in the Province. A discussion paper recently tabled in the Alberta Legislature outlines the Energy Department’s proposal to create an “energy superboard” that would oversee the development of all oil, natural gas, oil sands and coal within Alberta, and take on all of the regulatory functions for air, water, land, mine and facility authorizations. These responsibilities are currently distributed amongst several government entities, including the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), Sustainable Resource Development and Alberta Environment.

Coal is currently regulated by the ERCB, however, the paper indicates that because coal extraction methods are similar to those used for oil, gas and oil sands, it fits efficiently within the scope of the single regulator. The paper also states that mineral regulation would be governed by the single regulator sometime “down the road”.

The paper is a starting point for new energy regulation the Minister expects to table during the legislature’s next sitting. Interested parties can provide feedback through the Energy Department’s website and the Minister has indicated that officials would be willing to sit down with organizations interested in contributing to the formation of the new law.

A complete copy of the paper, entitled “Enhancing Assurance” is available here.

 

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