On November 5, 2012, Bill 2,Responsible Energy
Development Act (the "Bill"),
received second reading in the Alberta Legislature. The proposed
legislation will create a single provincial regulator, the Alberta
Energy Regulator, for all oil and gas related activities, which is
currently administered by the Energy Resources Conservation
Board in concert with Alberta Environment and
Sustainable Resource Development. In its current form, the mandate
of the Alberta Energy Regulator will be to provide for the
efficient, safe, orderly and environmentally responsible
development of upstream oil and gas, oil sands and coal development
in the province of Alberta. The Alberta Energy Regulator will be
responsible to consider and decide applications and other matters
in respect of pipelines, processing plants, mines and other oil and
gas related facilities and operations in the province from
application to reclamation.
Under the proposed legislation, the Alberta Energy Regulator
will operate at arm's length from the Government of Alberta,
under the direction of an appointed board of directors and chief
executive officer. According to the Government of Alberta, a
principle goal of the Bill is the creation of a
"one-window" approach to project applications which will
result in a clear and efficient system for the development of
resource projects. As proposed, the Bill includes provision to
regulate the disposition and management of public lands, the
protection of the environment and the conservation and management
of water, including the wise allocation and use of water. The
Government of Alberta anticipates that the Alberta Energy Regulator
will be fully operational by June 2013.
The Wildrose Party of Alberta, the official opposition, has
stated that it will propose 12 amendments to the Bill to ensure
that it properly protects landowners, communities and the
environment, and is pushing the Government of Alberta to send the
bill to a standing all-party committee on resource development for
further review and debate. Critics of the Bill are concerned that
the proposed legislation does not adequately recognize and protect
the interests of individual landowners and fails to adequately
protect the environment.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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