In our blog post of November 5, 2012, we discussed Alberta's
new proposed energy legislation, Bill 2, The Responsible Energy
Development Act (the "Bill"). The proposed legislation is
designed to streamline the process for approving oil and gas
projects by creating a single regulator (the "Alberta Energy
Regulator"), but has drawn significant opposition from
property rights activists and environmental groups. On November 21,
2012, the Alberta legislature endorsed amendments to the Bill.
According to Energy Minister Ken Hughes, the amendments to the Bill
strengthen landowners' rights by ensuring that the Alberta
Energy Regulator adequately considers the interests of landowners
in project applications in the following manner: (i) require the
regulatory agency to give public notice for all project
applications it receives; (ii) clarify the appeal mechanism for
project approvals; and (iii) provide individuals who believe that
they are directly and adversely impacted by an application the
ability to file a statement of concern with the Alberta Energy
Despite these changes, the Wildrose Party of Alberta, the
official opposition, argues that the government has not adequately
amended the Bill to protect the interests of landowners and ensure
environmental stewardship in Alberta. The Wildrose Party of Alberta
proposed amendments include, among others: (i) restoring the right
of Albertans to be notified and have a hearing if they would be
directly affected by an energy project; (ii) legislating a standard
timeline for project applications; (iii) restoring landowners'
ability to appeal to the Environmental Appeal Board when
environmental damages are not correctly compensated; and (iv)
mandating the Alberta Energy Regulator to uphold property rights
and consider the concerns of the "public interest".
The Alberta Energy Regulator will assume the functions of the
Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Environment and
Sustainable Development. The Government of Alberta anticipates that
the Alberta Energy Regulator will be fully operational by June
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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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