Status: Complete. Feedback period closed on October 14, 2019
Ministries responsible: Energy and Environment and Parks
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for regulating the life cycle of oil, oil sands, natural gas and coal projects in a manner that protects public safety and the environment.
As a key economic driver, Alberta’s energy sector requires a well-designed, single regulator to regulate the responsible development of our energy resources.
The Government of Alberta conducted a review of the AER to identify enhancements to its mandate, governance and system operations to ensure Alberta remains a predictable place to invest and a world leader in responsible resource development.
The review of the AER solicited input from stakeholders and communities in the fall of 2019. More than 300 representatives responded, including those from:
- environmental organizations
- think tanks
- Indigenous and Métis communities
- the general public
Feedback and suggestions covered various aspects of the AER’s effectiveness. Notable feedback includes:
- an overhaul of the AER is not needed
- refocusing and modernizing processes will help the AER function effectively and efficiently
- unclear and inflexible processes must be clarified and updated
As a result of the review, the following steps have been taken to improve the AER’s mandate, governance and systems operation.
- Fall 2019: An interim board was appointed. The board provided direction on restructuring, reviewed the industry level that funds the AER, established a recruitment process for a new CEO and updated the mandate and roles documents for clarity and proper oversight.
- March 26, 2020: A permanent CEO was appointed.
- April 1, 2020: A new AER board of directors was appointed
- May 27, 2020: Bill 7, the Responsible Energy Development Amendment Act, was introduced to directly address concerns about unnecessary delays in assessing project applications. If passed, the legislation will provide government with the authority to establish maximum timelines for the AER to review applications.
Ongoing work will address long-standing liability and environmental concerns and focus on developing a new suite of policies to ensure industry can cover the cost of cleaning up oil and gas wells and sites in a manageable way.
In addition, the AER has been directed to establish a red tape reduction task force to identify unnecessary regulatory steps or duplication in processes.
- Act holds AER accountable for timely application reviews (May 27, 2020)
- Alberta Energy Regulator board appointments (April 1, 2020)
- Promise made, promise kept on the Alberta Energy Regulator (September 6, 2019)