Category: Energy – Regulatory

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Viewpoint: The Great Debate, Part I: Canadian Government Announces Review of Federal Environmental Assessment Process

January 29, 2016

In 2012, I wrote an article about the Conservative government’s enactment of CEAA 2012 called “Fixing the Energy Approval Process in Canada.” For people who aren’t involved in environmental assessment (EA) processes, CEAA 2012 is short for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. CEAA 2012 was one of the pieces of federal legislation that became a lightning rod for complaints…

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

January 19, 2016

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway Project (Project). As a result, the federal-provincial agreement to proceed with a single environmental assessment of the Project does not mean that federal approval, and the 209 conditions…

Just Like Any Good Recipe, Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan Has a Little Bit of Everything

November 24, 2015

On Sunday, November 22, 2015, just days before the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris, Alberta released its Climate Leadership Plan (Plan) together with the Climate Leadership Report (Report) upon which it is based. The Plan represents a dramatic and fundamental shift in Alberta’s approach to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) issues. Highlights include: Early phase-out of…

Ontario Government Consulting on Proposed Design of the New Cap-and-Trade Program

November 20, 2015

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has released details of its proposed cap-and-trade program designed to address climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On April 15, 2015, the Ontario government signed an agreement with Quebec to create a joint cap-and-trade system to reduce GHG emissions. The cap-and-trade program will be the primary…

C$1-Billion Committed to Development of Quebec’s Mining, Hydrocarbon Industries

September 25, 2015

The Quebec government has recently announced that the Capital Mines Hydrocarbon fund (CMH Fund), the purpose of which is to acquire equity interests in mining and hydrocarbon projects in Quebec, is officially in effect. The creation of the CMH Fund was initially put forward in connection with the 2012–2013 budget by the Quebec government as part of its plan to…

AUC Finds TransAlta Guilty of Manipulating Electricity Market

July 28, 2015

In a landmark and long anticipated decision, on July 27, 2015, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) released its 217-page decision in Market Surveillance Administrator allegations against TransAlta Corporation et al., Mr. Nathan Kaiser and Mr. Scott Connelly, Decision 3110-D01-2015 (Decision). In the Decision, the AUC found that TransAlta Corporation, TransAlta Energy Marketing Corp. and TransAlta Generation Partnership (collectively, TransAlta) engaged…

Declaration Requirement Removed from First Nation Consultation Procedures

June 30, 2015

  On June 10, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released a revised version of the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures) and Bulletin 2015-20. While the original Procedures remain largely intact, changes were made to section 2.3 — First Nations Impacts and Mitigation Table and section 4 — AER Application Requirements. The main…

Procedures Introduced to Administer and Coordinate First Nation Consultation

February 10, 2015

  On February 4, 2015, the Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures). The Procedures were released in accordance with Energy Ministerial Order 105/2014 and Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Ministerial Order 53/2014 (Orders).   The Procedures expand upon The Government of Alberta’s…

Just in Time for the Holidays: The Potentially Costly Gift of Standing Before the Alberta Utilities Commission

December 10, 2014

  In ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd v. Alberta (Utilities Commission) (ATCO Costs), the Alberta Court of Appeal considered the relationship between the common law concept of the “regulatory compact” and the statutory discretionary authority granted to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC or Commission) with respect to legal costs. Under ATCO Costs, the AUC has the authority to limit or…

B.C.’s Draft Legislation to Implement LNG Tax – Many Answers, Some Questions

November 3, 2014

  On October 21, 2014, the B.C. government released draft legislation introducing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) income tax (LNG Tax) on liquefaction activities that take place at LNG facilities in the province. The draft legislation provides details of the proposed new tax and answers questions that were left open in the high level discussion of the tax in the…

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