Mike Dowden sums up AER’s new “Dickhead” CEO Laurie Pushor best (commenter to article included below):
So they had to replace a guy because of corruption and mismanagement…and they hire a guy with a history of corruption and mismanagment…right on.
Premier Jason Kenney’s campaign manager hired as VP of Alberta Energy Regulator, John Weissenberger has been outspoken global warming skeptic by Charles Rusnell, CBC News, Jul 15, 2020
Premier Jason Kenney’s campaign manager and an outspoken human-caused global-warming skeptic has been hired as the Alberta Energy Regulator’s new vice president of its science and innovation branch.
But the decision to hire John Weissenberger will further undermine the public’s trust in the provincial regulator, a leading academic says.
“There isn’t much trust to be lost at this point,” said University of Calgary law professor Martin Olszynski, who studies energy regulation law. “There should be no trust.”
AER has come under fire following the recent appointment of Laurie Pushor as chief executive officer. Pushor was a central figure in a Saskatchewan government land-deal scandal that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Also, the AER’s recent decisions to suspend oil sands environmental monitoring during the pandemic, its failure to address the province’s massive orphan well and oil sands tailings pond problems, and a recent scandal involving self-dealing by senior AER executives have been heavily criticized.
“I mean it appears the premier is essentially just stacking the AER with people who think exactly like him,” Olszynski said.
Kenney told reporters he had nothing to do with Weissenberger’s hiring by the AER and only learned about it a few days ago. “He was not appointed by the government,” Kenney said. “In fact I didn’t even know that he had applied. My office and the government had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Kenney said Weissenberger had “every right to apply for a position for which he is qualified and the regulator has every right to choose the best qualified person. “I think it’s great that they’ve selected one of the most highly regarded scientists in the Alberta energy sector for a position such as that.” Kenney has lied so stupidly, so arrogantly, so often, I believe nothing he says.
The AER and Weissenberger did not respond to interview requests. In an emailed statement, the AER did not address Weissenberger’s publicly stated denials of man-made climate change.
Instead, it said Weissenberger had been hired on July 6 following a “competitive hiring process.”
“John brings over 30 years of experience in oil and gas and academia to the AER,” the statement said. “Under John’s leadership, his branch will support our organization in working to understand and evaluate new technologies proposed by Alberta’s energy industry.
“This branch will also help ensure our requirements are designed to regulate new technologies to ensure the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of Alberta’s energy resources.”
NDP Environment critic Marlin Schmidt called the decision “irresponsible.”
“The world is telling us that we need to do a better job of managing the risks of climate change and with this appointment it looks like they are thumbing their nose at the world.”
Appointment not announced
The AER did not announce Weissenberger’s appointment. He announced his appointment on LinkedIn.
The AER would not disclose Weissenberger’s salary.
According to Weissenberger’s LinkedIn post, his job is to provide “technical leadership in five disciplines (geology, engineering, public safety, economics and environmental science); ensuring regulations are based on sound science and advice on technical issues is provided from an unbiased perspective.” Mr. Weissenberger helped two lying, anti-Canada, anti-democracy, anti-environment, anti-science, anti-community, anti-rights (especially anti women’s rights), anti-Charter, anti-public health, racist pro rich & pro pollution thugs (Harper and KKKenney) get elected, and stay elected, both with criminal elements in their election trickery. In my view, Weissenberger has zero credibility, is untrusthworthy and deserves zero respect, likely why AER hired him. “Dickheads” Ellis and Pushor are joined by another.
Weissenberger’s online resume states he has a doctorate in geology, is a former senior energy company executive and is an adjunct professor in the department of earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Alberta.
Denies man-made global warming
Published articles and blogs by Weissenberger dismiss climate change believers as being part of a “popular delusion” and participants in a form of “collective psychosis.”
In a March 2006 article in the National Post, Weissenberger and co-author George Koch said the media was driving the climate change debate, listing a series of extreme cold weather events around the world as proof that this was a false narrative.
“The politicization of the climate change debate, whether by misanthropes seeing humanity in perpetual conflict with nature or neo-Luddites viewing technology and economic growth as intrinsically bad, drives the media bus. Once the mankind-bad, destroying-Earth paradigm is set, the facts will follow,” they wrote.
In an April 2006 article in the Calgary Herald, Weissenberger and Koch accused Canada’s oil and gas industry, specifically the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, of being “intellectually lazy” for accepting the “validity” of global warming theory.
“To those who doubt the scientific basis of global warming theory, we say: Don’t let a cabal of government-funded scientists, environmental activists and journalists convince us they are mainstream,” they stated.
Long relationship with Harper, Kenney
Weissenberger has a long, connected history to former prime minister Stephen Harper and to Kenney. He has been a close friend of Harper since the mid-1980s. He ran Harper’s campaign when he was first elected in 1993. Harper was the master of ceremonies at his wedding, media reported.
Cronyism accusations came in 2007 when Weissenberger was named chief of staff to then citizenship and immigration minister Diane Finley, a position for which many said he had no background.
Weissenberger was also appointed by the Harper government to be a director of the Canada Foundation for Innovation before the 2015 election, which the Conservatives lost.
He also served as Kenney’s manager for both the Progressive Conservative and UCP leadership campaigns.
He figures prominently in the “kamikaze” scandal in which Kenney’s campaign ran stalking horse candidate Jeff Callaway to attack former Wildrose leader Brian Jean, Kenney’s chief rival in the election.
Weissenberger was also a director of the political action committee Alberta Victory Fund, which raised nearly $160,000 for Kenney, of which more than $147,000 was spent in the 2019 election.
“John Weissenberger has a very long history of working with and for Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party machine here in Alberta and this looks a lot like a reward for his loyalty over the years,” Schmidt said.
Weissenberger’s hiring came in the same week former MLA Dave Rodney, who vacated his Calgary seat for Kenney, was appointed to a $250,000 a-year-job as Alberta’s trade representative in Houston. Kenney denied it was a patronage appointment.
“They are just shameless about appointing their friends to these kinds of positions,” Schmidt said.
NDP accuse province of ‘cronyism’ over hiring of Kenney’s former campaign manager by Jason Herring, Jul 15, 2020, Calgary Herald
The hiring of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s former campaign manager to a vice-president position with the Alberta Energy Regulator is “cronyism” and undercuts public trust, say the Opposition NDP.
John Weissenberger was hired by the AER on July 6 to head a new technical science and external innovation branch, the CBC first reported Wednesday.
The University of Alberta geologist was Kenney’s campaign manager for both his Progressive Conservative and United Conservative Party leadership runs. He has held senior positions in oil and gas, and has worked at companies including Husky and PanCanadian, as well as being the chief of staff to former federal citizenship and immigration minister Diane Finley from 2007 to 2008.
NDP environment critic Marlin Schmidt called the hiring the latest in a series of patronage appointments by the province.
“John Weissenberger is someone who worked so closely with Jason Kenney and other higher-ups in the Conservative party for so long, this looks like it’s a reward for his loyalty over the years,” Schmidt said.
“I can’t think that anyone will trust the energy regulator to be an objective defender of the public interest after this.” Alta PC’s removed public interest from AER’s mandate in 2013, likely in response to my lawsuit. Citizens stopped trusting the lying, law-violating, cover-up bully decades ago and especially in 2007, when it was caught spying on innocent Albertans.
When asked about the hiring Wednesday, Kenney said
he didn’t even know Weissenberger had applied for the position and defended the hiring, saying the AER appointed Weissenberger through a process independent from the government. “Dr. Weissenberger is a free citizen, he is a highly qualified scientist and he has every right to apply for a position for which he is qualified, and the regulator has every right to choose the best-qualified person,” Kenney said. “I think it’s great that they’ve selected one of the most highly regarded scientists in the Alberta energy sector for a position such as that.” “Bla bla bla,” said Premier Liar.
In a statement, the AER said Weissenberger was selected based on his experience following a competitive hiring process. “Under John’s leadership, his branch will support our organization in working to understand and evaluate new technologies proposed by Alberta’s energy industry,” the AER said.
Schmidt also raised concerns about past opinion articles written by Weissenberger in which he dismissed the validity of anthropogenic global warming. “They’ve hired someone who openly denies that climate change is a man-made phenomenon to a role where he has to deal with climate change in the oil and gas industry,” he said.
Neither Kenney nor the AER addressed Weissenberger’s comments on climate change when asked by Postmedia on Wednesday.
Weissenberger did not respond to request for comment.
Jason Kenney’s campaign manager is a self-proclaimed ‘climate change skeptic,’ Who is whispering into Jason Kenney’s ear? by PressProgres, August 9, 2016
What kind of expertise is Jason Kenney leaning on?
As Kenney leads a crusade against Alberta’s policies tackling climate change, it turns out the man running Kenney’s leadership campaign was once described as a “global warming critic” by the Globe and Mail.
He’s suggested those who agree with the scientists are participating in “wacky mass-behaviour,” dismissing climate change concerns as nothing more than a “sociological phenomenon,” a “popular delusion” and yes, even as a form of “collective psychosis.”
Weissenberger was the object of some controversy several years ago after Harper gave his good friend a plum job working on the board of directors of a federal government agency responsible for scientific research – an appointment slammed as “political cronyism” at the time.
That also proved problematic when the Globe and Mail identified Weissenberger as one of a number of “global warming critics appointed to science boards” by the Harper government:
“On the same day Dr. Mullins was appointed to NSERC, last month, another skeptic of global warming was appointed to the board of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which funds large research projects. John Weissenberger is a close friend of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a former chief of staff in the Harper government and a geologist who works for Husky Energy in Alberta.
Dr. Weissenberger has written opinion pieces in the media and on his Internet blog expressing his ‘skepticism about global warming’.
In one such blog entry, Weissenberger explained his skepticism is shaped by a belief that climate change has “much more to do with human psychology and pseudo-religion than reason or scientific method”:
“I’ve long been convinced that the current global warming (or ‘climate change’) hysteria is just such a popular delusion. It has all the signs – a fervent collective belief; disregard or at least dismissal of facts contrary to the belief; and this time, fanatical persecution of unbelievers. This behaviour then appears to have much more to do with human psychology and pseudo-religion than reason or scientific method.
It is in this context that we must examine climate change, as a sociological phenomenon. This manifests itself in the way that climate-catastrophists argue their case, and how they criticize climate-change- skeptics.”
On another occasion, he allowed a member of the climate change denial group Friends of Science – who controversially targeted children with billboard ads suggesting climate change was caused by sunshine – to publish a guest post on his blog arguing that “the sun is the primary driver of Earth’s climate.”
Weissenberger followed up with his own blog entry arguing that temperatures on the planet Neptune somehow challenged the assumptions of mainstream climate science back home on Earth:
“Not only does the Neptune data show warming, but its past temperature history – based on astronomical observations – also displays a strong correlation with solar activity.”
Another entry by freelance writer George Koch (who co-manages the blog with Weissenberger) suggests carbon dioxide is not “innately harmful,” in part because “plants breathe it”:
“It obviously increases the movement’s catastrophist creds if most people somehow come to believe that C02 is innately harmful, toxic, a pollutant or a constituent of smog. It is none of those. C02 is not only naturally occurring (which doesn’t in itself disqualify it from being a pollutant), but it is crucial to life on Earth. Remember, plants breathe it.”
For what it’s worth, Weissenberger’s new boss has also made a similar point:
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) March 30, 2016
But don’t think all his energy is spent on those pesky climate scientists!
Writing in the National Post, Weissenberger and Koch suggested “Canada’s credulous news media” were complicit in politicizing the climate change debate because they’ve helped establish a “mankind-bad, destroying-Earth paradigm.”
And on another occasion in the Calgary Herald, Weissenberger and Koch criticized the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, calling the oil and gas lobbyists “intellectually lazy” because they decided to accept the “validity” of the “theory” of climate change.
Isn’t it good to know who whispers in Jason Kenney’s ear?
*** MORE AER “DICKHEADING” BELOW ***
David Goldie graduated from the University of Waterloo, Earth Science program in 1986, and obtained a M.B.A. from the University of Calgary, while working as a geophysicist with Imperial Oil in Calgary. In 1994, he transferred to the Exxon Exploration Company in Houston, and participated in projects in South America and Alaska as a senior geophysicist. After returning to Calgary in 1997, he joined PanCanadian Petroleum and progressed through roles in exploration, economic analysis, business development, and as an Exploration Manager.
After the formation of EnCana in 2002, he was appointed Exploration VP, Foothills Division, and later moved to EnCana’s International Division, as VP, Planning and Business Development. In 2007, he served as VP, Refining, Planning and Business Development in the Oilsands Division. Here, David led teams in planning and analysis for EnCana’s (and subsequently Cenovus’s) SAGD projects, and the governance for SAGD and refining joint ventures with ConocoPhillips. He also sat on the Steering Committee for the Wood River Refinery heavy oil expansion project.
In 2010, David became VP of Cenovus’s Pelican Lake asset, which produces heavy oil through polymer enhanced oil recovery. He subsequently moved to the Marketing, Products, and Transportation team, where he led the business development and planning functions and developed strategies to maximize the value of Cenovus’s bitumen along the integrated value chain.
Since 2016, David has been President of Orelian Consulting Ltd., working as an independent strategy consultant specializing in decision quality.
From Mr. Goldie’s Linkedin:
AER Chair Of The Board Of Directors
Apr 2020 – Present 4 months
Member of the Interim Board
Sep 2019 – Apr 2020 8 months
Orelian Consulting Ltd.
Orelian Consulting Ltd.
Apr 2016 – Present 4 years 4 months
Principal Consultant working in partnership with Strategic Decisions Group
Broad Upstream/Downstream experience in the following areas:
Planning & Governance
Upstream Operations and Development
Exploration & Risk Assessment
Economic Analysis of Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Cenovus Energy Senior Planning Advisor – Markets, Products, and Transportation
Oct 2014 – Apr 2016 1 year 7 months
Budget and Long Range Plan development for the Marketing, Transportation and Refining Businesses
Capital and business development governance processes
Economic modelling and recommendations concerning new business opportunities
Portfolio optimization for the Marketing, Transportation and Refining segments
6 years 8 months
VP – Greater Pelican Assets
Dec 2010 – Apr 2014 3 years 5 months
Pelican Lake is a Heavy Oil field in Northern Alberta producing approximately 22,000 bbls/d under EOR using polymer injection.
VP – Refining, Planning & Business Development, Integrated Oil Division
Sep 2007 – Nov 2010 3 years 3 months
5 years 5 months
Vice-President – Business Development, Offshore & International Division
Nov 2003 – Aug 2007 3 years 10 months
Exploration Advisor, Strategic Planning & Portfolio Management
May 2003 – Nov 2003 7 months
Vice-President, Exploration, Canadian Foothills Region
Apr 2002 – May 2003 1 year 2 months
4 years 11 months
Exploration Manager, Selkirk Business Unit
Nov 2000 – Apr 20021 year 6 months
Senior Business Analyst, Corporate Development
Sep 1998 – Nov 20002 years 3 months
Jun 1997 – Sep 1998 1 year 4 months
Remember Lying Two-Steaks-for-Lunch Protti?
Lying to the media about my contaminated water (Encana and CAPP published data on historic water well records filed with the water regulator in Alberta; most did not have any natural gas!):
‘No place for fear’ inside AER, says new CEO by Chris Varcoe, May 4, 2020, Calgary Herald
Piddle-wits: Laurie Pushor and KKKenney’s War Room/CAPP/AER’s crap-enabling propagandizing Calgary Herald!
The new head of the Alberta Energy Regulator said there “is no place for fear” inside the organization, and Laurie Pushor vows to help build a workplace that is open, honest and transparent.
It’s the right message for an embattled agency that’s faced a series of controversies over the past year.
Pushor, who assumed the top job at the AER last month, has pledged to address a number of issues facing the organization, including a “culture of fear” identified last year by an Alberta auditor general report.
“It will take time. But as long as we are honest and open and transparent with folks as a leadership team, we will be able to move forward and rebuild that,” he said in an interview Friday.
“We only get better when people are able to be frank and honest with each other. There is no place for fear to be part of what drives us on a daily basis, at least not fear to speak the truth.”
A former deputy minister of energy in Saskatchewan, Pushor took over the chief executive officer’s role in mid-April, replacing interim CEO Gordon Lambert.
He comes on board in the middle of a turbulent period with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
There are other significant issues to tackle.
The AER is one of the most powerful agencies in the province, responsible for overseeing the safe, orderly and environmentally responsible development of Alberta’s energy resources.
It has been surrounded by turmoil recently.
A series of damning independent reports last fall identified numerous problems at the board and executive level. The creation of the International Centre of Regulatory Excellence (ICORE) in 2017 was at the centre of many troubles.
ICORE was intended to generate revenue by offering training and other services to international regulators.
Alberta’s public interest commissioner said former CEO Jim Ellis “grossly mismanaged public funds” WHY DO MEDIA KEEP ENABLING THE COMMISSIONER’S DISHONEST STATEMENT? ELLIS AND HIS DIRTY CLAN TOOK INDUSTRY FUNDS, NOT PUBLIC FUNDS! AER WAS 100% FUNDED BY INDUSTRY THEN. in establishing and supporting ICORE’s operations.
The province’s ethics commissioner found Ellis breached the Conflicts of Interest Act, saying the primary motivation behind ICORE was to create future employment or remuneration for the former CEO, who left the AER in late 2018.
The auditor general determined the AER spent public money inappropriately on ICORE, while board oversight was ineffective.
(Last year, the AER’s board was turfed by the UCP government. A new seven-member board committee, chaired by David Goldie, was appointed last month.)
The auditor general also said there was a “culture of fear” within the regulator and workers felt they were at risk of losing their job for speaking out.
Pushor, who read the reports, said it appeared the issues were “a performance matter, largely,” and he noted the new board and executive team are building a structure to ensure more accountability.
“I was worried about how deep it did permeate and I would say . . . the vast majority of people came to work every day and did their work well,” said Pushor.
“We are a new team and will do our best to be open and honest and make room for a variety of opinions.”
Other issues have also been boiling at the AER.
Last September, the Kenney government began reviewing the mandate and governance of the regulator, and it has been critical of slow application approval times.
It has also been conducting a liabilities management review surrounding energy development in Alberta, a complicated issue for a province with more than 90,000 inactive oil and gas wells that need to be cleaned up.
The AER must manage all of this with less funding and staff than it had a year ago. In February, the AER completed an internal restructuring that saw 200 jobs eliminated.
Pushor noted of the 40,000 applications the regulator dealt with last year, the AER met its own timelines about 98 per cent of the time, but he wants to understand what led to about 800 applications falling outside the target.
There are other matters to manage in the coming months, including dealing with Alberta’s liabilities management policies, once the Kenney government releases a new plan to deal with issues such as well licence transfers, abandonment and cleanup.
The industry, which is now enduring another major downturn, also wants to see improved application timelines and regulatory cost reductions to make Alberta more competitive with other jurisdictions, said Tristan Goodman of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada.
“What we are really looking for at the top level is a more modernized approach coming from the regulator,” Goodman said.
The Alberta NDP have questioned Pushor’s appointment, telling the legislature last month there are “far more” qualified individuals for the job, citing his role in a controversial land development project in Saskatchewan.
But the biggest issue for the new CEO is to build trust across the organization and its employees, said Neil McCrank, who chaired the predecessor Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board between 1998 and 2007.
“The staff has to feel some comfort they are part of an organization where they are all pulling in the same direction, and I’m not sure that was the case for some time,” said McCrank.
Aside from implementing solid management practices, it’s critical the organization backs up the front-line employees who are responsible for making decisions about energy development.
And once any new policies are rolled out, it’s important the government leave the independent regulator to make its own decisions and ensure the public’s energy resources are being well managed, McCrank added.
It sounds simple. But this is an organization that still has to get back on track.
Given the depths of the issues inside of the regulator, the AER’s new leader has an enormous task ahead of him.
The following comments are more valuable to read than the CBC article (included below), in my view.
The Alberta Energy Regulator is there to serve the needs of the industry more so than the public interest.The industry sets its own regulations in reality.
Who are we kidding? There really is NO credible ‘Alberta Energy Regulator’ – the title is an oxymoron, and this ‘appointee’ is as c or r up t as the rest of the ucp.
His background would seem to make him a perfect fit with the UCP which is no doubt why he was chosen, rather than for his determination to run a regulatory agency….
Another UCP henhouse: one fox out….one fox in.
Why would ANYONE with a functioning brain cell “trust” big money and big oil? Or ANY big corporation whose primary mandate is to service the shareholders, even if that means giving employees short shrift or abandoning one’s obligations through loopholes and “understandings.”
Pushor and Kenney share a lot in common. Both have checkered pasts, trouble with the law.
Lin Marie Reply to @Chris Shaw:
dishonesty does attract dishonesty
Proof that you cannot shame this bunch of PUC’s, nice voting Alberta.
The first thing he will find out is that the NDP opposition are still fighting the last election. They will do or say anything to discredit the UCP.
Tamara Cail Reply to @Herbert Greenfield:
the ucp doesn’t need any help to generate their own scandals. Kami kaze candidates, VPN fraud, diverting pensions, firing election commissioner, yelling at constituents in driveways, cancelling contracts, refusing arbitration and too many more to list
His assessment that Alberta’s energy sector has been mismanaged comes as no surprise to anyone. Ever since 1947, when Leduc 1 struck, Alberta has perfected how NOT to manage an energy sector. Five busts, five demands for Canadians to bail them out and still they haven’t learned a thing. There is a word for that!
Herbert Greenfield Reply to @David Sampson:
Over that time Alberta has had the most financially sound economy in Canada. Although things are changing quickly we have held the lowest per capita debt record in Canada.
Lin Marie Reply to @Herbert Greenfield: having good royalties and managing or mismanaging them are 2 different things
Carey Turner eply to R@Herbert Greenfield: I think you meant HIGHEST !
A perfect fit for an inCONfident Government.
So they had to replace a guy because of corruption and mismanagement…and they hire a guy with a history of corruption and mismanagment…right on.
If you want to rebuild confidence, resign.
His first meeting was probably with that political hack who runs the $30 million “War Room” where he would have been told what, and what not, to do and say.
Alberta is collecting the rejects of Saskatchewan. Good luck.
Darryl Gregorash Reply to @Alex Amaya:
Can we send them Moe and Company too?
Alex Amaya Reply to @Darryl Gregorash: They already took Wall, he is next. LOL.
It doesn’t matter who regulates AB O&G now anyway. With the price at about 20% of what it was a year ago, just about anyone will be buying it by the barrel from Dollaramas soon.
Bert van Reply to @dave dennison: He should have some left over after the transportation hub scandal.
Alex Amaya Reply to @dave dennison: There is no shame with cronyism with Cons.
This fellow seems too lightweight for the task at hand.
That he has a shady past is beside the point . . .
Bert van Reply to @Graham Greene: It’s his past that made him employable by the UCP.
During last year’s Alberta election campaign WCS was selling at about $50 per barrel. Jason Kenney said that was Notley’s fault. As of yesterday, it is selling at $15 per barrel. Is that her fault too?
Do they start their external position searches with reviews of court docket records??
Another Sask. Party crony gone to Alberta which is good as were the 2 fly the coop to Alberta guys known as Brad Wall and Kevin Doherty. Alberta deserves them all after voting in Kenney as Pushor will fit in quite well with Kenney’s right wing ideology.
Sure doesn’t look like he will suffer from inflated expectations !
When was there ever confidence in the regulator?
Seriously. As an oilpatch veteran, I don’t recall a time when the regulator was held in high regard by either industry critics or industry itself.
Its starting to be a rather reckless methodology, isn’t it?
Next to Albera will be the a faled Consrvative Leadership Candidate, take your pick..Actually Scheer might want in on our action. as well.
New head of Alberta Energy Regulator wants to rebuild confidence in leadership
The headline insinuates that there ever was confidence in the AER.
Maybe by AB O&G corporations. having it in their back pocket and all.
In the general Canadian public, not so much.
Pushor was an incompetent hack in Sask and now he’s ready to destroy Alberta. Good riddance. Enjoy your new nightmare Albertan’s.
Lester Gogal Reply to @Peter Kay: Pushor was Billy Boyd’s soulmate.
They usually hide these releases Friday’s, this was worse so they hid it Saturday.
Too funny. We know what you did in SK. Expect more of the same.
Carey Turner Reply to @Eugene Eklund: It’s what they do, and they are good at it.
And if your interested in picking up a Provincial Park ,he could be your man. A perfect fit for the Reformacons.
What a bad joke
“Pushor believes the public still has faith in the AER, despite its internal and external problems”
I’m glad he thinks so because I certainly don’t.
I know I shouldn’t be commenting after only reading as far as these two sentences but if it smells like crap….
“One (goal) is rebuilding confidence in the leadership internally,” Laurie Pushor said in an interview which I interpret as we are going to see a lot of propaganda from this guy and JK exalting the virtues of his value.
“Confidence in the public and government and the industry that we are a good team of people and that we’re doing our best and that we’re open to continuing to improve.” which I interpret as Laurie Pushor really needs to re-fabricate his reputation for bigger and better things than a paltry Alberta Energy Regulator.
And this tidbit, “The government’s the policymaker,” he said. “They’re going to give us the framework they want us to operate in.” He didn’t respect it before, why would he be expected to respect it now.
Conservatives giving a helping hand to other Conservatives who are down on their luck a bit.
As if it was going to be any different.
Alberta has some of the toughest O&G regulations in the world.
They don’t enforce ’em, but they have ’em.
Here we have a green hand, with baggage, being thrown a second chance lifeline by Jason Kenney. Just the kind of person who’ll not know enough to interfere with things, and who’ll know who he owes his job to otherwise.
The Jason Kenney UCP style of “regulating” the oilpatch.
Jason couldn’t find anyone in Alberta? and one that doesn’t have a great deal of baggage? sad.
New head of Alberta Energy Regulator wants to rebuild confidence in leadership
There was a lack of confidence in Albertans’ belief that crude oil and bitumen are the same things?
Yeah the guy with a scandalous recent history involving taxpayer dollars that enriched politicians and cronies is upping trust as a critical component. The party of scandals promoting more corrupt people. Oh Alberta voters, look in the mirror
hmm, Laurie Pushor from Saskatchewan, got land to sell? He can turn 30,000 into 30,000,000 just helping out a few friends from Alberta
Lester Gogal Reply to @mia stalling:
Also helping himself out under the table. Oh and don’t forget his boss Billy Boyd!
New head of Alberta Energy Regulator wants to rebuild confidence in leadership, Laurie Pushor comes into the role with some criticism from opposition critics in both Saskatchewan and Alberta by The Canadian Press with files from CBC News, May 2, 2020, CBC News
Like a sports coach coming off a disappointing season, the new head of the agency that regulates Alberta’s heavily challenged energy industry knows he’s got some work to do.
“One (goal) is rebuilding confidence in the leadership internally,” Laurie Pushor said in an interview.
“Confidence in the public and government and the industry that we are a good team of people and that we’re doing our best and that we’re open to continuing to improve.”
Pushor, two weeks into the job, replaces Jim Ellis as boss of the Alberta Energy Regulator. Ellis left last November after investigators found serious mismanagement, misuse of about $2.3 million and a “culture of fear” among whistleblowers.
Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Jim Ellis to resign in January
Auditor general uncovers more troubling financial irregularities at Alberta Energy Regulator
“Improvement will include continuing to strengthen transparency and continuing to strengthen accountability for our performance,” Pushor promised.
Pushor also comes into the role under a cloud of doubt, say opposition critics from both Saskatchewan and Alberta.
He was a central figure in a Saskatchewan government land-deal scandal that cost taxpayers millions of dollars — and the subject of a scathing audit — prompting an RCMP investigation.
New Alberta Energy Regulator CEO was central figure in Saskatchewan scandal
That’s not the only challenge he and the energy regulator face.
There’s an enormous backlog of abandoned and orphaned wells that will cost someone billions to clean up. There are difficult relationships between the regulator, First Nations and landowners.
And there’s the industry itself for which profits and reserves are declining.
Don’t count Alberta out yet, said Pushor. Notwithstanding the uncertainties of COVID-19 and international oil price wars, there’s still money to be made, he said.
“If you look at recovery rates and the innovation that industry is applying to known reserves, not only might we not be presiding over an industry in decline, but you might see a bit of a renaissance in conventional production.”
Rebuilding trust with First Nations is another priority for Pushor. In his previous job as Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of energy and resources, he worked with a traditional knowledge-keeper, he said.
“He is relentless in reminding me that it’s about relationships,” said Pushor, who promises plenty of face-to-face time with Indigenous leaders.
“If you’re not in a relationship, you’re not going to be able to move things forward. We, as the regulator, need to be in a good relationship with First Nations.”
Pushor wants the same kind of contact with landowner groups, who have often been critical of how industry uses their land and treats them.
“It’ll start with three or four of the larger groups out there that have organized. I look forward to catching up and understanding their issues and seeing what can be done to move things ahead.”
When it comes to cleaning up wells, Pushor acknowledges he’s got some work to do to grasp the legal ins and outs. Critics have long pushed for a legislated timeline for dealing with old infrastructure and say that the province’s calculations on whether a well owner has the wherewithal for cleanup are antiquated.
Pushor asks for a little time to dig into those issues.
“The government’s the policymaker,” he said. “They’re going to give us the framework they want us to operate in.”
There’s an inevitable tension between business, environmental and public concerns, Pushor said.
“That tension is real and it should be. What makes a regulator effective is ensuring that tension is balanced.”
Critics say Pushor’s involvement in the Saskatchewan scandal should have disqualified him from the position, and that checkered past will make it difficult for the AER to restore its reputation.
Pushor believes the public still has faith in the AER, despite its internal and external problems.
“Confidence in the industry and the regulator, while they may have eroded somewhat, remains relatively stable. But we can always do better and we should.”
Reorganized AER gets new board of directors by Kallanish Energy, April 3, 2020
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is getting seven new members on its board of directors.
The board is expected to focus on increasing stability with the provincial agency that oversees the energy industry, Kallanish Energy reports.
The appointments are expected to strengthen AER’s governance structure through their different skill sets and wide-ranging energy experience, Alberta said in a statement.
The appointments are for five-year terms that begin on April 15.
Named to the board were
Tracey McCrimmon SPOG Executive Director. SPOG is one of Alberta’s most evil Synergy Alberta groups that propagandized many frac-harmed landowners to serve self and husband (has frac’ing related company) and dance with CAPP, AER, industry and gov’t.
Snap above from AER website, June and July 2020.
Snap above taken January 2, 2014. Note:
Members: 6000+ households from 28 oil & gas companies
Snap above taken November 12, 2013, Note first sentence in the last paragraph:
SPOG is a collection of oil and gas companies with operations in the Sundre area.
Corrina Bryson In obvious conflict of interest? Bryson owns and operates her own business “delivering petroleum engineering and management consulting to operators and investors.”
Beverly Yee Helped Peter Watson (then Deputy Minister of Alberta Environment) cover-up Encana’s crimes when she was Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment. She was in the meeting room with him, hydrogeologist Rob George, other staff, and landowners Fiona Lauridsen and Dale Zimmerman, when I presented then Minister of Environment Guy Boutilier with Encana/Ovintiv’s documented evidence proving the company violated numerous laws and regulations, and frac’d directly into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers.
The squirming by our “environment” authorities was galling and shameful. Minister Boutilier turned his body away from me when I walked to him to show him the evidence, refusing to look at it (like a 5 year old thinking what he can’t see, doesn’t exist). Pathetic crime-enabling cowards, the lot of them, all rising to the top to enable more corporate crimes and harms to Albertans and our environment and communities. Peter Watson is head of the national energy enabler (CER, prev NEB) and has been for years. Rewarded by Steve Harper for protecting his buddy Gwn Morgan and Encana and covering-up that frac’ing had indeed contaminated an Alberta community’s drinking water supply?
Ms. Yee’s bio for her AER board position sneakily leaves out that she was ADM of Environment in the early frac experiment years when Encana and other companies frac’d thousands of wells in fresh water zones, without letting water well owners know, without mandating complete chemical disclosure and without mandating baseline testing for water well owners (because companies, Alberta Environment and AER were lying and keeping secret the super shallow fracs).
Ms. Yee’s bio at The Canadian Bar Association, accessed July 2020:
Goldie, a geologist, is the board chairman.
The reorganized agency also gets a new executive on April 15.
Laurie Pushor, Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of energy and resources, will take over the AER’s top job as president and CEO.
He will replace Gordon Lambert, who had served as interim president and CEO.
Prior to the oil price rout, the regulator had been overhauling its management and staff at the direction of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in the wake of an ethics scandal.
HERE’S THE NEW AER EXECUTIVE Is Martin Foy – another Encana crime enabler, replacing liar and enabler of illegal aquifer fracs Ex-Encana Manager Mark Taylor? Looks like more of the same Encana incest fest to me.
Our executive leadership team is accountable for day-to-day operations and oversees the AER’s divisions and branches.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining the AER, Laurie Pushor served as Deputy Minister for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources for two years, from 2018 until 2020. He served as the Deputy Minister for the former Ministry of the Economy from 2014 to 2018, and served four years as Chief of Staff for several government departments in Saskatchewan, including Social Services, Energy, and Health.
Mr. Pushor’s previous roles include Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the University of Saskatchewan, where he was responsible for Canadian and international recruitment and activities. Prior to this, Mr. Pushor and his family spent three years in Nova Scotia where he played a similar role for St. Francis Xavier University.Read more
Executive Vice President, Law Branch, and AER Counsel General
In September 2018, Charlene Graham became the executive vice president of the Law Branch and general counsel of the AER. Ms. Graham has over 20 years of experience in environmental regulatory law. At the AER, she leads the Law Branch, which is responsible for providing legal and strategic advice to the entire organization. Read more
Interim Executive Vice President, Corporate Services and Strategy
In October 2019, Glen Eades became the interim executive vice president of the AER’s Corporate Services and Strategy Division. Mr. Eades brings over 25 years of business and information technology expertise to this role and oversees matters of information management and technology, strategic management, people management, finance, and engagement. Read more
Martin Foy Super Nasty! When Foy was a “manager” with Alberta Environment, he helped the rest of the “environment” gang: Bev Yee, Peter Watson, Darren Bourget, Kevin Pilger, Craig Knaus, Steve Wallace and Leslie Miller engage in fraud to cover-up Encana’s crimes at Rosebud and other frac’ers contaminating groundwater elsewhere in Alberta.
Activities of the gang included endless lies; much cruel bullying and shaming of the frac harmed residents; deliberate bad sampling of citizen water wells to avoid key contaminants; losing (throwing away?) important samples and data; purposely ignoring the most shallow frac’d Encana gas wells and records that prove the company broke the law and contaminated an entire community’s water supply; withholding data and records; altering data and reports; secretly editing supposedly “independent” reports and lying about it in official court filings; refusing to review Encana’s data on file with EUB (now AER); defaming harmed citizens and threatening them trying to make them drop their contaminated well complaints and to stop talking to the media; intentionally introducing mud and gopher shit into a harmed resident’s frac-contaminated water well so as to then blame that resident for contaminating Rosebud’s aquifers with E. coli to deflect away from Encana’s crimes; etc etc etc. The list of fraud engaged in by these water regulatory scheisters in cahoots with EUB (now AER) to cover-up Encana’s crimes and further harm the frac-harmed residents of Redland and Rosebud would make even Trump blush.
Interim Executive Vice President, Operations
In October 2019, Martin Foy became the interim executive vice president of the Operations Division at the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). He has 27 years’ experience leading people and managing natural resources. The division is responsible for regulating the full life cycle of energy resource development, from issuing approvals to managing closure and liability. Read more
Refer also to:
Alberta Petrolum Marketing Commission May 2, 2020
Within the energy sector, APMC operates as the commercial arm of the Government of Alberta. The Commission is responsible for the following:
Marketing the Crown’s conventional oil royalty received in kind and setting prices used in the valuation of the Crown royalty share of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and sulphur;
Adding value to Alberta’s energy resources;
Expanding access to global energy markets
APMC is governed by a board of directors appointed by the Minister of Energy.
The directors are:
Grant Sprague, Chair and Deputy Minister of Alberta Energy
Douglas Borland, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry Services Division of Alberta Energy
Diane J. Pettie, Independent Director
Stephanie Sterling, Independent Director
David Mowat, Independent Director
Corrina Bryson, Independent Director Not independent with her also appointed Director of AER and owning/operating her own business “delivering petroleum engineering and management consulting to operators and investors.”
Terrance Kutryk, Independent Director
Refer also to:
… This is just the tip of the iceberg though, the lobbying and corporate pressures that are visible above the surface. What lies beneath?
At the community level in Alberta, we have this slimy system of lobbying, referred to as “synergy”. Synergy Alberta is partnered with, and partially fiscally supported by CAPP and the AER. In the past, the Government of Alberta also contributed, but recently have pulled funding. The rest of money for operations of these synergy groups, comes from invoicing industry.
Here is a list of Synergy Alberta groups:
Alberta Energy Corridor, BalCAP, Battle Lake Synergy, Battle Action Committee, Regional air-sheds such as PAMZ and the Peace, Calumet Synergy, CMAG, Clearwater synergy, Cochrane Pipeline Operators Assc, Crossfield District Synergy, FAAMA, Fox Creek Synergy, Genessee Synergy, LICA, Life in the Heartland, FAO, PAG, Peace Regional Synergy, Pembina Synergy, Rimbey Synergy, SPOG, VAPPA, WASP, Waterton Advisory, West Central Stakeholders, Wetaskiwin Synergy and Yellowhead Synergy.
I have participated in many meetings and interactions with SPOG and CMAG and they way they operate is disturbing, to say the least.
For instance, with CMAG, industry and AER reps, community members, perhaps a municipal councillor will generally meet at the local Smitty’s for breakfast, hosted by an “impartial facilitator” (who happens to be paid by industry and gets her breakfast paid for nearly every time by TransCanada, hardly impartial). Since witnessing several misleading and fabricated statements regarding local operations, such as Julia Fulford with the AER, stating that the well sites by our home have “no emissions”, I took to recording the meetings. Present after all, are elected officials and government employees. It outraged the group, and they kicked me out, while passing a Terms of Reference that states that no recording, visual or audio, can be taken at meetings and that meeting minutes can not be used in legal proceedings. All this information is accessible on the CMAG website in the TOR and meeting minutes.
The evolution of Synergy groups, generally follows the same path. It begins with local community concerns regarding industry activity or a serious incident. The Pembina Institute would be the most famous example of this, borne of the Lodgepole Pine sour gas blowout. CMAG came about because of CBM activity. The origins of these groups are respectable enough, however, the progression from community led, to industry controlled and colluded, is what is so disgraceful, and it happens every time.
Just look at what Pembina has become, a national eNGO, hosting galas in Toronto, with industry money. They don’t assist impacted residents at all, neither does any synergy group. In reality, this system operates more on the basis of discrediting harmed landowners and endorsing industry regardless of impacts. Industry moves in on these groups and uses money and power to change the dynamic and messaging, until they are nothing more than a subset of stakeholder relations departments pushing corporate interests. Controlled opposition at it’s finest. Community level lobbying.
Aside from industry infiltrating communities via synergy and four stacks with a side of sausage, industry also funds the air-shed groups in Alberta.
When we had a PAMZ air quality trailer on our land, the company shut in all their operations near our home, for the duration of testing. PAMZ, the AER and the company, then used this manipulated data set, that had no resemblance to air quality during full production, as a means to discredit our concerns over sour gas emissions. When industry pays for the operations of air-sheds doing community testing, they have ways to ensure they are not implicated in any non-compliances. Air quality lobbying.
More industry money is directed at influencing education. Major oil and gas operators are currently partners in the Alberta K-12 curriculum. They also sponsor industry propaganda at the Telus Science Centre, Glenbow Museum and promotion at Heritage Park. Industry funds numerous organizations that come to schools with corporate messaging guised as environmental initiatives, delivered by the likes of Earth Rangers and Inside Education.
Of course, industry has huge monetary influence in our post secondary institutions. The U of C is infamous for their oil and gas based agenda, led by the Haskayne School of Business and the School of Public Policy. Academic lobbying.
In fact, in Alberta, you will be hard pressed to find any eNGO that does not have industry money behind them. The Alberta Ecotrust is a prime example. Environmental lobbying.
Then you have your “charities” which are pro-industry, the most renowned is the Fraser Institute. Charitable lobbying.
Then you have industry in the communities, donating money to local schools, bonspiels, beer gardens and the other events and projects, yet, implementing proper emission reductions for priority pollutants, inspecting and maintaining pipelines and facilities or implementing and installing proper air and water quality monitoring to protect the public, is all too costly and lobbied against. Buy-off lobbying.
Finally, you have all the money industry spends on private meetings, the ones not on anyone’s books. Like how TransCanada met privately with members of AAMDC, which resulted in their resolution to endorse Energy East. Those AAMDC members had no knowledge of the tolls ($4.6 billion, at minimum) to Albertan’s, and had not read the take-or-pay contract for the project, nor seen an economic benefit analysis for our province. Must have been some meeting. Private lobbying.
These are all forms of how the industry petitions for and acquires support from the community, up to the federal level. Lobby, lobby, lobby.
If all this funding from synergy, lobby and enticement were re-directed, industry would easily have the financial capacity for emissions reductions, proper monitoring and enforcement, meant to protect public health and environmental sustainability.
What serves a community better, money put towards beer gardens, golf tournaments and awards shows (PTAC, EPAC, CAPP) or reducing hazardous pollutants and ensuring high pressure sour gas lines are properly maintained and inspected? Priorities are extremely out of place here.
There are billions being wasted on lobbying, propaganda, partisan alignments and Pete Club perks, and hearing industry complain about costs related to protecting public health is revolting. The fact that the federal government accepts this bullsh*t as means to delay policies in which they made a commitment, is worse. …
Property rights do not exist. Right of Entry in Alberta legislates you can not refuse exploration and production for resources on your land. Expropriation is the means for federal projects.
Agreed, industry spends millions on agreeable scientists, academics, biologists, engineers, geos, even doctors. APEGA is a sullied example of a captured professional organization, which is mandated to hold the health and wellness of the public and environment paramount, but never do.
Far from rightful compensation, industry and regulators still insist there are no harms incurred to public health. You can’t get a single doctor in this province to discuss the effects of industrial emissions on health. The Chair of the Maternal and Child Health program at the Alberta’s Children Hospital, is from Husky Energy.
The AER has no public health mandate. Certainly by intention, there has not been one comprehensive epidemiological study done in Canada to date, on the public health impacts of the oil and gas industry. The medical community has failed the public in this regard.
Encana/Ovintiv, one of the world’s 47 most polluting companies, named “morally responsible” for death & destruction; First time a human rights body stated fossil fuel companies can be found legally and morally liable for harms linked to climate change.
AER picks next “Dickhead” (Pres & CEO): “Back Door” Laurie Pushor, reportedly scandle-corroded pisser on rules, conflict of interest old white man, was Alberta gov’t official under Ralph Klein, is Saskatchewan’s Deputy Minister Energy & Resources and on the Board of STEP, Sask Trade & ***Export*** Partnership
Where did AER’s Executive VP Mark Taylor go? He was Encana manager when the company illegally frac’d Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, then lied about it to 200 concerned community members, promising Encana would only frac far below fresh water zones (same lie touted by frac’ers everywhere), after area water wells had already gone bad, and were being investigated by – of course – the criminal, with regulator and govt blessings.
**Public** Accounts Standing Committee on AER’s 100% **industry** funded ICORE scandal: Board Chair Bev Yee (who helped cover-up Encana crimes), blathers on, deflects questions, toots for AER Board and UCP, no wonder UCP appointed her Chair. UCP MLA said “public” money was blown on the scandal knowing AER/ICORE rec’d no public funds.
Deputy Environment Minister Bev Yee – who helped cover-up Encana’s crimes: diverting water without required permit under Water Act, illegal aquifer fracs, community-wide drinking water contamination & exploding water tower – appointed by Alberta gov’t to chair the AER in “steps to clean house.”
EUB, after caught breaking the law in 2007, lying and spying, was changed by the Alberta govt to ERCB, which in 2013 the govt changed to AER after the Ernst lawsuit went public and removed public interest from the regulator’s mandate (which outside counsel Glenn Solomon lied about to the Supreme Court of Canada)
Above image from Justice D. W. Perras September 7, 2007 report on EUB’s (now AER) “repulsive” spying on innocent Albertans.
AER is much more evil than EUB was. Encana and Canada’s oilpatch friendly courts made sure of that.
Peter Watson’s scandal bitten NEB boss-job to crumble into frac dust? Cover-up agent for AER/Encana & bully extraordinaire, ex-Deputy Minister Alberta Environment Peter Watson, now Chair & CEO of NEB (appointed by Steve Harper as reward?) skating on thin ice. What cover-up position will Watson get next?
After expense hanky panky by AER’s top executive Jim Ellis is publicly commented on by Diana Daunheimer, Alberta farmer and mother of two, he steps down: “Good riddance, bring in the next dickhead.” Indeed! Third AER executive paid to commute from BC (air & water too polluted in Alberta?)
Frac Water Orgy Announced by AER’s Mark Taylor (ex-manager Encana who lied to Rosebud, said Encana would never frac their drinking water). No Wonder AEP is Taking Water Licences Away from Farmers/Ranchers: AER grants 10 year blanket approval water licences; Companies need not know where they will frac, or how much they will frac or where they’ll get their water from. Companies “expected” to look at sources other than fresh drinking water, eg hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater, but not if contaminated with methane!
WITH PHOTOS, AER’s EMERGENCY COMMAND CENTRE SET UP 2.5 HRS AWAY! DON’T AER COMMAND STAFF WANT TO DAMAGE THEIR BRAINS? Encana’s Fox Creek blow out spewing 20,000,000,000 litres/day sour gas & condensate: Where’s the regulator? Ex-Encana VP Gerard Protti = AER Chair; Ex-Encana Manager Mark Taylor = AER VP Industry Operations