A little intro:
2009: Cupid’s arrow pierces energy regulator, Alberta’s ERCB [Previously EUB and ERCB before that, now AER]
… Just when I started to think I’d entered a Seinfeld script, things got more entertaining. I called up Andrew Nikiforuk, the one person I know who is familiar with the board and, married with three sons, also with the ways of love. But whereas I was thinking possible candlelight dinners and walks in the park, Nikiforuk’s mind went straight to the gutter.“People have been saying for years that the ERCB [now AER] and the industry are in bed together,” says Nikiforuk, an award-winning author who has followed the industry for years. “Now we have hard evidence to prove it.” No fan of the board, Nikiforuk says this latest boondoggle is another example of the hazards of having a provincial energy regulator that receives 58 per cent [now 100 per cent!] of its funding from the oil and gas industry. “Their mandate to be impartial has been compromised once again, but this time it’s in the bedroom, not the boardroom.” Nikiforuk is nevertheless impressed the staid environs of a hearing would spawn a relationship with enough sparks to shut down the whole show. “Sex is the last thing you’d think of when you walk into an ERCB hearing,” he says. “I would actually argue that it’s an effective form of birth control.”
March 31, 2014 Devastation Day for Alberta’s Water: The Oil and Gas Industry takes over total control of Alberta’s Fresh Water as “No Duty of Care” Spying AER now a single regulator, 100% funded by industry, takes over Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Water Act
AER Boss Jim Ellis On The Changing Face Of Alberta’s Energy Regulation, “We’re far more transparent now when we’re doing things. We’re putting far more emphasis on that. The expectation of this government is for us to regulate and that’s what we’re doing.” by Alberta Oil Magazine Staff, February 05, 2016
Previously publicly available at, no longer there: http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2016/02/aer-boss-jim-ellis-on-the-changing-face-of-energy-regulation/
Regulators, by definition, tend to be a lot better at reacting to a problem than pre-empting one. And the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is no different. But that doesn’t mean they’re passive or immune to change. [Because their law violations, corruption, lies and abuse of Albertans keeps escalating so they have to keep changing their filthy spots?]
Images below: ERCB became EUB became ERCB became AER.
Above image from Justice D. W. Perras September 7, 2007 report on EUB’s (now AER) “repulsive” spying on innocent Albertans.
Whatever new name will CAPP & their Koch Bros think up next?
An AER, let’s Frac the Cap Rock Interlude:
AER Frac Pilot Project: Earthquakes, tax increases, water restrictions, double homicide, spills and accidents shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking; Aging sour facilities in deregulated Fox Creek a big worry for council; AER’s FracQuake Red Light stops Chevron only 16 days; Families moving out
AER and Gerard Protti trying to erase the murders in the Frac Hell Free-for-all they created and enable at Fox Creek? How will the AER restore those lives? How will they wipe out the horror facing residents and workers?
End AER’s Frac the Cap Rock Interlude
The past 12 months have seen plenty of the latter, shaking up the way the regulator – and, therefore, the industry – conducts business.
From the introduction of a play-based [DE]regulation pilot program [at frac quaked to hell Fox Creek!], to the proposed division of the AER itself into separate entities, the only real constant over the past year has been change. That’s without even mentioning, of course, the oversight of a new provincial government [The NDP that giddily cut royalties and deregulated more to enable more frac and tarsands harms], the introduction of a broad, [scam to let big polluters pollute more while making little ordinary Albertans pay, so as to give more money to big polluters!] carbon-cutting climate plan and worsening economics for resource commodities. Just keeping up with all of the regulatory shifts is a difficult enough feat, never mind actually implementing them. Today, that job belongs to Jim Ellis, the former deputy minister for Alberta Energy, who has been at the helm of the AER since June 2013 as its president and CEO. And while he acknowledges that times are tough and getting tougher for the industry and for the government that depends on it for revenues [Tough isnt’ it, when industry, CAPP, AER, govts, NGOs,, etc can’t keep up with their own lies?], he’s adamant that now, more than ever, is the right time for greater transparency in the energy sector.
There are plenty of people out there who believe that the AER has gotten tougher on the industry since the election of the Alberta NDP government last May. Is there any truth to that, in your opinion? The answer is no. We’ve had to take some fairly tough compliance positions, but there was also a number of them that we did before the change in government. We dealt with Murphy Oil, we dealt with Plains Midstream, we had to deal with Nexen. The vast majority of companies that do business in Alberta are well above the regulatory requirements. [That’s an Encana lie that EUB/ERCB/AER likes to spit on the public. It’s total garbage] However, if companies step out of that, we have to come in and take action – that’s what’s expected from us.
We’re far more transparent now when we’re doing things.
[For reality, look to the 2019 cross references below, especially about Jim Ellis and his royal Hanky Panky self!]
We’re putting far more emphasis on that. But there’s been no pressure on us. The expectation of this government is for us to [DE]regulate and that’s what we’re doing. But we’ve been [DE]regulating since I’ve been here. We don’t make an example of anybody. We’ll come in and take the action we need to based on what’s going on with the individual proponent. [aka, cover for the abusing polluting companies, lie for them, let them off, again and again and again] Again, there hasn’t been any pressure or direction or anything else, other than them saying they expect us to regulate and that’s what we’re doing. The province is under such scrutiny internationally [Ha ha ha! Because of a certain civil action by one little solitary, middle aged, frac’d Alberta scientist?] that one company [Ha ha ha! Encana for illegally frac’ing a community’s drinking water supply with Alberta government and AER happily covering the crimes up, and breaking the law themselves to do so?] can have an issue and that causes issues for every other company as well. [Roaring laughter. Such incredibly pathetic cowards!]
So the industry expects the regulator [The AER is industry!] to regulate, and I talk to a number of CEOs [all buddies and peers of Ellis?] and ENGOs [Controlled opposition, that enable the abuses by industry & industry (AER)] and they expect us to regulate, too.
Before the NDP came to power, it proposed splitting up the regulator into two bodies with two different roles; one to promote energy development, and one to regulate and enforce compliance with the law. What’s your understanding of how that thinking came to be and how it eventually came to be undone?
In their defense, it was a brand new government and they didn’t know what this regulator was. So they needed that good six-month period to decide. There was never a decision to actually split the regulator. There were comments made about what’s going on and they needed to see how we do business. Then last week [December 3] they made it clear that they’re going to continue to review the governance board, but for us they said they’re not going to review our mandate, so we’ll see. We don’t have a role to encourage energy development. We’re a regulator, and we regulate. [Roaring laughter! Didn’t Ellis mean to say, “We’re industry! We regulate ourselves with big fat pay cheques! Screw you, stupid greedy synergizable Albertans! You pay to clean up our mess!”]
Smart regulations that provide clarity and certainty to the system do incent development, but I’m not in the game of running around and trying to bring business into the province. Our role is to provide the oversight for responsible and safe development.
More regulation isn’t better regulation; it’s all about building a smart system and that just makes things much easier for proponents and stakeholders to understand what the system is and what’s required. [Obedience by the people, constantly synergizing for industry (AER), loudly proclaiming “We are not opposed to oil and gas; we want responsible energy development; we want more money for more research; we want regulation and enforcement of regulation; we want baseline water well testing years after the cap rock raping begins; oh ya, and we want more and more $millions to re-study the hundreds of $billions in liabilities left to us by the DEregulated AER.”]
I used to run the energy department as the deputy [minister] of energy, and that was my role then – encouraging investment in the province – but that’s not the regulator’s role. [No, it’s not. AER is an enabler, it’s AER’s role to make things as easy as possible for the companies it serves, and to make things horridly abusive and impossible for citizens, families and communities the industry harms]
One of several major projects for you this year is going to be the continuation of the play-based regulation (PBR) pilot you launched in the Duvernay in 2015. How is that program doing, and do you anticipate bringing it to additional plays in 2016?
There’s been a lot of interest in us
moving [spreading] it around the province, so we’re just looking at it right now. Government sets the policies for these sub-regional areas, so we’re working closely with them now in the Duvernay so they can develop the policy, and we come in behind them to build the [DE]regulatory system behind it. That’s been very successful, but success breeds expectation. So there’s a whole bunch of ideas out there as to where we go next. And we’re receiving countless requests right now from all over the world asking us to assist and advise on [DE]regulations.
When the PBR pilot was introduced, oil and natural gas prices were significantly higher than they are today. Have you had to tinker with either the PBR pilot or any other regulatory program because of the increasingly challenging economics?
Oh yes. We’re all watching the price of oil and we have hour-to-hour- interfaces with the industry. We had a view to what this PBR program was going to look like when we started it, but the whole role of sitting down with stakeholders and listening to them as to what they require and where they’re going has obviously changed the way we were looking at this thing. Nobody in the world has done this before, so we’re really breaking new ground with it. But that doesn’t mean for a moment we’re going to cut corners. The ground has really shifted on us. The expectations of the public for engagement in energy development – upstream, midstream and even downstream – have never been higher. So the regulator has a significant role to play in that. Industry’s role is to perform safely and environmentally responsibly – that’s their role and they need to step out and talk about what they’re doing. Government’s role is obviously good, sound policy and then we implement the policy. But we need to be more open, more transparent. We need people to understand what we’re doing and we need to gain the position of a trusted, respected regulator – especially in Alberta, where we’re under huge international scrutiny for what we do. And we need a regulator to step up and hold that ground.
Refer also to:
AER reacting again to heaps of bad press? Cherry picking data for public display? Do you trust the lying, Charter violating, legally immune, fraudulent pollution enabling AER? Energy deregulator starts tracking company performance to try to reduce pipeline spills. Why now, decades too late?
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?)
Canadians wait a long time, usually forever, for petroleum industry leaks, spills and damaging fracs to be appropriately cleaned up. Regulators nowhere to be seen, except lying to the public and in Synergy Alberta meetings with AER execs like Gerard Protti and Jim Ellis schmoozing synergy girls at the pub
AER too corrupt to stay alive? Slithering down fracs to meet Glenn Solomon (AER’s outside counsel) in Hell with $100M in budget cuts? Or, just another Kenney/AER/CAPP scam to take more money from Alberta taxpayers?
Is AER President & CEO Jim Ellis lying? To make AER look like a regulator? To impress Canadians because of NEB’s & Peter Watson’s (past Deputy Minister Alberta Environment, helped cover-up Encana’s law violations, contamination of Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, tried to bully Ernst silent) fall into public disgrace?
CAPP’s (under guise of Kenney) review of AER, and dictated deregulation to enhance profits for companies while walking from more responsibilities, on track to conclude “industry likes it” so nothing will change except its name?
AER shuts Lexin Resources down way too late: AER fails Albertans & oil patch workers, yet again; AER saves the day for oil patch executives, yet again; AER keeps shareholders off the hook, yet again. And AER still hasn’t criminally charged Encana for law violations, frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers!
Calgary wants control over contaminated sites (1,766 known in the city!): “Oftentimes the authority is not aligned with the ability.” AER & industry set taxpayers up to be hung with $300 Billion in oilfield liabilities. Enabled by the courts? Alberta Cancer Cases Expected to Sky Rocket – How much caused by oilfield pollution? 18,600 new cancer cases expected in Alberta in 2017!
Diana Daunheimer’s Excellent Summation of AER & CAPP’s Evil Synergy Alberta as to why Trudeau govt caves in to oil & gas industry pathetic whines about costs, Delays requiring reductions in industry’s leaking methane for 2 years (and if reelected, for 4 more years?)
Gerard Protti Sings “I Wanna Stay.” Who is Gerry? Chair of Alberta’s Energy Regulator. AER is: Legally Immune, Charter Violating, “No Duty of Care,” 100 Percent Industry Funded, Deregulating, Non-Enforcing, Lying Propaganda Synergy Machine; Protti IS Director Petromanas; was Encana VP, Lobbyist, Advisor to Cenovus, Creator/Chair of CAPP, Director Alberta Research Council/Innovates …
AER gets failing grade for efforts to acquire, report accurate scientific data! Alberta “guessing” when it comes to spill recovery. “AER failure to protect the environment.” AER “off the scale in terms of believability….” Researcher Dr. Kevin Timoney sums up his forensic investigation: “Persistent, pervasive danger to society and ecosystems.”