On March 6, 2006, the Alberta gov’t held an emergency meeting with then Environment Minister Guy Boutilier, Deputy Minister Environment Peter Watson (now Chair of CER, preveiously Chair of NEB, appointed then by Steve Harper), Assistant Deputy Minister Bev Yee (now Chair AER), Hydrogeologist Rob George, other gov’t staff, frac harmed farmers Dale Zimmerman and Fiona Lauridsen, Opposition MLA David Swann and frac harmed landowner Jessica Ernst.
In the meeting Ernst presented the gov’t with Encana’s 2005 hydrogeogolocal report investigating the S. Kenney water well gone bad after the company illegally frac’d the Rosebud community’s drinking water aquifers. In that report, it was admitted Encana diverted fresh water from a gas well without the required permit at the time under the Water Act, and illegally frac’d directly – with 18 Million litres of frac fluid and undisclosed chemical additives – into the communities drinking water aquifers.
In the 2006 emergency meeting, Ernst tried to show the Minister, Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister and their staff, Encana’s data and evidence proving the company broke the law and violated Rosebud’s drinking water supply. The Minister rudely turned his body away, like a spoiled five year old, when Ernst presented him with Encana’s report. The Minister, his deputies, including Bev Yee and staff refused to look at the evidence, helping cover-up Encana’s crimes. Ernst persisted until one of the staff wrote down the Encana report file number. Later, via FOIP results from Alberta Environment, Ernst found out that Encana had directly mailed a copy of the report to Alberta Environment and the AER the year previous. Alberta Health also knew about it. Not one authority fulfilled their responsibilities and charged Encana. They only blamed and shamed the harmed landowners, and violated Ernst’s Charter rights trying to scare her silent.
Did Harper appoint Peter Watson to Chair the NEB (now CER) as reward for covering-up Encana’s crimes?
Is that why the UCP appointed Bev Yee Chair of the AER?
Imagine! Alberta’s “World Class” energy regulator, the AER, deregulating four times slower than its cousin in Texas! Watch UCP press conference to hear Alberta govt drone on and on how slow AER is compared to deregulator in Texas.
Comment above by Annie_fiftyseven in response to Andrew Nikiforuk’s article in The Tyee on Klippenstein & Wanless quitting the Ernst lawsuit.
Alberta government to review energy regulator, replaces board members by Tom Ross with files from The Canadian Press, Sept 6, 2019, 660 City News
The province does not plan to scrap the regulator while giving the public a chance to give feedback.
Minister Jason Nixon wants to boost oil and gas production and protect the environment.
The provincial government is fulfilling a campaign promise by launching a review of the Alberta Energy Regulator.
The government is concerned the performance of the AER is declining.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage says the review will look at overall changes to the Alberta Energy Regulatory’s mandate, operations and governance.
In a joint announcement with Environment Minister Jason Nixon, Savage said they have heard many complaints from industry.
“They’re too slow, they take too long, it’s too expensive, there’s too much red tape, it’s too cumbersome. So, we’re taking a look to see, ‘Why is this?’” Savage said.
In her words, they will “crack open” the AER’s core mandate to make sure they are not going beyond the scope, which was originally intended to centre around the responsible development of natural resources.
Crack Open Reality Check:
End Crack Open Reality Check.
While this review is conducted, feedback will be sought from both stakeholders and the public. Public feedback can also be left online, at alberta.ca/AER.
Alberta Energy Regulator review
A review of the Alberta Energy Regulator will help ensure the province’s resources are being developed efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner. They are also asked about the man booted from the Senate for wearing the “I love Canadian oil and gas” shirt. Savage and Nixon laugh, say it’s absolutely ridiculous. Savage says she was tempted to wear her oil and gas shirt today
“Make sure that we have a regulator that has a foundation to be able to develop resources in an environmentally friendly way going forward, and about finding balance,” Nixon added.
Savage says its current board of directors is also being replaced with interim members, who will remain in place for the next nine months.
The moves were a campaign promise Premier Jason Kenney made before his United Conservatives were elected in April.
Kenney had said one of his first tasks would be replacing the board, especially member Ed Whittingham, who Kenney accused of committing “economic sabotage” against Alberta’s oil interests.
Whittingham, a former executive director of the Pembina Institute, an Alberta-based think tank that promotes economically responsible energy development, resigned before he could be fired.
There are no plans to scrap the regulator, though it could be slimmed down in the name of finding efficiencies.
UCP cans AER board, launches promised review of regulator’s mandate by Amanda Stephenson with files from Chris Varcoe, September 6, 2019, Calgary Herald
The UCP government has taken steps to clean house at the Alberta Energy Regulator, announcing the removal of its entire board Friday as well as the launch of a full review into the agency’s mandate and governance structure.
Gone are former board chair Sheila O’Brien and directors Brian Fleck, Monica Norminton and Jack Royal. In their place, the government has appointed an interim board — to be chaired by deputy environment minister Beverly Yee, with directors Grant Sprague, David Goldie, Georgette Habib and Sherri Brillon — for a term of nine months.
[How did the province learn of Encana frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers? Ernst plunked the documented Encana evidence in front of the Minister of Environment’s lap with Deputy Minister Peter Watson (now Chair of the NEB), Assistant Deputy Minister Bev Yee, Hydrogeologist Rob George, Minister’s aid and more witnessing. Then Minister Guy Boutilier turned his body abruptly away so he wouldnt have to look at the evidence or acknowledge its existence. Read Investigative Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk’s Slick Water for more gory details of how things are done in Alberta to protect law-violating aquifer-frac’er Encana]
The move makes good on a promise the UCP made during the election campaign.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in Calgary on Friday that it’s unacceptable it takes twice as long to get oil and gas projects approved in Alberta as it does in Saskatchewan, despite the fact the AER has hired more staff in recent years.
“Our regulatory framework is not competitive,” Savage said. “Our project proponents need assurances that when they go to the provincial regulator with their plans and applications, that they can expect a reasonable turnaround. Unfortunately, that has not been the case here in Alberta with the Alberta Energy Regulator for many years.”
Savage said the government will be soliciting stakeholder and public feedback until mid-October on the AER’s mandate. In addition, the government will be looking to “governance experts” to come up with recommendations related to the regulator’s board, CEO accountability, and oversight rules around budgets and spending. [In other words, no more regulator, no rules, no laws — broken sprocket sour gas spewing frac’ing free for all?]
Controversy has swirled around the AER in recent months. There have been reports the agency paid for flights for some executives who lived outside of Alberta, and CEO Jim Ellis resigned in November. In addition, the International Centre of Regulatory Excellence (ICORE) — a separate not-for-profit entity the AER helped to found — is currently the subject of two separate investigations by Alberta’s Public Interest Commissioner and the auditor general.
The auditor general’s office did not return a request for comment Friday, but the public interest commissioner’s office said it expects to release its findings “in the coming weeks.”
“Our investigation into allegations of gross mismanagement relating to the use of public funds, public assets and AER human resources to establish and support the operation of ICORE is drawing to a close,” said Public Interest Commissioner Marianne Ryan in an email.
Environment Minister Jason Nixon said the government is not privy to the details of either investigation, though he said what is determined there will likely be “relevant” to the overall review into the AER’s governance.
“We would still be moving forward with the review process of the AER as promised in our election platform no matter what, with or without those investigations taking place,” Nixon said in an interview with Postmedia. “They’re not the determining factor of why we want to do this review.”
Tristan Goodman, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, said there are good people currently working at the AER but the agency needs to get back to its core mandate — the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible development of the province’s natural resources.
“I generally think the regulator needs to stay home and get its job done here,” Goodman said. “There needs to be a recognition of the current climate the entire industry is operating in. It’s not what it was 10 years ago. . . and I’m not sure the regulator has adjusted to that.”
The AER needs to address the policy and regulatory challenges that make Alberta less competitive than other jurisdictions, said Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“(CAPP) supports the Alberta government’s efforts to develop a more efficient regulatory system, and reduce the amount of red tape associated with oil and natural gas development,” McMillan said in an emailed statement.
CANADA’S ENERGY REGULATOR GETS THE SAME OIL CHANGE!
Encana running the country, Canada Pension Plan and our courts?
Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench gave Encana and the Alberta water regulator (both law violators) their choice of 3rd Case Management Judge (previous oil patch lawyer) in the Ernst vs Encana lawsuit!
That’s special “justice!”
Refer also to:
2015: Cumulative frac harms: Who’s looking? Canada Water Network? Synergy group extraordinaire with Alberta Government Bev Yee on the Board who helped cover-up Encana fracing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers?
2017: More Propaganda CAPP style? AER, Charter Violating, No Duty of Care, Legally Immune, Abuser of Power, Pollution & Law Violator Enabler, “warns” industry it “could” go after directors, executives to clean up the current $300 Billion in oilfield liabilities. Really? With Ex-Encana Exec/Ex-Cenovus Exec/Ex-CAPP Exec Gerard Protti as AER Chair?
The orchestrated fraud & corporate welfare stench grows! Alberta municipalities abused by Petro-Pussy Premier Jason Kenney (Steve Harper/Koch Bros spawn?) to feed industry’s insatiable greed “now own what they voted for!”
CAPP’s (under guise of Kenney) review of AER, and dictated deregulation to enhance profits for companies while walking from more responsibilities, on track?
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?)
More AER Hanky Panky? Alberta Auditor-General & Public Interest Commissioner probing links between regulator and ICORE; Jim Ellis (ex-AER big wig) listed as president, sole director
Alberta Oil Magazine interviews AER Boss Jim Ellis in 2016 on changing face of Alberta’s energy regulation: “The expectation of this government is for us to regulate and that’s what we’re doing.” Didn’t he mean, “Deregulate?”
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?
EUB, after caught breaking the law in 2007, lying and spying, was changed by the govt to ERCB, which the govt changed to AER after the Ernst lawsuit went public.
Above image from Justice D. W. Perras September 7, 2007 report on EUB’s (now AER) “repulsive” spying on innocent Albertans.
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 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 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.”
AER/ICORE/Jim Ellis Hanky Panky & Deregulation Tried to Go Global. Is CAPP et al making Ellis take the fall for Neil McCrank, EUB Boss (before it became AER)? McCrank authorized spying on innocent Albertans, **initiated spreading AER’s evil, lies & propaganda globally**, was boss when EUB violated Ernst’s charter rights and refused to make it right. “I wonder what’s worse for the average Albertan…. A vicious STD, or the AER? It’s a toss up.”