SMLS Public Lecture- Alberta’s Underfunded Environmental Liabilities Jan 18, 2020, by Canadian Institute of Resources Law
Date And Time
Sat, 18 January 2020
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM MST
Murray Fraser Hall, Room MFH 3360
Faculty of Law, University of Calgary
2800 University Way NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
The Canadian Institute of Resources Law invites you to attend a free public lecture entitled:
“Alberta’s Underfunded Environmental Liabilities: Inactive Wells and Oil Sands Tailings”
Alberta is home to an estimated 93,000 inactive and orphaned oil and gas wells. While many of those wells are owned by financially viable companies, an increasing number are not. This represents a “looming financial and environmental crisis” reminiscent of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, according to an investigation last year from the Globe and Mail. That same story estimated that the potential public liability could be between $13 – 26 billion. Additionally, internal Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) estimates have suggested that those costs could rise to $100-billion. Those same estimates also looked at oil-sands mines and provincial pipelines and brought Alberta’s total underfunded environmental liabilities to a staggering $260-billion. How did Alberta get to this point, and how might it find its way out? This lecture will explore these questions and some potential answers. The session will end with a Q & A period for registered participants.
Martin Olszynski will be the presenter
Martin Olszynski an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. He joined the Faculty on July 1, 2013, following several years of public service in environmental and natural resources law and policy. From 2007 to 2013, he was counsel with the federal Department of Justice, practicing law in the legal services unit at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. During this period, he also spent time on secondment to the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Division at Environment Canada. Martin holds a B. Sc. (Biology) and an LL.B., both from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LL.M. (specialization in environmental law) from the University of California at Berkeley. Following law school, Martin clerked for the Hon. Justice Denis Pelletier of the Federal Court of Appeal (2006). Prior to joining the University of Calgary, he was a part-time professor with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, where he taught environmental law.
The Alberta Law Foundation sponsors this event
Refer also to:
BNN Interviews Alberta Oil Patch Consultant Brent Nimeck on Lexin and AER’s Orphan Wells: “This problem is 30 years in the making. … I would call it a Ponzi Scheme…. This is an orchestrated fraud from multiple angles: Industry, CAPP and the Alberta Energy Regulator have enabled this to happen. … Through our independent analysis and we’ve confirmed this at multiple sources within the energy regulator, the liabilities are over $300 billion. That’s what’s on the hook for Alberta taxpayers right now – $300 billion.”
Instead of ordering industry to clean up, Kenney gives it billions of dollars in new tax cuts!
ALDP a Synergy Group? Mark Dorin synergizing for the AER? Study not needed of the 100s of billions of dollars in oilfield liabilities. Complete overhaul of petroleum ownership and its structure is needed, and to send AER, Synergy groups, CAPP, CSUR etc packing!
Study is not needed! Action is needed! No need to do any more study, or another analysis, or another count. The terrible numbers are known. I dont count the dirty dishes in my sink or weeds in my garden before I get to work washing and pulling. I simply get to work.
Economical solutions abound! Here’s one: INSTEAD OF GIVING THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY MORE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAX CUTS AND TAXPAYER HANDOUTS LIKE KENNEY IS DOING, immediately require bonds are paid upfront, in full, to be held in trust, before any new approvals are given, especially to notorious bullies/law violating aquifer frac’ers like Encana. Another: disallow the big brute companies from selling off their polluting, aging wells/facilities to little nothing players sure to bankrupt themselves soon as they finish sucking a few million out. Make the brutes produce their wells/facilities til they are done, especially in all the formations they soured by hydraulic fracturing and water injection for enhanced recovery. And make the brutes clean up. The big companies are sitting on billions in cash, and are causing most of the liabilities by selling off their no longer massively profitable assets to fly by night junk operators who fully intend to walk from clean up. These actions could be quickly and easily implemented by any govt that gave a damn.
Once a well/facility is appropriately cleaned up, abandoned, landowner satisfied and signs off on it, company gets their money back. Easy peasy.
All landowners forced into enduring the abusive, polluting industry on their private properties must also be fully paid in advance sufficient funds to be held in trust to fully deal with the inevitable clean up with additional emergency funds for the many things that go wrong, eg frac quakes damaging a driveway, home or barn foundation; aquifer gets contaminated; water well is destroyed; spills, on or off lease; health and or soils/crops harms; etc. Problem solved. The endless crooks will not be able to operate under appropriately protective measures, and will leave, good riddance. Alberta will be much better off without them. Grossly over paid CAPP and other industry lobby groups will cry like the spoiled babies that they are. Let them cry.
Most important must do! Stop funding and get rid of Synergy Alberta and all it’s gunky evil tentacles and groups. Stop funding so called environmental, but really just enabling “controlled opposition” NGOs. Stop the mega millions given to Lies & Propaganda funding. EG KENNEY’S GALLING AND PATHETIC WAR ROOM AND WITCH HUNT Use the money to start cleaning up. So Super Simple.