Marg McCuaig-Boyd says she will deliver a recommendation regarding the future structure of the Alberta Energy Regulator to Premier Rachel Notley by the end of 2015.
The energy minister is currently examining whether the AER should be split or whether it is capable of performing the dual roles of developing the province’s oil and gas resources and enforcing environmental standards.
“Is the mandate still the current one or do we have to look at changing it? Once we get that work done, I’ll certainly report back to you, but yeah, we’re working on it,” McCuaig-Boyd told reporters last week.
Notley first mentioned last June that she thought the agency that replaced the Energy Resources Conservation Board three years ago may need to be changed.
“One of the concerns that I have always had with the Alberta Energy Regulator is that it appears to have a conflicting mandate, in that it is both a promoter of energy and the primary vehicle of environmental protection in Alberta.”
The PC’s established the AER in December 2012 to provide a singular portal for regulatory approvals after industry complained about the delays and red tape.
The resulting legislation combined duties of the Energy Resources Conservation Board with responsibilities of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to create the AER to administer the Public Lands Act, the Water Act, and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.