EDMONTON – Alberta is introducing legislation to allow the government to set maximum time limits on approvals for energy projects.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage says that a review of the system has shown that at times it takes too long for Alberta’s energy regulator to make decisions on whether to allow an oil and gas project to proceed.
The review found that while some projects were approved in as little as five days or less, others took months or years.
Savage says they are giving the energy regulator time to improve its processes for approvals, but if not, the bill would give the government the authority to impose deadlines.
The bill fulfills an election promise from Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party.
The UCP says Alberta’s approval rates have been twice as long as those in Saskatchewan and four times longer than other competing jurisdictions, such as Texas.
The bill is part of a larger overhaul of the energy regulator.
The government has already replaced the board of directors, and a new CEO has been appointed.