Kenney sets his sights on the AER, and launches government review
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has asked his energy minister to review the province's energy regulator.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for the province's energy patch, including 167,000 operating wells, 3,000 abandoned wells and 426,000 kilometres of pipelines that lie within the province's borders. In addition to conventional oil and gas, the group also oversees oil sands and coal development.
Kenney says timelines for project approvals are "unacceptably long" in Alberta, and also accuses the regulator of "unacceptably high" fees levied on oil and gas producers.
The AER has about 1,200 employees, split into 13 offices, and funded by $253 million in fees collected from the energy sector. The government agency is already bracing for a cut in its operating budget.
The province's regulator dates back to 1938, going through several reincarnations before the AER's creation in 2013.
Energy Minister Sonya Savage promised "a full review" of the AER's mandate, governance and timelines for regulatory reviews. The study is expected to be completed by the fall, and already has the backing of the province's oil and gas producers.