Browsing by Author "Wenig, Michael M."
Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
Results Per Page
- ItemOpen AccessAlberta's Oil and Gas Boom Fuels Land-Use Conflicts – But Should the EUB be Taking the Heat?(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2005) Kennett, Steven A.; Wenig, Michael M.The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) is at the centre of a growing 'storm' of land-use conflicts arising from oil and gas activities. The public typically looks to the EUB to resolve those conflicts, because of the EUB's role as the province's primary regulator of oil and gas operations. However, the EUB is poorly suited to handling this role because: (1) there is a lack of adequate, high level policy and planning to guide the EUB's decisions; (2) the EUB's 'public interest' determinations are skewed by Alberta Energy's issuance of mineral rights; and (3) the EUB lacks authority to manage the cumulative effects of all activities on all types of land bases. For these reasons, the public should look to Cabinet and the Legislature, as well as the EUB, for resolution of land use conflicts.
- ItemOpen AccessAssessing Where Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Stand in Alberta Policy and Government Organization(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2011-12) Wenig, Michael M.Alberta has committed to “set a table” for renewable energy and to “encourage” energy efficiency and conservation. This commitment begs the questions of how fast or much these two sectors are expected to progress and what specific roles the province will play in promoting that progress. This paper addresses these questions by considering the evolution of provincial policy-making with respect to these two sectors and what governmental institutions have been created to specifically address the sectors.
- ItemOpen AccessConsidering the Upstream/Downstream Effects of the Mackenzie Pipeline: Rough Paddling for the National Energy Board(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2004) Wenig, Michael M.; Sutherland, PatriciaThis paper addresses the extent to which the National Energy Board, in deciding whether to grant a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline, should consider the adverse effects of activities that are upstream and downstream of the pipeline. The NEB faces a dilemma in deciding whether and how to consider upstream/downstream effects. On the one hand, that exercise poses considerable methodological problems and it appears unfair to the pipeline proponents, because it suggests that the Board will hold the proponents responsible for numerous effects beyond the proponents’ control. On the other hand, there is a compelling argument for considering adverse upstream/downstream effects. This argument is rooted in the Board’s “public interest” project review standard, which inherently requires considerations of public costs and benefits at comparable scales. Thus, where upstream/downstream benefits are considered—as typically the case for pipelines—the corresponding costs must be considered as well. This paper critiques the Board’s approach to considering upstream/downstream effects and then offers several, largely policy-based, alternatives for solving the upstream/downstream dilemma.
- ItemOpen AccessDeveloping a "Comprehensive Energy Strategy" with a Capital "C"(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2008) Wenig, Michael M.; Poschwatta, JenetteAlberta policy makers are developing a "comprehensive energy strategy" which is sorely needed to guide Alberta through the many energy crossroads that it now faces. This paper focuses on the strategy’s "comprehensive" aspect, by analysing why the energy strategy needs to be "comprehensive", what factors must be considered in developing the strategy, and what components must be included in the strategy, to make it "comprehensive". Our analysis of "comprehensiveness" stems from an energy systems perspective, which attempts to account for all energy forms and all other physical and institutional energy system parameters, and the linkages among those energy forms and system parameters. After identifying these energy system characteristics, and several fundamental policy issues that need to be addressed, the paper cautions that, because of the inherent complexities, the development of a "comprehensive" energy strategy requires a continuous, iterative process and a special focus on cross-cutting tools.
- ItemOpen AccessIs "Conservation" Worth Conserving? - The Implications of Alberta's "Energy Resource Conservation" Mandate for Renewable Energy(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2007) Wenig, Michael M.; Moore, Michal C.Several ongoing energy policy developments in Alberta - including recent provincial commitments to develop a "comprehensive energy strategy" and to split the Energy and Utilities Board into two separate Boards - provide good grounds for a rigorous reassessment of assumptions and principles that currently guide provincial decisions with respect to energy. One prominent basis for the province's current energy decision-making is the objective, in the Energy Resources Conservation Act, to "effect the conservation" (and to "prevent the waste") of Alberta's "energy resources". This paper assesses the implications of this objective for renewable energy sources. After noting the Act's lack of relevant definitions and implementing provisions, the paper assesses the meaning of renewable energy "conservation" by considering several plain meanings of that term. The paper then considers additional clues from the term's use in several fossil fuel "conservation" statutes, as well as from the extensive historical record of oil and gas "conservation" programs in North America. This analysis concludes that, while the meaning of oil and gas "conservation" is itself ambiguous, the oil and gas "conservation" record provides several lessons or principles that could be applied in the renewable energy context. Finally, the paper suggests that, because of these ambiguities in the meaning of "conservation", and the lack of full cost, life cycle considerations in "conservation" decision-making, the province's energy resource "conservation" mandate should either be overhauled, or completely replaced.
- ItemOpen AccessLooking Through Cloudy Waters — A Historical Analysis of the Legislative Declarations of Crown Water Rights in Alberta(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2010-01) Wenig, Michael M.This paper analyses a keystone of the legislative framework for water rights — the legislative declarations of government or Crown rights to water in Alberta. These declarations originated in the first water rights legislation adopted by Parliament in the late 1800s, but they have been changed numerous times, resulting in a dynamic, complex and arguably confusing evolution. Viewed both individually and collectively through their evolutionary history, these rights declarations arguably raise more questions than they answer. Chief among these questions are: What purpose have they served? What non-legislative public or private rights and public duties have they recognized? Are either the declared rights, or the private rights issued from Crown rights, in the nature of “property”? And finally, is there any current legal effect of the widely varying Crown rights declarations over time? If nothing else, the numerous legislative formulations of this declaration over the years indicate that the concept of Crown rights to water is itself murky and, thus, should be clarified as part of any effort to reform the allocation system.
- ItemOpen AccessSearching for Meaning in Energy Resource 'Conservation'(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2007) Wenig, Michael M.; Moore, Michal C.In developing a “comprehensive energy strategy,” Alberta should rigorously assess the meanings and values of its existing energy-related policies. This article addresses the province’s long-standing energy resources “conservation” mandate and concludes that the mandate is ambiguous and deficient in failing to promote full cost, life cycle considerations in energy developments.
- ItemOpen AccessThe fisheries act as a legal framework for watershed management(1999) Wenig, Michael M.; Bankes, Nigel
- ItemOpen AccessUnderstanding Local Albertans’ Roles in Watershed Planning — Will the Real Blueprint Please Step Forward?(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2010-02) Wenig, Michael M.Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy has generally spurred expectations for the development of “watershed management plans” by provincially-sanctioned local community organizations known as “watershed protection and advisory councils” (WPACs). This paper analyses how WPACs’ roles have been defined in law and in various provincial policy documents and advisory reports. The analysis focuses particularly on provincial direction as to the extent and scope of WPACs’ decision-making authority and on the scope, content, and implementation of the WPACs’ watershed management plans. While having broad-based support, WPACs have little provincial direction as to what they must actually accomplish. In some sense, the new land use framework sidesteps these uncertainties by providing a legislative framework for regional planning and for integrating those plans with governmental decision-making across the land and resource management spectra. However, this newer provincial initiative raises even more uncertainty about WPACs’ roles.
- ItemOpen AccessValuing Energy Resources: Reflections on the EUB's Decision in the Surmount "Gas Over Bitumen" Controversy(Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2002) Wenig, Michael M.