The transition to the new regulatory body has significant implications for all those involved in oil, gas, oil
sands and coal projects in this Province. Based on the intended goals of the Alberta Energy Regulator
(AER) that were derived from the recommendations of the Regulatory Enhancement Task Force, the
Province’s new regulator will function differently than the previous three-body system of the Energy
Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), Alberta Environment (AE) and Sustainable Resources
Development (SRD). This means stakeholders of all kinds must now pay close attention and understand
their roles within this new regulatory framework.
This paper will evaluate the potential effects of the new regulator on various stakeholders such as the
industry, First Nations groups, landowners and environmentalists. This paper will analyze how the
system will function differently and where stakeholders can expect to see changes based on available
information and analysis of the Responsible Energy Development Act (REDA) and government policies.
Given that the new framework is very new, the discussion will necessarily be speculative. However, a
good deal can be gleaned from a careful scrutiny of the existing legislation.
For the industry, the changes will have significant impacts on the status of their projects. The new
regulator has altered the process in which applications are assessed and also changed the procedure for
important processes such as hearings and appeals. There is concern that not only will the transition into
the new system lead to delays as the new regulator establishes itself, but the process in which
applications are submitted and considered will also be altered in ways that will cost the industry through
direct and indirect costs.