THE GLOBE AND MAIL
May 15 at 6:20 p.m. CDT
The Alberta Energy Regulator has been burned badly by approving transfers of oil and gas assets it should have turned down.
Its decision to reject an unusual application to split the environmental liabilities between the buyer and seller in a $190-million asset sale shows it may have finally reined in its tendency to be overly lenient with the industry.
The timing is certainty interesting: With Canadian taxpayers now footing the bill for decommissioning and reclaiming orphaned and inactive well sites in the form of a $1.7-billion rescue package for the industry, the AER now has a much larger constituency. And not all members of it are thrilled with having to pay for cleanup that the oil industry is responsible for.