The Oil Sands Oil sands - 90% of Canadian oil reserves Provide national energy security and significant economic benefits Negative land surface impacts, water impacts, increased GHG emissions Social and cultural impacts
Alberta Oil Sands Source: Alberta Geological Survey, 2014, online:.
Boreal Forest Area Source: Alberta Energy Regulator, 2014, online:.
Planning – Provincial EAs and Reclamation Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (1992) Part 2 – Provincial EAs Part 6 – Compulsory reclamation requirements Reclamation standard – Equivalent land capability” Companies required to deposit money with the government (security) to ensure reclamation is completed
Provincial Strategic Land Use Planning Acts Oil sands – 50 thermal (steam) in situ projects and 20 experimental projects 2009 Alberta Land Stewardship Act (regional land use plans) 2009 Land Assembly Project Area Act – designated energy corridors; advanced land acquisitions to minimize social conflict
Federal EAs for Energy Planning 1992 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2009 Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) Report – 1.15 “Long-standing issues in federal coordination” – process delays Scoping lawsuits – process delays
CESD 2009 Report 1.17 “Disagreement relating to scoping delays can result in multiple assessments” “Responsible authorities often disagree on key issues such as how a project should be defined…result[ing] in serious delays in the conduct of environmental assessments”
November 2011 Comment Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, “ $500 billion dollars in potential energy and mining projects in Canada” during the next decade (The Globe and Mail, Nov. 28, 2011, p. 1) Increased investment
2012 “Jobs, Growth & Long-term Prosperity Act” Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 2012) Promote investment in the energy and mining sectors by increasing efficiency in the federal EA process Simplify & streamline federal EA process
CEAA 2012 To promote cooperation & coordinated action between the federal and provincial governments (s. 4(1)) Ensure EAs are completed in timely manner (s. 4(1)(f)) Process time deadlines specified Increase certainty for energy developers
3 New Regulations under CEAA 2012 Regulations Designating Physical Activities, SOR/2012-147 Prescribed Information for the Description of a Designated Project Regulations, SOR/2012-148 Cost Recovery Regulations, SOR/2012-146
Conclusion – Planning for Energy Development 2014-2035 Reduced oil sands mining and an increased number of in situ oil sands projects Increased use of natural gas to generate electricity Reduced coal thermal projects Reduced nuclear generation of electricity
Planning for Energy Development 2014-2035 Increased electricity generation from wind solar and biomass projects Federal EAs for major energy projects will continue Federal EAs will have a narrower scope and process time deadlines – more certainty for energy developers Fewer Federal EAs for smaller energy projects
Planning for Energy Development 2014-2035 Provincial EAs will continue Federal Government will encourage substitution of Fed EAs by equivalent provincial EAs whenever possible More litigation regarding oil sands project approvals in Alberta and offshore wind project approvals in Ontario Questions?
Acknowledgement This research was supported by a grant from the Alberta Law Foundation