Canada’s oil-producing province of Alberta is moving to cut red tape under a new bill that will no longer require the cabinet to approve new oil sands projects once they have already been approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, introduced in Alberta’s legislature on Thursday the new Bill 22, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020.
“As we work to reopen Alberta we must ensure that job creators have the utmost support from government. They are the ones who will get Albertans bank to work and in many cases, the best support we as government can offer is to get out of their way,” Hunter said.
If the bill is approved, it will be the AER that will have the final say in new oil sands project approvals and the government will not need to approve them too. This move is expected to cut around 10 months off the regulatory process for new oil projects.
If passed, Bill 22 will eliminate unnecessary delays in the oil sands approval process as well as scrap the Energy Efficiency Alberta, rolling its programs into Emissions Reduction Alberta, Hunter told Canadian media.
Commenting on the bill to cut red tape in Alberta’s approval of new oil sands projects, Tim McMillan, president and CEO of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), said:
“The oil and natural gas industry continuously strives to improve performance and efficiency and we are happy to see the province of Alberta committed to this goal as well through red tape reduction.”
“Streamlining project applications and approval timelines will support industry’s recovery and job creation efforts, while providing greater certainty to attract investment back to the sector. These efficiencies can be achieved while still maintaining the highest level of environmental and safety standards that Albertans expect,” McMillan said.