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On its fifth anniversary, Alberta Energy Regulator has made little progress

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The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) was formed in June 2013 to much fanfare. Rest assured, it promised Albertans, the AER would be a “best-in-class regulator” that would ensure oil producers follow the rules or face “strong consequences.”

At last, it vowed, the fox would no longer guard the hen house.

Unfortunately, as many Albertans already know, the AER has failed to live up to these ambitious promises and shown time and time again that, despite its bluster, it is just another a toothless regulator.

As a public interest lawyer, I’ve see first-hand how the AER’s failures affect real people, like two of my clients who operate a cattle ranch near Pincher Creek.

Their family has been forced to live with a now-abandoned sour gas well — potentially contaminated with toxic drilling waste, salts, metals, and hydrocarbons — on their property for generations. In September 2015, the AER ordered the licensee of the wellsite to complete a detailed environmental study by the end of November 2015 — a deadline it........

© Edmonton Journal