Upon receiving the final report from the taskforce it established to review its oil and gas policy and regulatory system, the Alberta government announced it will immediately begin the process of implementing recommended changes.

The taskforce was established in March 2010 with the goal of ensuring Alberta has a modern, efficient, outcomes-based and competitive regulatory system that maintains the province’s strong commitment to environmental management, public safety and resource conservation.

It compiled its report from information gathered through extensive stakeholder engagement. Key recommendations from the report include:

  • Establishing a new Policy Management Office and ensuring integration of natural resource policies;
  • Creating a single oil and gas regulatory body;
  • Providing clear public engagement processes;
  • Using a common approach to risk assessment and management;
  • Adopting performance measures to enable continuous system improvement; and
  • Creating a mechanism to help resolve disputes between landowners and companies, and enforce agreements where required.

Such policy is an essential element of a regulatory system which must reconcile numerous competing interests, including the province’s commitment to addressing climate change.