alberta energy policy

Report recommendations would politicize decision-making of energy projects

Non-market considerations will play a larger role in determining what the private energy sector can do.

Alberta’s cap on oilsands emissions could cost billions

Over the last few years, GHG emissions from the oilsands have comprised less than 0.15 per cent of global emissions.

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How Alberta's Carbon Emission Cap Will Reduce Oil Sands Growth


  • The Alberta government has proposed implementing a 100 megatonne (Mt) cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from oil sands operations.
  • This paper estimated future emissions levels from oil sands production using oil sands production forecasts to 2040 from the National Energy Board.
  • Based on estimates of future production, this policy has the potential to constrain future oil sands production. In a scenario based on current emissions intensity levels, the policy could reduce cumulative production between 2025 and 2040 by 3.34 billion barrels of oil. In a scenario where the emissions intensity of oil sands production is reduced, the policy could result in cumulative production losses between 2027 and 2040 totaling 2.03 billion barrels of oil.
  • The cumulative value of the lost production could be large, totaling CA$254.74 billion (in 2015 dollars) in a scenario based on current emissions intensity levels. In a scenario where the emissions intensity of oil sands production is reduced, the cumulative lost value could be CA$153.41 billion (in 2015 dollars).
  • The policy could cumulatively abate 236 Mt of CO2 equivalents, at an average cost of CA$1,035 (in 2015 dollars) per tonne of GHG emissions in the current emissions intensity level scenario between 2025 and 2040. The cumulative level of GHG abatement would be lower in a scenario where emissions intensity reductions occur but come at a higher cost.
  • The 100 Mt cap on GHG emissions appears to place large costs on Canadians by potentially constraining future growth in oil sands development, while providing little in the way of avoided GHG emissions.

Troubled waters ahead for Canadian energy development

New climate tests are unnecessary since the effects of pipelines and LNG terminals on climate change are negligible at worst and positive at best.

William Watson: the oilpatch slowdown—Alberta’s Austrian challenge

Trying to stimulate other sectors of the economy so their increased output will balance off the loss in energy will simply build in future problems of maladjustment in these industries.

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pipelines or policies

While an analysis of the share prices of firms show that savvy investors have already “priced in” many of the concerns about oil transport and access to outside markets, the Fraser Institute’s annual Global Petroleum Survey shows that investor confidence in Alberta is taking a serious hit.

The survey’s Policy Perception Index measures the extent of policy-related investment barriers within each jurisdiction. The higher the score, the more negative the sentiment on the part of respondents, indicating that they regard the jurisdiction in question as relatively unattractive for investment. Alberta’s score deteriorated from a value of 26.6 in 2014 to 34.2 in 2015, and its global rank as a desirable location for investment fell to 38th (out of 126) in 2015, down from 16th (out of 156) in 2014.

Areas such as political stability, fiscal terms, uncertainty concerning protected areas, and taxation experienced large negative shifts, indicating that more investors are viewing these areas as barriers to investment in Alberta.

During Alberta’s last royalty review, when investors also downgraded Alberta’s ratings in the Global Petroleum Survey, exploration and development spending in Alberta declined, while neighboring Saskatchewan and British Columbia saw increases in investment.

Council of Canadians blasts Energy East project (Part 2)

The Council managed to cobble together a very scary scenario. However, in doing so, they committed errors of omission and commission that render their report essentially meaningless.

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