Alberta Party statement on Supreme Court “Redwater Decision”

January 31, 2019 (Edmonton) – The Alberta Party today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling this morning that energy companies cannot abandon their responsibility to clean up old oil and natural gas wells in the case of bankruptcy:

“The Alberta Party is troubled by the failings of past governments on the issue of well remediation and reclamation,” said Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel. " This is a serious problem that now needs immediate attention."

"These failures have created a serious and growing problem for all Albertans as owners of our oil and gas resources. 

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada has now provided a legal conclusion to this issue. 

"We know that it will have wide reaching impacts on access to capital for industry, but we also believe that this is the right decision for our environment and that producers must fulfill their environmental obligations to Albertans for reclamation and remediation.

"With today’s ruling, there is no longer an excuse for government to delay acting. The Alberta Party calls on the government to review and revise the legal and regulatory regime, to require industry to meet its remediation and reclamation obligations to Albertans on abandoned wells in a much timelier manner.  

"This means giving both industry and lenders certainty around their obligations, and Albertans certainty on reclamation and remediation commitments being fulfilled. This requirement does not mean lowering the standards. It means ensuring there is the needed capacity to ensure environmental obligations are fulfilled, and loopholes enabling companies to evade those environmental obligations are closed.”

The Alberta Party is committed to Alberta, and to the values of prosperity, fiscal and social responsibility, environmental sustainability, accountable government, and strong communities.