Should Alberta Adhere to Federal Environment Legislation? (Social Studies 30-1 Essay)
The Alberta government, as owner of the province's resources, has played the dominant role. Different divisions of the Albertan government are responsible for the various aspects of oil sands policy. The Energy Resources Conservation Board is responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry in Alberta, while Alberta Energy is responsible for granting rights to industry for exploration and development, collecting royalties, and administering the energy sector's fiscal regime. Alberta Environment, through relevant legislation and guidelines, regulates the impact of oil sands development on air, land, and water in the province. Recently, the Oil Sands Secretariat was created within the Treasury Board to strengthen policy coordination. The federal government's role in managing the oil sands has been minimal. While the Government of Canada has jurisdiction over waterways, fisheries, and environmental assessments, it has been hesitant to exercise their power in a way that would effect Alberta's perceived right to develop its resources as we sees fit.
Despite the enormous economic growth that oil sands development has spurred in Alberta, distribution of benefits has been even overall. In general, the level of investment and growth in the oil sands has help the province's conventional oil and gas industry. lowering real estate costs and general inflation have helped sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing particularly. Thankfully, today there is a growing income for those Albertans who are employed in the oil sands and those who are employed by other companies involved with the oil sands There are economic benefits associated with oil sands development are being concentrated geographically and diffused throughout the province. Moreover, despite recent changes to the province's royalty regime, the Government of Alberta need to start collecting more royalties from the oil sands on behalf of Albertans.