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Category Archives: Energy – Conventional

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Taking on the Political Hot Potato of Pipelines: BC’s Attorney General Granted Intervenor Status in Federal Court of Appeal Proceeding Challenging Trans Mountain Pipeline Approvals

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Federal
British Columbia

The proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project (the Project) involves a $7.4-billion expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline stretching from Edmonton to Burnaby, as well as the construction of new works such as pump stations and tanks and the expansion of an existing marine terminal. In December 2016, the Project received federal government approval, after the National Energy Board (NEB) recommended in May 2016 that the Project should proceed, subject to the satisfaction of 157 conditions. Under the Constitution Act of 1867, the regulation of international and inter-provincial transportation (which includes pipelines) falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the … Continue Reading

New China Guidelines on Overseas Investments Encouraging for the Natural Resources Sector

Posted in Energy – Conventional

On August 17, 2017, China’s NDRC, Ministry of Commerce, the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly released their Opinions on Further Guiding and Regulating the Directions of Overseas Investments (the “Guidelines”).  The stated objectives of the Guidelines are to improve the macro guidance on overseas investments, further guide and regulate the directions of overseas investments, promote the sustainable, rational, orderly and healthy development of overseas investments, effectively prevent all types of risks and properly meet the needs of national economic and social development.… Continue Reading

Canada Ratifies Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Nuclear

On June 6, 2017, Canada ratified the International Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (the “Convention”). The ratification of this Convention follows the coming-into-force of the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act (“NLCA”) on January 1, 2017. This domestic legislation was a prerequisite for Canada ratifying the Convention. Canada’s closest neighbor, the United States, ratified in the Convention in 2008.… Continue Reading

Alberta Court of Appeal upholds Redwater Decision

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Regulation

In a majority two to one decision released on April 24, 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal (ABCA) upheld the lower court ruling in Re Redwater Energy Corporation.  Our discussion and analysis of the trial decision in Redwater, which settled a lengthy conflict between the Alberta Energy Regulator and insolvency professionals on the proper interpretation of section 14.06 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada), can be found here.

A full discussion of the ABCA decision and its impacts on insolvency-driven transactions involving assets regulated by the Alberta Energy Regulator prepared by our bankruptcy and restructuring … Continue Reading

Calgary Herald Interviews Seán O’Neill

Posted in Coal, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

We are delighted that McCarthy Tétrault partner Seán O’Neill has been quoted in a recent article by Reid Southwick and Chris Varcoe of the Calgary Herald. In the interview, Seán discusses the potential impact of Alberta’s NDP government enacting retroactive legislation to change or invalidate the change of law provisions in Alberta coal-fired generation power purchase arrangements. … Continue Reading

Ripple Effect Continues: AER Issues Bulletin 2016-16 in Wake of Redwater

Posted in Energy – Conventional

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued Bulletin 2016-16 (Bulletin) detailing its interim regulatory response to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Re Redwater Energy Corporation (Redwater).

As detailed in a previous post, the Redwater decision allows a trustee to disclaim certain assets (and their associated abandonment and reclamation obligations) under the provisions of the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).  In doing so, such a trustee will not be liable as a licensee under the provincial oil and gas regulatory regime in relation to the renounced assets.  Further, the trustee … Continue Reading

What Every Stakeholder Needs to Know About Lobbyist Registration

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Federal
AlbertaBritish ColumbiaOntarioQuébec

The following article published in our firm’s newsletter could be of interest to many readers active in the energy industry across Canada. It discusses the applicable rules for lobbyist registration in Ontario, Ontario municipalities, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta and at the federal level.… Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Appeal Related to the Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Nuclear, Projects

On April 13, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal related to the environmental assessment (“EA”) for the refurbishment and continued operation of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Facility (the “Project”). The appeal was from the Federal Court’s earlier decision dismissing a judicial review application related to the EA for the Project.… Continue Reading

Phasing Out Coal: Alberta Names the Coal Facilitator

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Power

On March 16, 2016, the Government of Alberta finally named the coal facilitator, and announced the next steps for its plan to phase-out coal by 2030.  The province appointed Terry Boston to act as the province’s independent coal phase-out facilitator, and released details of Boston’s mandate and next steps.

Boston’s Prior Experience

Boston is the recently retired CEO of PJM Interconnection (PJM), which is a regional transmission organization in the United States.  PJM controls approximately 105,502 km of transmission lines and manages 186,000 MW of generation serving 61 million people.… Continue Reading

At Last: Alberta Unveils its New Climate Leadership Plan

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power

On November 22, 2015, Alberta released its long-awaited Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan).  Contemporaneously with the Climate Plan, the Government released the Climate Change Advisory Panel’s (Climate Panel) Report to the Minister, Climate Leadership. As background, previous blogs on the Climate Panel’s mandate and the Climate Leadership Discussion Document can be found here and here.… Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal Ruling Restores Panel Decision on Darlington Nuclear New Build

Posted in Nuclear

As we previously wrote here and here, in a 2014 judicial review application, the Federal Court found that the environmental assessment (“EA”) process for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (the “Project”) conducted by the Joint Review Panel (the “Panel”) contained a number of deficiencies. The Federal Court allowed the judicial review application and directed that the EA report be returned to the Panel for further consideration of certain issues, including those related to disposal of nuclear waste and severe nuclear accidents. The Federal Court’s decision was subsequently appealed by Ontario Power … Continue Reading

Parliament Passes Bill C-22 and Enacts the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act

Posted in Federal, Nuclear

On February 26, 2015, following its third reading in the Senate, without amendment, Bill C-22, An Act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations, enacting the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, repealing the Nuclear Liability Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts (short title, Energy Safety and Security Act), was given Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament. Bill C-22, as assented, is available here.… Continue Reading

OGC to Prohibit Conversion of LNG Facility Pipelines

Posted in Aboriginal, British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, Energy – Conventional, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On January 5, 2015, the Province of British Columbia issued a direction (the “Direction”) to the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (“OGC”) prohibiting the OGC from issuing permits to convert LNG facility pipelines, which are built to support liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facilities, into pipelines for transporting oil or diluted bitumen. The Direction prohibits the OGC from permitting project proponents to convert natural gas pipelines supplying LNG facilities to pipelines carrying oil.… Continue Reading

Canada’s New Nuclear Liability and Compensation Regime Under Review by Senate Committee

Posted in Federal, Nuclear

Bill C-22, An Act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations, enacting the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, repealing the Nuclear Liability Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts (the “Bill”) was first introduced in the House of Commons on January 30 2014 and was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for study on December 4, 2014.

Continue Reading

Another Step Towards Québec’s New Energy Policy

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Québec

On November 7, 2014, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister Responsible for the Northern Plan, Mr. Pierre Arcand, announced the beginning of a consultation process on Québec’s new energy policy set to be released in Fall 2015.

Over the next few weeks, the Government will publish four documents intended to initiate and encourage discussions on the new energy policy. The first document, entitled “Contexte, défis et vision” (“Context, Challenges and Vision”) will set out the framework for the consultation process. The other documents will tackle the issues of (i) renewable energy, (ii) efficiency and energy innovation … Continue Reading

National Energy Board Rules in Favour of Trans Mountain

Posted in Energy – Conventional, National Energy Board
AlbertaBritish Columbia

1.               Background

On October 9, 2014, Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC’s (“Trans Mountain”) motion was heard by the National Energy Board (“NEB”) after a series of incidents between Trans Mountain and the City of Burnaby (“Burnaby”). Burnaby officials ticketed Trans Mountain contractors for contravening the Burnaby Street and Traffic Bylaw and the Burnaby Parks Regulation Bylaw (the “Bylaws”) while carrying out land surveys in and around the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area (the “Subject Lands”).

The attempted surveys were in response to a ruling by the NEB that in order to assess … Continue Reading

Court Gives Deference to OGC’s Water Act Approval Policy

Posted in British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, Fossil Fuel, Natural Gas, Water
British Columbia

On October 10, 2014, the British Columbia Supreme Court (“Court”) issued reasons in Western Canada Wilderness Committee v. British Columbia (Oil and Gas Commission), 2014 BCSC 1919.  In this case, the petitioners, Western Canada Wilderness and Sierra Club of British Columbia Foundation (together, the “Petitioners”), brought a judicial review application against the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (“OGC”).

At issue was the proper interpretation of the Water Act as it relates to the granting by the OGC to the oil and gas industry of short-term water use approvals under s. 8 (“… Continue Reading

CNSC to Appeal Darlington New Build Decision

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to Appeal the Recent Federal Court Decision that found Darlington New Build’s Federal Environmental Impact Assessment to be Deficient

Posted in Electricity, Nuclear, Ontario Power Authority

We recently wrote about the judicial review application challenging the adequacy of the federal environmental assessment (“EA”) process for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (the “Project”).  To recap, the Federal Court found that the EA was deficient for a number of reasons, including that the Joint Review Panel did not adequately consider the issues of long-term management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and the potential of a large-scale nuclear accident. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (“CNSC”) has now announced that it is appealing the Federal Court’s decision regarding the Project.

The CNSC takes the view that the … Continue Reading

Historic Procurement Opportunities – Part II

Scope of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with Europe Regarding Public Utility Procurement

Posted in BC Hydro, Energy – Conventional, NB Power, Ontario Power Authority, Power, Procurement, Québec Hydro-Québec, Utilities

Our prior instalment considered the changes that the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (“CETA”) will have on procurement by public utilities. We will now look at the extent to which the obligations imposed by CETA on procurements by public utilities will be limited by minimum monetary thresholds and certain special exceptions.

Under all procurement treaties including CETA, only procurements which exceed a certain monetary value are subject to the treaty’s obligations. Under CETA, only those procurements by  a covered public utility that exceed $630,000 will be subject to its requirements.[1] Procurements by utilities below that threshold will not be subject … Continue Reading

Another Setback for an Abandoned Project

Federal Court rules against Darlington Nuclear New Build … but what does this mean for the Darlington Refurbishment?

Posted in Electricity, Nuclear

The Darlington Nuclear Project (the “Project”) was first  proposed in 2006. In 2009, following the Project’s initial planning stages, an environmental assessment (“EA”) process was commenced under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (since replaced by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and referred to below as the “CEAA”).  The federal EA process was conducted by a review panel (the “Panel”) and in August, 2011, the Panel concluded that the Project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, provided that certain recommended mitigation measures were implemented. … Continue Reading

Alberta’s “New” Energy Regulator

Transfer of Powers to the Alberta Energy Regulator is now Complete

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Regulation

On March 31, 2014, the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) completed its transition into the principal regulator of the entire life cycle of oil and gas development in Alberta. The effect of the AER’s expanded jurisdiction is to consolidate decision-making relating to environmental and energy permits from disparate government bodies.

The AER is now a full life-cycle regulator: from application and exploration, to construction and development, to abandonment, reclamation, and remediation.”[1]Continue Reading

Patent Law Year in Review: Oil and Gas (2013)

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Fossil Fuel

The following article may be of interest to readers of this blog: Patent Law Year in Review: Oil and Gas (2013)

In 2013 the Federal Court experienced a surge in patent infringement actions. Whereas 48 patent infringement actions were filed in 2012, that number rose to 101 in 2013.[1] Part of that increase came about because of growth in the oil and gas patent infringement sector. Put simply, oil and gas companies were more aggressive at enforcing their patent rights in 2013. Read More.… Continue Reading

New HEC Chair in Energy Sector Management

McCarthy Tétrault partners with HEC Montréal’s new Chair in Energy Sector Management

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power, Project Finance

We are delighted to announce our partnership with HEC Montréal’s new Chair in Energy Sector Management, which is held by renowned expert on energy policy Professor Pierre-Olivier Pineau. The new Chair is dedicated to advancing knowledge of energy issues, with a view to  optimizing energy systems and ensuring that there are adequate energy sources to meet society’s needs. In its role as partner to the Chair, McCarthy Tétrault will contribute a total of $100,000 over a five-year period. Our very own Marc Dorion will serve on the Chair’s advisory committee.

You can find our press release is here and … Continue Reading

On the Road to Emission Reductions: Policy Perspectives on BC’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional
British Columbia

As a major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the transportation sector has been identified by policy makers as a sector in which significant emission reductions can be achieved. In British Columbia (BC), the transportation sector accounted for approximately 37.1% of the province’s total GHG emissions in 2011.  One of the policy instruments designed to reduce GHG emissions is the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), which is intended to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels measured on a life-cycle basis.  The LCFS also requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of life cycle emissions, which is intended to spur … Continue Reading