Bill 12 is the Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act and was rammed through the entire Alberta law-making process in a couple of days. It has far-reaching and unjust impacts and consequences for landowners and all Albertans, as taxpayers.
It threatens landowners’ rights for industry access, compensation and legalizes trespass. It also takes away any compensation or consideration of landowners’ rights and surface rights access compensation when wells are orphaned and still operated by the Orphan Well Association.
When a well is transferred to the Orphan Well Association and the “Parent” company goes bankrupt, and many of them will, the unpaid local government property taxes and levies get written off. The result is local governments need to raise property taxes on other local rate-payers or reduce quality and quantity of local services.
The other extremist element in this Authoritarian law is the power given to the UCP Cabinet to direct the work and funding of the OWA. This means politics, not science and data will be the decision-making drivers of end-of-life well reclamation and remediations. Expect political corruption to be the way this new law will be applied.
There is a lot more to worry about and oppose in Bill 12 but this is a start. The Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project is a consortium of professionals in a wide range of related expertise that is taking a lead on this effort. Here is a link to their recently released Statement about the failures and folly of Bill 12.