Supreme Court to decide on handling of abandoned oil wells

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal over a ruling that could allow energy companies to walk away from cleaning up abandoned oil wells

The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear an appeal from Alberta’s energy regulator over a ruling that could allow energy companies to walk away from cleaning up abandoned oil wells and affect industrial sites across the country.

In May 2016, an Alberta Queen’s Bench judge ruled in favour of the bankruptcy trustee of Redwater Energy Corp., saying proceeds from the sale of assets from bankrupt energy companies should go first to creditors, not to cleaning up the mess from the company’s operations.

Redwater’s trustee and its lender wanted to sell off the company’s remaining producing wells to pay creditors, arguing a bankruptcy trustee is free to pick and choose from among the company’s assets and disclaim unproductive oil and gas wells.

Related: Politicians criticize Trudeau’s reaction to critics of Energy East demise

Disclaimed wells would be abandoned and left to the Orphan Well Association, an industry-funded and government-backed group, to clean up.

In a split decision last April, Alberta’s Appeal Court backed the original judge, saying federal bankruptcy law takes precedence over provincial environmental rules.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for agreeing to hear the appeal.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATED: City postponing water system component work

City says staff occupied with a number of large water main breaks in the last 24 hours.

Shypitka reacts to BC budget

Kootenay East MLA laments increased taxation, spending

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

CP Rail train derailed near Field, B.C.

There was no threat to public safety and no injuries: CP Rail

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

WATCH: The week in review

A video recap of the top stories of the past week in Cranbrook

Novelmania: TM Roberts grade 6 students unveil published novels

Novel unveiling ceremony at TM Roberts’ library on Monday, February 19

WATCH: The week in review

A video recap of the top stories of the past week in Cranbrook

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Student protest outside White House a snapshot of American gun debate

Demonstrators take part in a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House

Feds can’t do much to fight fake news in Canada

Federal government can’t do much to fight fake news: Canadian Heritage documents

Canada’s Boutin wins silver in women’s 1,000 short track

Women’s 1,000-metre short-track speedskater Kim Boutin wins silver the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Thursday

Most Read