Stop the regulatory pancaking – by Robert Lyman (Financial Post – July 28, 2020)

New regulations will only stall billion-dollar energy and transportation projects at precisely the time when economic stimulus is most needed

This month the federal government published new guidelines governing the environmental assessment of the climate effects of certain major projects, including all pipelines, electricity transmission lines, mines and metal mills, nuclear facilities, oil and gas production projects, hydro plants, airports and ports.

The guidelines prescribe how project proponents and the Canadian Impact Assessment Agency are to conduct a “strategic assessment of climate change.”

As a result, proponents will face a daunting set of information and process requirements at each phase of the impact assessment. Projects with a lifetime likely to extend beyond 2050 must provide a plan describing how they will achieve “net-zero emissions” by 2050.

The guidelines are only the most recent of a long list of rules, restrictions and costs burdening large energy producers and consumers.

The Trudeau government earlier replaced the previous arm’s-length, non-partisan regulatory review of pipelines with a new regime based on an initial review “in principle” requiring conformity with federal climate policy.

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