This year marks the Tenth Anniversary of Energy Regulation Quarterly, the first issue of which was released in the fall of 2013. In “The Energy Regulation Quarterly Reaches Ten Years,” Gordon Kaiser, one of the founding Managing Editors of ERQ, reflects on the origins of the journal and some of its features over the intervening decade. His retrospective includes tributes from senior regulators in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

A regular (and eagerly anticipated) feature of ERQ, beginning with the first issue in 2013, has been Professor David Mullan’s annual survey of judicial developments in administrative law relevant to energy law and regulation. This issue of ERQ includes a bonus contribution from Professor Mullan, in “Administrative Law and Canadian Energy Regulators: The Big Changes Over the Last Decade.”

Energy policy and regulation continue to focus on clean and renewable energy initiatives at the forefront of efforts to adapt to climate change and meet commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In “The New National Program to Increase Investment in Clean & Renewable Energy,” contributors from McMillan LLP examine several such measures included in the federal government’s Budget 2023, aimed at attracting “clean and renewable investments in the Canadian energy industry, in the face of severe competition from the U.S. in light of the American Inflation Reduction Act, 2022. These include Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCfD) and several new investment tax credits.

In “Energy Policy Assessments and EVs Meet at the Intersection,” Dr. Ron Wallace presents a highly critical review of the federal government’s proposed Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. Dr. Wallace concludes that Canadian energy policies are being designed and introduced in the absence of valid assessments of their cost and benefits:

Policies for Canadian energy production and transmission, with a sole focus on emissions, are being enacted with scant attention paid to the direct and unpredictable effects on the economy. The proposed EV regulations inadequately consider many factors, not the least of which is the assumption of widespread public acceptance of a significantly altered transportation fleet.

Meanwhile, rising, already-high electricity costs in some jurisdictions are argued to be slowing progress on electrification and present a challenge to energy suppliers and regulators that is exacerbated by the rising costs of mitigation, compensation and maintaining and replacing infrastructure in the face of events such as wildfires. In “New Electricity Rate Reform in California,” Meredith Fowlie examines a recent California law requiring that residential electricity prices be reduced: revenues not covered in a per-kWh charge will be collected in a fixed monthly charge that increases with household income. As with most “reforms,” however, “there will be winners and losers.”

This issue of ERQ concludes with reviews of two books that, each in their respective way, push back against prevailing narratives promoting overly simplistic “solutions” to the challenges presented by climate change. Kenneth Barry reviews The Unpopular Truth: About Electricity and the Future of Energy, by Dr. Lars Schenikau and Prof. William H Smith, which Barry concludes is “a blunt, straight-from-the-shoulder espousal of the authors’ concerns about overreliance on renewable energy technologies — a trend that, they fret, has been overhyped in political, green-advocacy, and media circles.” Rowland Harrison reviews Dennis McConaghy’s CARBON CHANGE: Canada on the Brink of Decarbonization, in which McConaghy argues that decarbonization “is simply too costly for the risk that the world actually faces.”


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