Achilles heel

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Hundreds of pages of documents. Hundreds of dollars to access. And just about as many acronyms.

Earlier this year, The Narwhal’s readers ponied up the cash to access lobbying records from the Alberta Energy Regulator. Readers wanted to know what Canada's largest oil lobby group, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), was up to at all those meetings, workshops, breakfasts and coffee dates at Second Cup.

Turns out, there's a lot to talk about.

We found that the regulator is quietly projecting the number of inactive wells in the province will double by 2030.

Then we found the oil lobby was actively pushing for the decision to automate the approval of oil and gas wells — a move that CAPP said would result in 15-minute approvals.

And now, in the final instalment in this series (our Alberta reporter, Sharon J. Riley, will have screen-shaped eyes if she spends any more time on these documents), we’ve found CAPP is lobbying the regulator to “streamline” the public involvement process in many oil and gas projects.

In the documents, the oil lobby group laments that allowing the public to file statements of concern about proposed projects is the “Achilles heel” of the approval process.

Legal experts say the oil industry's proposed changes will “come at the expense of everyday Albertans.”

Dive into the details of our investigation to read more about how oil lobbyists are proposing to reduce, or eliminate, public involvement in the review of oil and gas projects.

Sharon's been busy this week, with another big story in today's newsletter on how the Jason Kenney government announced consultations on new regulations for heavy polluters — but only invited industry.

All of our watchdog reporting is made possible through donations, especially from our monthly members ❤️ Please consider becoming a monthly member today if you think what we write about is important.

Thanks for reading — and keep scrolling for much more!

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-chief

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Bear 148 is blowing up (in a good way)! We're gaining more than 1,000 new listeners a day for our new podcast, Bear 148. And the Twitter love is flowing freely. This week CBC News journalist Andrea Ross declared our new podcast is "a must-listen for everyone who cares about the environment and our impact on it." Thanks, Andrea!

Don't miss out on the podcast everyone is talking about. We're now part of 1% for the Planet! What is 1% for the Planet, you may ask? It's an initiative by businesses to give one per cent of their sales back to non-profits working to protect the environment. Started in 2002, there are now more 1,800 business members across the globe.

We're extremely excited to be named as a non-profit partner (thanks to the wonderful photographer Jeremy Koreski for nominating us!). That means participating businesses can now direct their contributions to The Narwhal! You can search for participating businesses here. And we're sure it wouldn't hurt if some of their customers starting putting a bug in their ear about The Narwhal

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