An Analysis of Costs Awarded by the Alberta Energy Regulator
AbstractThis article assesses the costs regime of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) (and its predecessor, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board) since its inception in 1978. An analysis of the policy and legal framework governing the issuance of costs awards by the AER shows that the Board now has a wide scope of discretion in deciding whether to grant costs to a hearing participant, and the process appears less transparent than before. A statistical analysis of the AER's recent costs decisions leads to two conclusions. First, costs awards have overwhelmingly been applied to cover participants’ legal fees, and second, in exercising its discretion to make cost awards, the AER seems more discriminate in its evaluation of certain types of experts.
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