CALGARY, AB (April 12, 2013): The Wildrose Official Opposition is calling for answers after the ERCB reported a production outage affecting core technologies overseeing the energy industry. In a release on Monday, ERCB indicated it has faced significant technological hindrances since April 3.
The ERCB has not been able to receive energy applications filed by industry, nor has it been able to access ERCB-generated reports. The ERCB receives around 40,000 energy development applications each year and those not dealing with coal and oil sands are done through the ERCB online service. Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said it shouldn’t have taken five days for the regulator to report the problem and government needs to step up and explain how the problem will be fixed. “The PC government has some explaining to do as to why it sat silent on this matter for five days, and why it has not been able to fix the problem,” Smith said. “The safety and security of our resource sector depends on the ERCB being able to do its job.” The ERCB further indicated it has been unable to fulfill information product orders from Information Services and that all activities at the Core Research Centre have been disrupted, meaning that a number of applications have been held up and the outage is having a direct effect on business. Wildrose Energy Critic Jason Hale called on the government to get on with the job of restoring the system, and questioned why the government does not have a backup system to ensure technological failures don’t affect Alberta’s economy. “All hands are needed on deck to get the outage repaired as soon as possible,” Hale said. “The government has put all Albertans at risk by failing to protect the technology behind our economic engine or provide a backup system. The responsibilities of the ERCB are too important to permit a technological failure of this size and the government needs to own up to why it took five days to alert stakeholders.”