The Province is improving transparency in oversight and governance of the energy resource sector through a more modern, inclusive and larger board for its energy regulator.
“As the energy sector evolves, it’s vital that we ensure its regulation reflects the values and expectations of a modern industry and of British Columbians. I want to thank existing and new board members for guiding the regulator into the future,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Emerging energy sectors, such as hydrogen, geothermal and carbon capture, will generate economic opportunities and help B.C. reduce emissions and transition to clean energy. Increasing the size and diversity of the board of directors improves inclusion and better reflects the expanded energy resource mandate.”
Other key changes include an official name change from the BC Oil and Gas Commission to the British Columbia Energy Regulator to better align with its expanded role of regulating the life cycle of oil, gas and hydrogen industries within B.C.
In addition, the board will now consist of five to seven directors and be required to include Indigenous representation. Previously, there were three directors and a number of independent board consultants who assisted the board in its oversight responsibilities.
“I look forward to working with all of the new and existing board members and to support all British Columbians within the role,” said Chris Hayman, board chair, British Columbia Energy Regulator board. “I am excited to build upon the important work the life-cycle energy regulator does and I believe these new changes will create more clarity for industry while moving toward a lower-emissions future for British Columbians.”
The new board members are Natascha Kiernan and Ken Cameron, who will be on two-year terms, as well as Sharon Singh and Kevin Brewster, who are appointed for one-year terms. Hayman, who will be on a two-year term, has been appointed chair.
Existing board members are Shannon Baskerville, who will be on a two-year term, and Patrick Kelly, who will continue his current term.
To underscore the board’s independence from the management team, the chief executive officer will no longer serve as a member.
- In fall 2022, B.C. passed the Energy Statutes Amendment Act, which added responsibility for hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, carbon capture and underground storage, and geothermal to the previously named BC Oil and Gas Commission’s responsibilities.
- The legislation created a regulatory framework for hydrogen development in British Columbia.
- It also ensured a more comprehensive consultation and engagement approach with First Nations.
- The regulator will officially take on responsibility for hydrogen oversight this year.
A backgrounder follows.