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CANADA'S HIGH COURT RULES ENERGY COMPANIES MUST CLEAN UP OLD OIL WELLS

02/04/2019

Canada's top court has ruled that energy companies must fulfill their environmental obligations before paying back creditors in cases of insolvency and bankruptcy, effectively requiring companies to clean up old oil and gas wells rather than leaving them for others to clean up. The court determined that bankruptcy was not a license to ignore environmental regulations and that there was no inherent conflict between federal bankruptcy laws and provincial environmental regulations.The ruling overturns two lower court decisions that held that bankruptcy law had paramountcy over provincial environmental responsibilities, meaning that companies could pay back creditors before cleaning up old wells. For the full story, see https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/supreme-court-redwater-decision-orphan-....