May 14, 2024

Professor wins award for paper

Award presented by the Canadian Academy of Legal Studies in Business

Professor Fenner Stewart has won the Canadian Academy of Legal Studies in Business Distinguished Paper Award 2024 for his paper "A History of Crude Externalities."

The paper analyzes the Alberta government’s ongoing struggle to manage environmental cleanup efforts in the oil and gas sector, highlighted by recent public bailouts and an Auditor General report estimating CDN 260 billion in largely unsecured liabilities. Utilizing classic liberalism, the paper advocates for the internalization of these costs to enhance market efficiency. The study details, then criticizes, Alberta’s four-decades of reliance on ineffective self-bonding strategies that have consistently failed to prevent cost externalization. It concludes that the most recent reform, a pay-as-you-go mechanism, still risks billions in potential externalization without further reforms.

"Winning this award is a great honour," says Stewart. "The paper addresses one of the largest challenges facing Alberta in the years to come, and it's gratifying to see my work on this issue recognized by the business law community."