In-Progress Academic Research

Work Submitted or Under Revision

"Protest and Partnership: Indigenous Peoples, Consultation and Engagement, and Resource Development in Canada" (with Brendan Boyd). Revise and resubmit, University of Calgary Press.

  • Co-edited book exploring what leads to the establishment of a mutually beneficial partnership and why do many resource development projects result in protests or legal challenges from Indigenous communities. Contributors include Brendan Boyd, Kirk Cameron, Sophie Lorefice, L. Jane McMillan, Thierry Rodon, Gabrielle Slowey, and Stephen Wyatt.

  • Intro (with Brendan Boyd)

  • Chapter 2: Indigenous, Industry and Government Perspectives on Consultation in Resource Development (with Brendan Boyd and Sophie Lorefice)

An Analysis of Industrial Policy Mechanisms to Support Commercial Deployment of Bitumen Partial Upgrading in Alberta” (with G. Kent Fellows and Alaz Munzur), submitted.

  • We use a stylized theoretical model of capacity investment to explore the expected effect of different policy supports on firms’ decision to invest in a partial upgrading facility integrated with an existing oil sands extraction facility. We evaluate 10 potential policy interventions and their expected effect on investment in partial upgrading.

Working Papers

“No end in sight: End-of-life management of oil wells in Alberta" (with Gregory Galay)

  • We use a real options model to value individual oil wells and identify decision thresholds for reactivating inactive wells. We find a fixed limit on the length of time a well can be decommissioned before it needs to reclaimed would reduce the inventory of decommissioned wells and increase the rate of reclamation, but would come at a significant cost to firms including the direct cost of cleaning up decommissioned oil wells sites and the indirect cost of reducing the current value of active oil wells.

"Comprehensive Assessment of Regulatory Programs: Lessons from a Rapid Review" (with Akash Asif)

  • We provide a knowledge synthesis of best practices in assessing regulation and regulatory programs. We review the extant literature on how to assess regulatory programs in a horizontal and comprehensive manner that is relevant for government regulatory reviews. We describe relevant conceptual frameworks and policy design principles identified in academic and policy literatures on the topic of effective regulatory governance, as these form the basis of reviews of the quality and effectiveness of regulatory systems.

Ongoing Research Projects (drafts available on request)

"Climate Policy as a Geopolitical Tool: How the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism Affects its Relationships with Africa and China" (with Katharina Koch and Alaz Munzur), invited chapter in the Palgrave Handbook on China-Europe-Africa relations

  • We investigate how the European Union’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) may change the relationship between the EU, Africa and China from both economic and geopolitical perspectives. We use trade data as a lens to identify the relevancy of the six CBAM sectors for China and a subset of African countries, focusing on those most exposed to the CBAM based on CBAM industries’ share of exports and the importance of the EU market. We explore how the CBAM will affect bilateral and trilateral trade relations, alongside similarities and differences in emissions pricing and net emissions pricing (accounting for fuel excise taxes and fossil fuel subsidies) which would affect the treatment of CBAM sector exports from African countries and China. We also present a qualitative analysis of responses from developing countries since the announcement of the CBAM in 2021 by the European Commission.

"EITE Definitions and Policy Coverage" (with Sarah Dobson)

  • Compares the policy coverage - sectors of the Canadian economy supported by the policy - from the different emissions intensive and trade exposed definitions used by Alberta, the EU and California.

"History of Energy Taxes in Canada"

  • Explores the evolution of federal and provincial taxes on energy: transportation fuels, heating fuels, and electricity.

Measuring Energy Poverty in Canada” (with Felix Fosu and Blake Shaffer)

  • We explore the different measures of energy poverty, the types of households these measures identify and their sensitivity to variable definition.

"A Federal Backstop to Provincial Carbon Pricing: Decarbonization in an Age of Uncooperative Federalism" (with Fenner Stewart and Andrew Leach)

  • We explore the legal issues inherent in the Canadian government setting a minimum standard for carbon pricing in Canada, describing two hypothetical scenarios that trigger federal paramountcy analysis.

"Measuring the Contribution of Energy Infrastructure: A Practical Guide" (with Trevor Tombe)

  • Co-edited book that will propose and explore methods and metrics for measuring the social, environmental, and economic consequences of new energy infrastructure for Canada, its provinces, and its people. The book will inform policymakers and regulators in Canada, enabling them to better understand how to evaluate the costs and benefits of energy infrastructure.

"North American Oil Markets and Opportunities for Canadian Crude" (with Sefik Bagdadioglu, Sarah Dobson, G. Kent Fellows, Sean Keown and Sophie Lorefice)

  • Describes recent trends in North American crude oil markets, including the determinants of price differentials for Canadian heavy crude. Explores alternative export markets for Canadian crude oil.

"Getting to Know Models: A primer and critique on Input-Output and Computable General Equilibrium Models and their uses for policy and project analysis" (with G. Kent Fellows)

  • Chapter in Measuring the Contribution of Energy Infrastructure: A Practical Guide, Jennifer Winter & Trevor Tombe, eds. We compare the underlying assumptions and results from input-output analysis and computable general equilibrium models. The measured economic impacts depends heavily on the underlying assumptions for both approaches.

"A Multiple-Account Approach to Benefit-Cost Analysis” (with Marvin Shaffer and Blake Shaffer)

  • Chapter in Measuring the Contribution of Energy Infrastructure: A Practical Guide, Jennifer Winter and Trevor Tombe, eds. There are significant limitations and challenges to the use of benefit-cost analysis. However, the alternatives commonly used in project and policy assessment, including the application of norms and multi-criteria analysis, have significant problems in their own right and do not substitute for what benefit-cost analyses can provide. The limitations and challenges to benefit-cost analysis do not mean it should be abandoned; however, its role and manner of application require more careful consideration. We outline a multiple account approach to benefit-cost analysis. A multiple-account approach recognizes that the role of benefit-cost analysis is to inform, not necessarily resolve public policy debates, and that can best be done in a disaggregated multiple account framework, not the pursuit of a monetized bottom line.

"Hydraulic Fracturing and Public Policy" (with Sarah Dobson and Sophie Lorefice)

  • We review how political and public sentiment towards hydraulic fracturing has affected its regulation and governance.

"Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Marine Activities" (with Brendan Boyd and Jessie Arthur)

  • We identify and examine existing understandings and approaches to meaningful engagement by different actors (government, industry, local communities, Indigenous Peoples) involved in engagement activities in the Arctic.

Semi-Retired Working Papers

"Alberta Oil and Gas Leases: Testing Competing Institutions" (with David Johnson)

  • Use experimental economics to see the effect of changing information available to bidders on bidding behaviour

"Buying Anonymity: An Investigation of Petroleum and Natural Gas Lease Auctions"

  • Higher winning bids are associated with the use of brokers. The use of brokers is persistent and geographically concentrated.

"Estimating the Credibility of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation's Threat to Nationalize Oil Resources in Saskatchewan" (with Herb Emery)

  • Expropriation in Saskatchewan did not reduce investment in exploration and development, but did reduce the price paid for mineral rights relative to Alberta.

Old Drafts

"Plucking a Goose of Unknown Size: Optimal Rent Extraction with Exhaustible Resources" (with John Boyce)

  • The variety in resource taxation systems across jurisdictions is due to an "overabundance" of tax instruments.