This third paper in AIMS Oil and Gas Series underlines that while natural gas markets in other jurisdictions across Canada and the continent are quite mature, here in Atlantic Canada natural gas has a virtually zero market share. Thus, blindly copying regulatory and policy frameworks from elsewhere is not the wisest approach. The report’s author, Dr. Tom L. Tucker, tackles some of the most common attitudes and misconceptions towards this new industry, placing them under the policy microscope and subjecting them to the light of experience. Dr. Tucker then clearly illustrates that in order to realize the full market value of the gas for its owners (the public) and bring the greatest benefits to the region, the distribution industry must be deregulated.
A more stringent regulatory regime may be necessary once the industry reaches critical mass in the region, and Dr. Tucker makes some innovative suggestions as to a regulatory regime that would keep service quality high while squeezing out excess profits. In addition, the author debunks a long series of commonly held beliefs about natural gas, such as that people in the region would ultimately benefit from artificially low gas prices.