Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oil and Gas Rules Last Chance to Meet Greenhouse Reduction Targets: Report

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oil and Gas Rules Last Chance to Meet Greenhouse Reduction Targets: Report

Article excerpt

Oil and gas rules only way to targets: report


OTTAWA - The oil and gas sector will need to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent if Canada has any hope of meeting overall reductions targets by the end of the decade, says a new report from an environmental think-tank.

The Pembina Institute report also says the only way that's going to happen is if upcoming federal regulations on the sector go much farther than those already in place in Alberta.

The Conservative government has been promising new rules for the oil and gas sector since 2008 and has suggested they will finally be unveiled this year.

They'll follow earlier regulations for the transportation and electricity sectors, all aimed at reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.

Both the environmental commissioner and the now-defunct National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy warned last year that Canada was not on track to meet that goal.

A federal government report last summer, however, said Canada was already halfway there.

The oil and gas sector is responsible for about 22 per cent of all emissions, making the rules governing the sector the most critical, the institute said Tuesday in releasing its report.

It's a make-or-break moment for Canada's climate credibility, said Clare Demerse, the think-tank's director of federal policy.

"This is an industry that has been under microscope, it is facing more and more scrutiny of its environmental track record, and having strong regulations in place would help to answer its critics (and) would help to increase public support for the sector's operations," Demerse said.

The institute would rather see an overarching approach to emissions reductions, rather than the government's current sector-by-sector rules, Demerse said. But the Conservatives are likely to model their regulations after the precedent-setting regime already in place in Alberta, she added. …

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