No Timeline on Long-Overdue Oil and Gas Environmental Regulations: Aglukkaq

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Environment minister punts oil and gas rules


OTTAWA - The Conservative government is punting long-awaited environmental regulations for the oil and gas sector into the indefinite future.

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq is refusing to provide a deadline for rules that will force the emissions-heavy sector to clean up its act, although the regulations have been years in the making.

"It is at this time premature for me to say when they will be ready," Aglukkaq told a Commons committee Thursday.

"There has been good progress in that area the last few years, so once they are ready I will share that with the committee."

Her Conservative predecessor in the environment portfolio, Peter Kent, once predicted the regulations would be released last January, then revised the date to this past summer.

"I can't give you a timeline," Aglukkaq said under questioning from NDP and Liberal MPs. "Work continues. When we're ready we'll release them."

The Conservatives have moved on auto-sector emissions -- in lock-step with the United States -- and on regulating the electricity sector. But the government's own numbers show Canada is not on track to meet its 2020 international pledges on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even with oil and gas regulations.

NDP environment critic Megan Leslie asked Aglukkaq whether the other sector targets will have to be re-adjusted in order to meet Canada's Copenhagen emissions pledge, or whether the future oil and gas regulations will do the trick.

Aglukkaq appeared not to understand the question. …


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