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Alberta Strikes Methane Emissions Deal With Federal Government

Alberta has reached an agreement with Canada’s federal government to have its own provincial regulation on methane emissions, which will save the energy industry money and avoid red tape, the provincial government said on Thursday.

Instead of having federal and provincial regulations on methane emissions, Alberta will now have only provincial rules on tackling methane emissions, whose largest source in the province is the oil and gas sector.

Around three-quarters of Alberta’s methane emissions come from the upstream oil and gas industry.

The finalized agreement with Alberta “will allow strengthened provincial methane regulations to replace the federal regulations for up to five years,” the federal government said.

“Alberta’s methane regulation is estimated to cut more emissions by 2030 than the federal system would if it applied in Alberta, and will do so at half the cost to industry,” Alberta’s government said in a statement.

“This agreement allows industry to work within a made-in-Alberta framework that avoids duplication, meets environmental outcomes and provides flexibility to reach methane reduction targets in a way that best suits our province,” Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage said.

“Having a single set of rules will increase investor confidence in our energy sector while strengthening Alberta’s reputation for innovation and responsible energy development,” Savage added.

Alberta targets to cut methane emissions by 45 percent from 2014 levels by 2025.

The province has announced US$40 million (C$52 million) from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system to support methane programs that will create jobs in the oil and gas sector. Those programs are expected to cut about 1.5 megatons of emissions right away, Alberta’s government said.

Environmental Defence criticized the agreement with Alberta, as well as with Saskatchewan, with Dale Marshall saying that “The Canadian government needs to stop bending over backwards to the Big Oil lobby and oil-friendly provincial governments at the expense of public health and action on the climate emergency.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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