Alberta and Federal regulators agree that we have to stop the leaking of methane — a powerful greenhouse gas — from oil-and-gas operations. But beyond setting common targets of reducing methane emissions by 40-45% by 2025, Alberta and Ottawa have offered up radically different approaches.
The federal approach is not only more likely to reduce methane emissions; it will also be a far stronger job generator. Regulations requiring frequent, hands-on leak detection and repair are much more likely to detect leaks, which have been proven to be hard to predict, and will create good jobs in both inspecting equipment thoroughly and acting quickly on repairs.
If Alberta regulators adopt a more responsible approach to methane regulation by requiring industry-wide leak detection and repair, Alberta’s oil-and-gas sector would gain jobs and create more certainty of meeting emissions reduction targets.
It is critical that Alberta reverse its current course and adopt requirements that are on par with the Federal government’s methane regulations. If a truly equivalent plan doesn’t come forward from Alberta, the Federal government must stick to its more rigorous and measurable plan to create well-paid jobs ending unnecessary, damaging, and dangerous leakage of methane and other air contaminants from oil-and-gas operations.