Statement by Environmental Defence’s Dale Marshall on new research showing methane emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry are under reported
Ottawa, Ont. – The research published today in a prestigious peer-reviewed publication, Environmental Science & Technology, adds to the mounting evidence that methane emissions from Canada’s oil and gas companies are much higher than what the industry and governments are reporting. It signals once again the urgency of creating and enforcing strong methane regulations in Canada.
This new research is alarming for both economic and environmental reasons. The methane gas currently being wasted would supply almost all the natural gas needs of Alberta, and is worth $530 million per year. This represents an economic cost for governments in the form of lost royalties and taxes, and for industry in terms of revenue.
Because methane is a potent greenhouse gas, the short-term climate warming impact of methane emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector is actually greater than all the vehicles currently on Canada’s roads, or the equivalent of 20 coal plants. Solutions to eliminating leaks and intentional releases of methane gas are readily available and represent some of the lowest cost solutions to reducing carbon emissions. The Canadian and Alberta governments should work to implement strong methane regulations to solve this problem as soon as possible.
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