Canada’s climate goals suffered a serious setback when the federal government announced that it will allow B.C. to use its own, significantly weaker, regulations in place of the federal standard. In doing so, it also undercut the only measure focused on climate pollution from oil and gas companies, the largest and fastest growing source of carbon emissions in Canada.
Methane emissions can be significantly reduced from oil and gas wells at very low cost, which reduces impacts on human health as well. Allowing B.C. to apply its weaker regulations undermines what should have been, in terms of climate action, low-hanging fruit.
Why did the federal government work so hard to develop groundbreaking national methane regulations just to roll over for weaker provincial regulations? The federal regulations would have effectively and cheaply reduced harmful emissions in all three Western provinces. With the growing gap between Canada’s international commitments and the pan-Canadian climate framework, climate measures need to be strengthened, not weakened.
The federal government should therefore rethink the path it is on, and take a u-turn on allowing B.C. to apply its own rules.
The federal Cabinet passed an Order-in-Council to not apply federal methane regulations in B.C., and let B.C.’s weaker rules to apply instead. There is a 60-day comment period, with the agreement with B.C. expected to be finalized in 2020.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
For more information or to arrange an interview:
Barbara Hayes, Communications Manager, Environmental Defence, firstname.lastname@example.org