Federal government finalizes regulations to reduce methane emissions

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CALGARY — The federal government says it has finalized regulations that should reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by close to half.

The government says the regulations include flexibilities to reduce costs, while ensuring industry meets the target of reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2012 levels by 2025.

Announced by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the regulations are expected to cut carbon pollution by about 20 million tonnes a year, the equivalent to taking about five million vehicles off the road per year.

Several environmental groups including Environmental Defence and the David Suzuki Foundation welcomed the regulations as the first country-level commitment to reducing methane from both new and existing oil and gas facilities nationwide.

In a joint statement, the groups said the test now will be whether the federal government will ensure any provincial regulations achieve at least the same level of reduction.

Patrick McDonald, director of climate and innovation at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says that while industry supports the reduction target, the regulations as finalized are too prescriptive and will make industry less competitive.

The Canadian Press

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