Alberta finalizes deal with Ottawa on new methane regulations

·1 min read

Alberta has finalized a deal with the federal government to enact provincial methane regulations instead of those created in Ottawa.

The province says it wants to reduce methane emissions by 45 per cent from 2014 levels by 2025.

"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," said Energy Minister Sonya Savage in a news release.

"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."

The government has said it estimates the new regulations will cost industry a total of $650 million, but said that number would be $1.2 billion under federal regulations.

Methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and accounts for 15 per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

In 2014, the oil and gas sector was responsible for 70 per cent of Alberta's methane emissions, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator. That year, Alberta released the equivalent of 31.4 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in methane gas.