Canada Draft Regs to Curb Oil & Gas Emissions, Aligns with U.S. Policies and Deepens Global Methane Commitments with 20 Nations

Statement by Environmental Defense Fund Executive Director Diane Regas

May 25, 2017
Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437,
Faye Roberts, 647-924-4454,

(Washington, D.C. – May 25, 2017) The Government of Canada announced draft regulations today to curb air and climate pollution from the oil and gas industry, as a first step toward meeting Canada’s climate targets. Reducing methane emissions is a central part of the draft federal rules that aim to avoid energy waste, cut pollution and stimulate new job opportunities.

The methane proposal cements Canada’s place among 20 other nations that have committed to tackle a dangerous pollutant, and it aligns Canada, the world’s fifth largest oil and gas producer, with a number of U.S. policies at both the federal and state level.

“Canada’s draft regulations are a good start, but these safeguards need to be stronger. For Canada to meet its climate target and be seen as a global leader, its reduction measures need to catch up with new methane controls being adopted across the U.S.

“For the first time in the Trump presidency, the U.S. Senate voted down an attempt to overturn an Obama-era policy; in doing so they preserved common sense methane regulations. The Senate decision demonstrated that the oil and gas industry totally misread the mood of the American people. In contrast, Prime Minister Trudeau is showing Canada won’t make that same misstep.”

“Preventing methane pollution is a low cost option to reduce Canadian climate emissions. Yet Canada’s oil and gas industry squanders enough natural gas each year to supply every household in Edmonton and Calgary combined. Tossing away millions of dollars while polluting the air is bad business and bad policy.

“Industry has consistently under-reported the size of its methane problem, while successfully lobbying to weaken the rules. Canada now has ground to make up. Ensuring that provincial regulations align with the federal proposal is a key strategy to close the current emissions gap.”

      —Diane Regas, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund

Methane has been a global focus in recent years because of its prevalence and intensity in destabilizing the climate, driving about 25 percent of today’s global warming. Natural gas is mostly methane, both a valued energy source and a powerful pollutant. Typically this pollution is laced with other air toxins, including carcinogens that affect public health.

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