New footage confirms Canada needs stronger methane protections
VANCOUVER – Newly released footage taken at oil and gas sites in Alberta and Saskatchewan reveal that methane is being intentionally and unintentionally emitted from Canada’s oil and gas-producing regions.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is fueling the climate crisis.
The footage — commissioned by Clean Air Task Force and The David Suzuki Foundation — was taken over a six-day period in July using a special infrared camera. It reveals methane escaping undetected from tanks, well pads, flare stacks and other oil and gas infrastructure. The field team that captured the footage visited 128 sites and documented methane emissions at every site.
The oil and gas industry is a major methane emitter and Canada has committed to reducing at least 75 per cent of oil and gas methane emissions by 2030. The Canadian government recently announced a series of improvements it will make to the national environmental regulations to help solve the problem, including:
- Require more frequent leak inspections
- Restrict flaring
- Replace high-emitting equipment with zero-emission alternatives
- Stronger enforcement of existing regulations
- Develop an advanced, more comprehensive emissions reporting framework.
“These images and videos of methane escaping from oil and gas equipment in Alberta and Saskatchewan show that the industry has a big emissions problem. Claims by the provinces and industry that they’re making great progress on tackling methane ring hollow when the potent gas was detected almost everywhere. This shows the urgency of translating the federal methane framework announced at COP27 into legally binding regulations.”
- Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation
“We’re strongly encouraged by Canada's newly proposed framework for reducing methane. Cementing best practices like requiring more frequent leak inspections and accurate emissions reporting can help prevent methane pollution. Canada must follow through with strong regulations that standardize best practices for all oil and gas operations.”
- Ari Pottens, Senior Campaign Manager for Canada, Environmental Defense Fund
“With the newly planned framework for regulating and reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, Canada has positioned itself as a frontrunner for the most ambitious policy in the world. Reports of methane pollution in Alberta and Saskatchewan illustrate that much work remains. Developing comprehensive regulations will be critical to ensuring Canada’s emissions reductions match its ambition.”
- James Turitto, Campaign Manager for Methane Pollution Prevention, Clean Air Task Force
# # #
One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund
The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. It operates in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The Foundation collaborates with all people in Canada, including Indigenous leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Its mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. The Foundation envisions a day when we all act on the understanding that we are one with nature.
About Clean Air Task Force: Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.