The ongoing battle between the federal and provincial governments in Canada over methane emissions regulations escalated on Monday after Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment, Rebecca Schulz, vehemently opposed the federal government’s proposed rules.
In a strongly worded joint statement, Smith and Schulz criticized Ottawa’s unilateral move to establish new methane emissions rules, labeling them as an attempt to secure international headlines.
The statement emphasized that managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is a constitutional right and responsibility held by the province, not Ottawa.
“Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career,” it read.
More regs coming from Guilbeault
The statement comes on the same day Liberal Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault is expected to publish draft regulations that will require at least a 75% reduction of methane emissions from the oil-and-gas sector by 2030, compared to 2012 levels.
The Alberta government’s statement further highlighted that the province has already reduced methane emissions by 45% from the oil and gas sector, three years ahead of its target.
Furthermore, Smith and Shultz argued that Ottawa’s attempt to regulate the province’s industries in this manner is not only illegal but also lacks credible expertise in areas beyond its jurisdiction.
“Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050,” the statement read.
It further asserted that the federal government should have collaborated with Alberta on joint incentive programs aligned with the province’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan.