More than seven in 10 Albertans support tougher controls on methane releases from the province’s oil and gas facilities, according to an EKOs poll funded by Environmental Defence.
“People in Alberta have first-hand experience with methane leaks,” said ED Executive Director Tim Gray. “People have had to deal with methane, in the form of flaring, from a human health perspective. I also think they see it as waste—wasted money, wasted jobs.”
Many U.S. states “already have requirements that force companies to inspect more often for leaks and reduce methane venting,” Canadian Press notes, citing Gray, and 41% of Albertans who participated in the poll said the province’s rules should be equally strict. Another 30% said regulations in Alberta should be tighter.
“We wanted to demonstrate that people in Alberta, in particular, want to see this issue addressed,” Gray said. “The data shows that they do—they care about it a lot.”
The federal government has introduced new methane controls that it says will reduce emissions by 282 megatonnes by 2035, but softened the rules and delayed their implementation by three years. Meanwhile “the Alberta Energy Regulator is considering how to meet the government’s target of a 45% reduction in methane leaks by 2025,” CP notes. But Gray noted that industry is resisting tighter regulations.
“If we go with a much less restrictive approach,” he said, “the result is going to be much higher methane emissions from Canada than are necessary if we match the approach that’s being done in the U.S.”