Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has singled out the oil and gas industry as a target for toughened pollution policing in his campaign for reelection of his Liberal government in a Sept. 20 national vote.
“Let’s be realistic,” said Trudeau as he unveiled an environmental plank in the party platform at a weekend rally in Cambridge, a southwestern Ontario auto manufacturing and university community. “Over one-quarter of our emissions [of greenhouse gases] come from our oil and gas sector. We need the leadership of these industries to decarbonize our country.”
Election campaign additions to Liberal policy would require all participants in the oil and gas sector to make formal annual emissions reduction commitments beginning in 2025, and to deepen methane leakage and venting cuts to 75%.
For workers who lose jobs as a result of the promised national cleanup, the party platform promises a C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) occupational retraining program called the Futures Fund for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
No national Liberal mention has been made yet of oil and gas in British Columbia, where liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and pipeline projects currently fuel the Canadian industry’s strongest growth.
The Liberal plan for a Canadian green new deal continues to pledge national “net-zero” emissions by 2050 and subsidies such as electric car buyer grants, public re-charging stations, and aid for cleanups by energy consumer businesses.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) injected a different version of energy realism into the election, on top of corporate vows to comply with net-zero targets that the Liberal government previously added to national project approval requirements.
A CAPP platform, titled Vote Energy, urges politicians to recognize the Canadian industry’s contributions such as 522,000 supply chain jobs and annual C$10 billion ($8 billion) in government royalty and tax payments.
CAPP reports that despite setbacks inflicted by commodity price slumps, the Covid-19 pandemic and environmental protests, the Canadian industry still stands out as the world’s fifth-ranked producer, daily supplying 4.5 million bbl of oil and 15.4 Bcf of natural gas.
To calculate the Canadian oil and gas industry’s greenhouse gas role, CAPP suggests introducing a measurement called “global offset credits.” The new yardstick would take into account reductions in overseas carbon emissions owed to Canadian LNG exports that replace dirtier industrial and household fuels.
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