Media Release - Proposed Alberta methane regulations are a made-in-Alberta approach that fails to consider Albertans


Proposed Alberta methane regulations are a made-in-Alberta approach that fails to consider Albertans

Reducing methane emissions could protect our air and climate, create jobs and increase royalties. Alberta’s draft regulations will continue the practice of ineffective self-policing by oil and gas companies.  

Edmonton, Alberta (April 27, 2018) - Alberta’s proposed methane regulations are a missed opportunity to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets while protecting our environment, creating jobs and collecting royalties from wasted natural gas. And by relying on oil and gas companies to self-report their own emissions, the draft regulations will likely fail to achieve the targets they were created to meet. 

14 organizations from around Alberta are concerned that Alberta’s proposed regulations will provide little benefit to Albertans and will just allow the ineffective practices of self-reporting by oil and gas companies to continue.

Methane is the main component of natural gas and a powerful greenhouse gas. It is intentionally released into the atmosphere and accidently leaked by faulty equipment at oil and gas sites across Alberta. There is proven and affordable technology to identify and fix leaking natural gas.

“Alberta is missing a chance to demonstrate environmental leadership,” said Dr. Joe Vipond from the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.  

“If we are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we need to enact effective and mandatory methane regulations on the biggest emitters.”

Cost-effective technology already exists and is in use by Albertan companies in other jurisdictions. Fair and enforceable regulations will put to work over 200 methane reduction companies to provide the needed engineering, manufacturing, and surveying to deliver this goal in Alberta.  

“Albertans have been asked to shift our behaviours and pay our fair share, and oil and gas companies should also have to do the same,” said Ann Baran from the Southern Alberta Group for the Environment.

Under the draft regulations, Alberta companies will be required to monitor and report the methane emissions from their own equipment. Without clear requirements and strict regulatory oversight, the proposed approach will not achieve the desired methane reductions. Self-reporting has resulted in vastly underreported emissions from facilities throughout the province.

“Near Red Deer, methane emissions were 15 times higher than reported by oil and gas companies,” said Jule Asterisk, executive director of Keepers of the Athabasca.

“With self-reporting as proposed, we won’t even know if these regulations make any difference on actually reducing methane emissions.”

The Government of Alberta must change these methane regulations to be meaningful, stringent and enforceable. Let’s show that Alberta is serious about addressing climate change and the significant emissions from the largest polluter, the oil and gas sector.

The 14 Alberta organizations are:

Alberta Wilderness Association
Calgary Climate Action Network
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
The Council of Canadians Edmonton Chapter
Crooked Creek Conservancy Society of Athabasca
Keepers of the Athabasca
Keepers of the Water
Mewassin Community Council
The Peace River Environmental Society
Pembina Institute
Prairie Acid Rain Coalition
Progress Alberta
Southern Alberta Group for the Environment

Media Contact: Jule Asterisk
Executive Director, Keepers of the Athabasca


Jeff Wiehler