Alberta Premier Danielle Smith shot down any suggestion that a methane emissions cap would be implemented in the province on Monday after federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced new regulations at the COP28 conference in Dubai.
The new regulations call for methane emissions to be reduced by at least 75% from 2012 levels by 2030.
Smith accused Ottawa of embarking on an unrealistic, costly, and unconstitutional path.
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines,” wrote the statement co-authored by Smith and Alberta Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz.
The joint statement criticized Ottawa for trying to replace Alberta’s approach with costly, dangerous, and unconstitutional new federal regulations. According to the statement, the new regulations won’t benefit anyone beyond Guilbeault’s post-office career.
True North reported that Smith had previously criticized Guilbeault for other unconstitutional decisions, like the Impact Assessment Act.
Managing Alberta’s oil and gas industry is the province’s constitutional right and responsibility, argued Smith. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45%, hitting their target three years early.
Smith also accused the federal government of setting unrealistic targets and timelines citing the fact that infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows.
“Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk,” said the statement.
The finances are another thing that Smith and Schulz took issue with. The proposed approach would cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided no financial support to help accomplish this.
“A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050,” wrote Smith and Schulz.
Smith and Schulz said that Guilbeault needs to work with them, not against them, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented into our province,” concluded the statement.