B.C.’s methane regulations being drafted this summer / fall, on the heels of Alberta’s insufficient regulations released in April

VANCOUVER – The B.C. government must put strong regulations in place to reduce methane pollution from the province’s oil and gas industry and uphold its promise to British Columbians, according to the David Suzuki Foundation.

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Leading scientists estimate it is responsible for 25 per cent of the changes already observed to Earth’s climate.

“Cutting methane pollution from the province’s biggest industrial polluter is one of the quickest, cheapest and most important climate solutions for B.C.,” foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce said. “With the federal government’s methane regulations in place, it is now up to the provinces to draft effective plans to cut their methane pollution at the source.”

On April 26, 2018, the federal government passed regulations aimed at reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2025. Provincial governments are now responsible for developing plans to achieve or exceed the necessary reductions; alternatively, they must adopt the federal government’s pollution limits. Regulations released also in April by Alberta’s provincial government fell far short of the federal requirements.

“The B.C. government is drafting its methane regulations this summer and fall,” Bruce said. “Now is the time to remind government that it committed to ensuring oil and gas companies are part of climate solutions. B.C. needs to lead with strong regulations and not follow Alberta’s weak approach.”

Addressing methane pollution is especially important since the problem is much larger than originally thought. Peer-reviewed 2017 research by St. Francis Xavier University and the foundation revealed that methane leaks and vents from B.C.’s oil and gas operations produce at least 2.5 times the pollution reported. This finding challenges the claim that natural gas / LNG is a “clean” transition fuel.

“Oil and gas companies know there is a methane pollution problem. The good news is they have the tools to fix it,” Bruce said. “The B.C. government must ensure industry joins the citizens and communities already working hard to reach our climate targets.”

In its supply-and-confidence agreement with the B.C. Green Party, the B.C. government committed to closing a loophole in the province’s carbon tax by applying it to the oil and gas industry’s pollution.

“Paired with strong methane emissions regulations, this would re-position B.C. as an international leader on climate action,” Bruce said.

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Note: B.C. residents can have their voices heard by sending their own messages to government asking for strong methane regulations.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Brendan Glauser, bglauser@davidsuzuki.org, 604-356-8829