Friday, May 26, 2017

Credit Where It's Due. Cathy Imposes Obama-Grade Methane Rules for Fossil Fuelers.

Trudeau enviromin, Cathy McKenna, has announced new rules for cracking down on methane leaks from oil and gas wells.

The government will publish proposed regulations May 27 that would cover “over 95 per cent” of emission sources for methane, which is 84 times as powerful as carbon dioxide over a 20-year period at warming the planet, according to officials from Environment and Climate Change Canada. The proposal will then be open for a 60-day public comment period.

The proposed rules will require companies to create and maintain a program to detect and repair gas leaks, upgrade automated equipment and mechanical devices, and limit the direct release of methane gas into the atmosphere, including during fracking operations. There will also be rules for air pollutants that contribute to smog, or so-called volatile organic compounds.

Officials said these rules, empowered under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, would help reduce nationwide emissions by 282 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or the same as taking almost 60 million cars off the road for a year. That is expected to save $13.4 billion from 2018 to 2035 in “avoided climate change damages.”

Well, it sounds as though she's off to a good start at least. Given the massive hole the Trudeau clan have dug for Canada by facilitating the expansion of Tar Sands production, it's about time they entered something on the other side of the ledger, if only for appearances.

Prohibiting methane discharges is one thing. Monitoring the often remote well sites where methane can be released - inadvertently or deliberately - is another matter altogether.


Lorne said...

What bothers me most about these 'breakthrough' requirements, Mound, is this:

"Dale Marshall, national climate program manager at Environmental Defence Canada, put it more bluntly in an email sent shortly after the proposed rules were released.

“Canada has a methane gas problem, and I've learned that the government plans to do nothing about it until 2023,” he wrote."

Toby said...

Isn't it a bit premature to give her credit for "proposed regulations"? The last line in your linked article quotes Dale Marshall, national climate program manager at Environmental Defence Canada, “Canada has a methane gas problem, and I've learned that the government plans to do nothing about it until 2023,” he wrote.

Anonymous said...

Dame Cathy was interviewed on the CBC about this last night and I was unimpressed. She was on about how the new methane rules came about after lengthy consultations with the oil and gas industry, and how the industry is "fully behind" these measures, but we can't implement them for 3 years because that's how long they'll need to get ready.

Some red flags:
1) Polluters are "fully behind" the new regs;
2) Despite the global warming crisis and Canada's woeful progress towards its targets, we won't implement the new regs now; and
3) The new regs won't take effect until after the next election.

Finally, as you rightly point out, new regs are one thing, enforcing them's another. Everything we've seen from this government so far leads me to think we're being conned.


The Mound of Sound said...

Look, I'm as cynical as you fellows. This government has a clear record of how it follows through on its promises and grandiose claims.

From what I've read it's very costly and difficult to monitor these wells. The gas is almost undetectable. It's colourless, odourless and tasteless. The sites are often remote and monitors have access problems.

The best video was shot by environmentalists using infra-red (heat detecting) video cameras that were able to catch the cold methane plumes from leaking lines or deliberate discharge.

Anonymous said...

Anyong: While Alberta has 13,000 dead wells so called, all leaking methane, and, while the Provincial Government is spending tax dollars in making an attempt of clean up, and the money making companies clap their hands without any requirement for clean up or cap off, we environmentalist have to "put up or shut up". In the meantime these wells continue to pollute the atmosphere with methane which is more lethal than CO2. It will take some serious decline in environmental deaths involving some of these greedy billionaires, before anything is done. By that time it will have reached a river of no return. Sorry to sound negative but there it is.