Feds putting off methane regulations

OTTAWA — Canada is delaying its plans to regulate cuts to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by at least three years.

The move comes less than a month after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order reconsidering existing American commitments to methane cuts — and the timing is no coincidence.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says Canada remains committed to producing energy more sustainably, but must keep an eye on what is happening south of the border.

He said Canada needs to remain competitive, and persisting with existing timelines would put undue pressure on the energy industry.

Former President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed a year ago to jointly slash oil and gas methane emissions between 40 and 45 per cent over 2012 levels by 2025.

Canada was to introduce regulations to get there this year and implement them between 2018 and 2020. The new target dates mean the regulations wouldn’t take effect until 2022 at the earliest.

The United States has already eliminated reporting requirements for industry to provide data on its methane emissions by May of this year.

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