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Sask gov't responds to 'devastating' federal oil and gas guidelines

The provincial government says compliance with the emissions cap would cost Saskatchewan's oil and gas sector between $7-9 billion by 2030.
Oil service rig Getty
The Saskatchewan government is responding to federal regulations for the oil and gas sector.

REGINA - The Government of Saskatchewan is voicing its opposition to the federal government's proposed oil and gas emissions cap and draft methane regulations.

The government says its submissions to Environment and Climate Change Canada on the Oil and Gas Emissions Cap and Methane 75 regulations highlight the negative impacts both policies would have on the province and the energy sector. Initial analysis, according to the provincial government, suggests that compliance with the emissions cap would cost Saskatchewan's oil and gas sector between $7-9 billion by 2030.

"These two policies have the potential to be devastating for our economy," Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter said. "Both amount to a production cap by default, and represent further instances of the federal government infringing on Saskatchewan's constitutionally protected right to develop our natural resources."

According to Saskatchewan's preliminary economic analysis, the impact of the emissions cap, alongside Methane 75, suggests that 20 to 30 per cent of Saskatchewan's total production is at risk by 2030. The government says this would negatively impact communities across the province and significantly reduce employment, gross domestic product, and royalties and other tax revenues that fund critical public services.

The federal government has also indicated that there are no plans to apply similar treatment to imported energy products. The result will be increased reliance on oil and gas imported from countries that do not have strong environmental records, at the expense of domestic production and the associated economic benefits.

"We urge the federal government to scrap both policies, and instead focus on practical solutions that reduce emissions while supporting the oil and gas sector," Reiter said.

Saskatchewan's upstream oil and gas industry has made significant progress in reducing emissions and, guided by policies and programs already in place, will continue to achieve results. From 2015-2022, the provincial government says greenhouse gas emissions in Saskatchewan from venting and flaring at upstream oil facilities are down 64 per cent and methane emissions are down 70 per cent.