By October 2, 2015 Read More →

Alberta climate panel: Oil industry touts emission-reducing technologies in strategy

Alberta climate panel working on broad plan to reduce GHG emissions

Alberta climate panel

The Alberta climate panel is tackling Alberta’s wider climate strategy, not just oil and gas, but also on transportation and power as well. 

CALGARY – The oil and gas industry wants investment in emissions-busting technologies to play a big role in Alberta’s climate change strategy.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has made its submission to the five-member Alberta climate panel working on a broad plan to reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Alberta can diversify its economy and become the global hub for the development of new emissions-cutting technologies that we can then export to the world’s oil and gas sector,” CAPP president Tim McMillan said in a release.

“In our generation, we can make Alberta’s oilpatch the high-tech environmental leader of the world.”

Alberta should set a target for technology investment over the next 10 years and invest funds from its soon-to-be-hiked carbon levy to develop and deploy those technologies, the group said.

In June, the left-leaning NDP government announced the carbon price for large industrial emitters that exceed their allotment, now at $15 a tonne, would be rising to $20 a tonne next year and to $30 a tonne in 2017.

Between that change, and an increase in the corporate tax rate from 10 per cent to 12 per cent, CAPP has estimated the industry faces $800 million in higher cost over two years.

The climate change panel, headed by University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach, is tackling the province’s wider climate strategy, focusing not just on oil and gas, but on aspects like transportation and power, too.

The government has said it aims to have the architecture of a climate plan ready in time for the UN climate talks in Paris in December.

One of CAPP’s recommendations is to develop a clean infrastructure royalty credit program that would encourage the adoption of green technologies without hurting the industry’s competitiveness.

It also wants more power generation to come from natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel than coal, and to export it to countries like China.

It urged the panel to think seriously about how any additional costs to the industry may affect how Alberta stacks up against competing jurisdictions.

“If Alberta does not take a balanced approach to setting its targets, price and timelines, it could eliminate the competitiveness of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, putting billions of investment and thousands of jobs at risk,” McMillan said.

Earlier this week, environmental group Greenpeace made its submission to the climate panel.

Its recommendations include: “adopting ambitious, biding and science-based” targets; the phasing out of coal and switching all of Alberta’s electricity to renewable sources by 2050, an economy-wide carbon price of $50 a tonne that rises to $150 a tonne by 2026 and capping oilsands expansion.

“The prescription for the problem is clear, the only question is whether there’s the political will to do it,” said campaigner Mike Hudema.

By Lauren Krugel of The Canadian Press

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