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Waiting for methane regulations may cost thousands of jobs and extra emissions

Waiting for methane regulations may cost thousands of jobs and extra emissions

A new methane industry report by Blue Green Canada shows Alberta is far better off putting in place its own stronger provincial methane emissions regulations and adopting them right away rather than waiting until 2023 for the Federal government's draft methane regulations to come into effect. 

The report shows Alberta is set to gain good, high paying jobs in methane reduction—a relatively easy way to cut emissions— that include work in engineering, manufacturing, surveying and administration. Industry leaders say the methane emissions reduction industry, with 104 of the 174 companies based in Alberta, is set to grow by 80 per cent within the next few years. 

"Although we built our methane reduction technology in Alberta, we're using it in the United States, and creating good jobs where there are state methane regulations," says Terence Trefiak, president of Target Emission Services. "With strong Alberta methane regs we could see that same growth in our home province." 

Trefiak adds there is a good business case for facility owners and leak detection contractors to go after the tens of thousands of unchecked methane leaks, but without effective provincial regulations, companies will not voluntarily implement effective programs. 

The report shows the potential to create jobs in a growing methane mitigation industry—up to 15,000 years of work over a decade, or 1,500 jobs each year —could be delayed or lost to U.S.-based competitors that have already begun developing new equipment and approaches in leading U.S. markets, where methane regulations are already firmly in place. 

The report shows that delaying implementation of the federal methane regulations to 2023 also means the oil and gas sector will release an additional 55 million tonnes of carbon emissions. 

BLUE GREEN CANADA is an alliance between Canadian labour unions, environmental and civil society organizations to advocate for working people and the environment by promoting solutions to environmental issues that have positive employment and economic impacts.

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