Ottawa fleshes out how it proposes to measure upstream greenhouse gases

The federal government has fleshed out how it proposes to measure upstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from new resource projects.

Pembina Institute pleased but says outstanding questions remain

Ottawa announced in January that federal project reviews will take into account broader climate impacts of projects like pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities. Here, Petro-Canada’s Edmonton Refinery and Distribution Centre glows at dusk in Edmonton. (Dan Riedlhuber/Reuters)

The federal government has fleshed out how it proposes to measure upstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from new resource projects.

Ottawa announced in January that federal project reviews will take into account broader climate impacts of projects like pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities.

A notice in the Canada Gazette sets out the environment ministry's proposed methodology for coming up with estimates and interested parties have 30 days to comment.

Its approach is two-pronged: measuring emissions associated with producing the oil and gas that would fill the pipeline or plant and discussing what would happen under a variety of different market scenarios.

Erin Flanagan, director of federal policy at the Pembina Institute environmental think-tank, says the government is asking the right questions.

She's pleased to see issues like gas venting and flaring taken into account, but would like more clarity about how projects reviewed under the new rules fit into the context of Canada's emissions reduction targets.

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