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U.S. methane regulation reversal widens its competitive advantage over Canada, energy industry group says

The group representing Canada's oil and gas industry says a U.S. proposal to ease regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions will create another competitive advantage for American producers.

Trump directed EPA to remove regulatory burdens on oil and gas sector

Oil pumpjacks work behind a natural gas flare near Watford City, N.D., in 2014. (Eric Gay/Associated Press)

The group representing Canada's oil and gas industry says a U.S. proposal to ease regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions will create another competitive advantage for American producers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is following President Donald Trump's directive to remove regulatory burdens on the oil and gas sector by considering rescinding many of its requirements to monitor and plug methane leaks.

In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-U.S. president Barack Obama jointly agreed to chop methane emissions in Canada and the U.S. by more than 40 per cent from 2012 levels by 2025 by cracking down on the oil and gas sector.

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CEO Tim McMillan says the industry can meet that target but Ottawa's proposed regulations expected to kick in next year are an inefficient solution to the problem and duplicate provincial government programs.

He says the EPA move adds to U.S. advantages over Canada including its corporate tax reductions, better pipeline approval system and more efficient regulatory systems.

Dale Marshall, national climate change manager for Environmental Defence, however, says Canada should go forward on its own to prevent oil and gas methane leaks because it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He added federal regulation ensures all of Canada is following the same rules.

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