Alberta's oilsands industry will be allowed to triple its annual greenhouse-gas pollution over the next decade, and more than 20 per cent of emissions from the rest of the oilpatch will be exempt from Prime Minister Stephen Harper government's green plan, revealed Environments Canada documents released this week.
New provisions introduced into the climate change plan would allow oilsands operations in Alberta and the coal-fired power plants of Ontario to offset 100 per cent of their pollution by paying themselves "pre-certified investments."
Meantime, Environment Canada has confirmed that millions of tonnes of pollution from small facilities will be exempt for companies in sectors such as oil and gas, natural gas pipelines, electricity, chemicals and fertilizers.
A department estimate in December predicted about 10 million tonnes of greenhouse-gas pollution would not be covered as a result of the exemptions proposed to reduce administrative burdens on the smaller companies, including 20 to 30 per cent of emissions from small oil and gas companies outside of the oilsands sector.
Shariff said it appeared the government has introduced loopholes that were tailor-made to help out oilpatch companies and coal-fired power plants.
Absolutely staggering, that Canada's number one producer of greenhouse gases will be allowed to triple its output in the next ten years. How can anyone take seriously a plan which allows this to happen?
This reaction pretty much says it all:
"It's an interesting flexibility mechanism. We're intrigued and we will be looking at it," said Pierre Alvarez, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
No mention if Mr. Alvarez was doing cartwheels when he spoke.
Baird's plan isn't a plan, it's a public relations ruse. No reasonable person can look at the conclusions of Environment Canada and feel otherwise. What a joke.