The Alberta government strongly opposed Ottawa’s latest emissions cap. The measure announced on Thursday mandates the oil and gas industry to reduce emissions by over one-third compared to the 2019 levels by 2030.
Premier Danielle Smith and Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz issued a joint statement in reaction to the Liberal government’s announcement.
The statement comes only hours after the federal government introduced their framework.
“This announced de facto production cap on Alberta’s oil and gas sector amounts to an intentional attack by the federal government on the economy of Alberta and the financial well-being of millions of Albertans and Canadians,” reads Alberta’s statement.
The federal framework, outlined early Thursday by Minister of Environment Steven Guilbeault and Minister of Energy, Jonathan Wilkinson, will abide by draft regulations expected by mid-2024. Final regulations will be implemented by 2025.
The framework demands the oil and gas sector reduce emissions by 35% to 38% below 2019 levels by 2030.
The requirement can be lowered to between 20% and 23% by purchasing carbon credits or contributions to a decarbonization fund.
“Every sector of the economy has a part to play in cutting pollution, particularly the oil and gas sector—one of few where greenhouse gas pollution levels continue to increase,” reads the federal government’s statement.
The Alberta government said this framework risks hundreds of billions of dollars in investments in Alberta’s and Canada’s economies. This risk devalues the retirement investments of millions of Canadians while threatening the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Albertans, according to the Alberta government.
“Ironically, they are also significantly undercutting global emissions-reduction efforts by effectively deincentivizing capital investment by the oil and gas sector in the emissions-reducing technologies and fuels the world needs Alberta to develop and share,” said Smith and Schulz.
Albertans will not tolerate this framework, according to Smith and Schulz.
“Our province is simply done with what amounts to a steady stream of economic sanctions and punitive measures thrown upon our citizens and businesses to intentionally damage their livelihoods and the economic engine that disproportionally powers our national economy and the programs that Canadians rely on,” said the statement.
“Over the coming months, our cabinet and caucus will develop a constitutional shield in response to this and other recent attacks on our province by what is fast becoming one of the most damaging federal administrations in Canadian history.”
Alberta strives to continue implementing its Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 – as originally planned by the province.
The provincial government said that its federal counterpart must stay out of its constitutional jurisdiction and instead work with the province to align its emissions-reduction efforts with Alberta’s plan.
Wilkinson, however, claimed that the federal government’s plan collaborates with provinces and territories, industry, Indigenous peoples, workers, and international partners.