New caps and new concerns: discussing the federal government’s plan for oil and gas emissions – ARC Energy Research Institute podcast

Sander Duncanson

Aug 9, 2022

Legal challenges can be expected over the federal government’s proposed options to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry, Osler’s Sander Duncanson, partner, Regulatory, Environmental, Indigenous and Land, said during a recent episode of the ARC Energy Research Institute podcast. The podcast was hosted by the Institute’s Jackie Forrest and Peter Tertzakian.

The federal government released the discussion document “Options to Cut Oil and Gas Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Achieve 2030 Goals and Net-Zero by 2050” in July. Two policy options are presented, with one being a new cap-and-trade system for the oil and gas sector in addition to existing provincial carbon pricing systems already in place. A second option proposes to modify the existing carbon pricing systems in each province, setting more stringent rules for oil and gas.

“Regardless of which option is chosen, there is a high probability that it will be challenged by at least one of the provinces,” says Sander. “I expect there will be more and more litigation around the constitutional jurisdiction that the federal government has to advance this agenda not only with oil and gas, but more broadly.”

Sander anticipates these options will also create a greater administrative burden. “This burden for the entire sector will likely disproportionately impact certain companies within the industry that are less well-equipped to manage this additional work,” he says.

Listen to the podcast on the ARC Energy Research Institute web site