Albertans want tighter methane rules: poll

Shell sour natural gas processing plant which produces methane, propane, butane, ethane, condensate and sulphur plant in Alberta. Photo by Eye Ubiquitous / Rex Features

A new poll suggests nearly three-quarters of Albertans want tighter rules on methane release from oil and gas facilities.

The poll, done by EKOS research and funded by Environmental Defence, says 71 per cent of Albertans want regulations on the potent greenhouse gas to be at least as strict as those in the U.S.

The provincial regulator and the federal government are gathering public comment on proposed new regulations that would force companies to inspect more often for leaks and reduce venting of methane.

Such rules are in place in many U.S. states.

READ MORE: Alberta agency awards $30M for methane fight

Methane is a greenhouse gas considered to be 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the long term.

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Ottawa estimates that its proposed rules would reduce methane emissions by 282 megatonnes by 2035.

READ MORE: Federal government releases details of delayed methane reduction plan

The poll surveyed more than 1,000 Albertans by phone and online over a two-week period ending Aug. 8 and is considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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