Alberta energy minister slams Trudeau government’s clean-fuel standard plan

Click to play video: 'Catherine McKenna provides no concrete answer on delaying release of the clean fuel standard'
Catherine McKenna provides no concrete answer on delaying release of the clean fuel standard
WATCH ABOVE: When asked if she would consider delaying the release of the clean fuel standard because of concerns raised by the Alberta government, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna did not provide a concrete answer – Aug 29, 2018

On the same day Canada’s federal environment minister defended the Liberals’ climate plan, which is facing increased opposition from some provinces, Alberta’s energy minister took a swipe at the federal government’s plans for developing a “clean-fuel standard.”

“We certainly want to see cleaner fuel and we’re committed to taking real action on climate change,” Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd tweeted on Wednesday. “But you can’t write off Alberta.”

The Liberals’ clean-fuel standard aims “to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through the increased use of lower carbon fuels, energy sources and technologies.”

READ MORE: Ottawa opens competition to create green jet fuel

The federal government is hoping the initiative will result in 30 megatonnes of annual reductions in GHG emissions by 2030.

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“Our made-in-Alberta plan invests in clean technology and innovation while enhancing industry competitiveness,” McCuaig-Boyd tweeted. “The federal clean-fuel standard does none of that.”

When asked by a reporter on Wednesday if her government would consider delaying the clean-fuel standard plan, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna did not provide a concrete answer but praised Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and her government for their work to address climate change.

“They’ve taken serious climate action,” she said. “They put a price on pollution, they’re phasing out coal, they have a hard cap on emissions from the oilsands and we’ve certainly been working very closely.

READ MORE: Report suggests oilsands emissions could go over Alberta’s cap by 2030

Watch below: Some videos related to emissions limits in Alberta.

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“We know that we have an opportunity to innovate, that we can have cleaner fuels, that biofuels is a huge opportunity, and so I’m certainly looking forward to working with them [and] working with industry on moving forward on an important part of our plan.”

The Alberta government has expressed concerns that the clean-fuel standard plan could raise the price of fuels without providing any financial cushion for low-income families.

McCuaig-Boyd said because Alberta’s economy is finally looking up, “now is not the time for a new federal rule that hurts our economy and the energy sector.”

READ MORE: Oilsands companies upbeat about future after Q2 results

Alberta’s economy has struggled since the price of oil plunged dramatically in 2015.

McKenna suggested her government’s environmental policies will help economies and not hurt them.

“When you do right by the environment in the 21st century, you do right by the economy,” McKenna said. “We need to get the policy right so we’re going to be working with all stakeholders and consulting… but we need to be moving forward across the board.

“Climate action is really critical and I think Canadians recognize this — what we’ve seen this summer, extreme weather.”

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READ MORE: Environment minister says provinces not on board with Liberal climate plan will forfeit share of fund

Watch below: On Wednesday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, announced funding for four projects in Ottawa for connected and automated vehicles. She also announced funding for research and development to reduce air emissions from rail transportation.

Click to play video: 'Catherine McKenna announces funding for four projects in Ottawa'
Catherine McKenna announces funding for four projects in Ottawa

On Tuesday, Imperial Oil Ltd. pledged to slash its oilsands GHG emissions per barrel by 10 per cent over the next five years. CEO Rich Kruger said the move will be good for business but also acknowledged the plan is partly an effort to get in line with the coming clean-fuel standard.

READ MORE: Imperial Oil vows to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10% per barrel

“In a world that prices carbon, and has escalating prices for carbon in the future, actions like this will indeed make us more competitive,” Kruger said.

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–With files from The Canadian Press’ Jordan Press

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