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Federal government finalizes methane reduction deals with B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan

File: Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Mike Sudoma, The Canadian Press

The federal government says it is finalizing deals with three provinces on reducing emissions of a potent greenhouse gas.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says proposals by Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia will achieve the same methane cuts as rules suggested by Ottawa.

Methane, much of which is emitted by oil and gas facilities, is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Canada has promised to reduce emissions by up to 45 per cent by 2025, but independent analyses suggest the provincial rules won’t reach those targets.

Read more: Canada not on track to meet 2025 methane emissions target: report

The provinces sought to develop their own methane standards in response to industry demands for more flexible regulations.

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The provincial regulations are forecast to cost industry less.

Read more: How Alberta will spend money to reduce energy sector methane emissions

Wilkinson has said the regulations may have to be tightened if the reduction goal isn’t being met.

Ottawa has also announced a $750-million partly forgivable loan program to help industry cut its emissions.