Guilbeault refused to discuss oil and gas production cap with Alberta

Before allowing Alberta to view details on their oil and gas production cap, Ottawa demanded the province sign a non-disclosure agreement. The policy includes an emissions target of curbing emissions in the sector between 35% to 38% below 2019 over the next seven years.

Guilbeault refused to discuss oil and gas production cap with Alberta
AP Photo/Peter Dejong
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On December 7, Canada announced plans to cut oil and gas emissions by one-third amid their scheme to avoid consultations with provincial partners.

Alberta scoffed at the feds on Friday when Environment Canada asked them to sign a non-disclosure agreement concerning their cap on oil and gas production.

Bewildered by the bizarre request, Alberta’s Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz took to X (formerly knows as Twitter) to voice her concerns.

"A few days ago, in Dubai at #COP28, I asked Minister [Guilbeault] to hold bilateral talks on any emission cap plans the federal government had forthcoming," said Schulz on December 8. "He wouldn’t talk about his plans or entertain any discussions unless Alberta signed an NDA," she added.

Ottawa’s cap on oil and gas production is part of a 2021 election campaign promise to reduce emissions by 40% to 45% across all sectors of the economy in seven years.

The policy includes an emissions target of curbing oil and gas emissions between 35% to 38% below 2019 levels during that period.

"Unlike almost every other sector of our economy, pollution from the oil and gas sector is still going up," said federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

In his address to delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, he renewed Canada’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality in Canada by 2050.

"No one should be allowed unlimited pollution. It harms our health and environment," said the climate czar.

However, Schulz posted on X that Guilbeault refused to disclose any details on the cap to her at COP28, calling his demeanor "wildly disrespectful."

"He refused to tell me when they would be announcing this emissions cap, and what would be included. His words were that we needed to sign an NDA," she said. Other provinces also expressed reservations over the request, calling it "odd" and "unprecedented."

"They knew exactly what they were up to. They just didn't want to have the conversation," added Schulz.

However, Natural Resource Minister Jonathan Wilkinson pushed back against the claim, suggesting they "intend to consult on [the cap] in the coming months."

Last week, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith called the cap announcement an “intentional attack” on Alberta’s economy and explicit jurisdiction.

"With his pronouncement singling out the oil and gas sector alone for punitive federal treatment, Justin Trudeau and his eco-extremist Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, are risking hundreds of billions of investments in Alberta’s and Canada’s economy and core social programs," she posted on X.

Smith accused the federal government of devaluing retirement investments worth millions and risking the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Albertans.

"I think we are facing a crisis of the federal government's making, which is why they have to back down," she said, threatening to invoke the Sovereignty Act should Ottawa continue its pursuit of a production cap.

"They're picking and choosing for the sole reason that they want to attack Alberta, attack our industry and attack our provincial jurisdiction. And that is why it is so unacceptable and why we're just not putting up with it."

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