​Alberta to introduce new industrial GHG legislation

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Government of Alberta

This fall the Alberta government will introduce new GHG legislation targeted primarily at the province’s oil and gas industry, government house leader Jason Nixon said on Monday.

Premier Jason Kenney’s government plans to table 14 to 17 bills during a busy fall session that starts today.

Among early priorities will be legislation for the Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program, Nixon said.

TIER will create a new system for large industrial emitters, replacing the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) that was put in place in January 2018 under former Premier Rachel Notley.

Since 2007, facilities in Alberta that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of co2 equivalent per year have had to pay a levy to the province.

The initial legislation, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), established the tax at $15/tonne. That price stayed in place until 2017, when under Notley it was increased to $20/tonne and subsequently $30/tonne in 2018.

Kenney’s government plans to restore an updated version of the SGER model that would decrease the tax back to $20/tonne, according to the United Conservative Party’s election platform.

The first $100 million in revenues and 50 percent of remaining revenues paid into the TIER fund would be used to develop oil and gas carbon reduction technology, the UCP said. The remaining funds would be used to reduce Alberta’s deficit and support the energy “war room.”

“TIER represents a novel but practical approach to addressing emissions,” Nixon said.

“Industry has been consulted on it. It will go into technology, innovation and research; into projects that we think will have the biggest impact in the shortest period of time on emissions. It will not go into rebate programs.”

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