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Federal government unveils rules for $750-million emissions reduction fund

Last Updated Oct 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm PDT

FILE - A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is cutting its 2020 Canadian drilling forecast for a third time as the industry remains mired in a slump expected to extend well into the second half of the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Oil and gas companies that use federal cash to help cut methane emissions from their operations won’t have to repay every penny if they eliminate the methane emissions entirely.

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan unveiled rules for the $750-million emissions reduction fund first announced by the federal government at the end of April.

Methane has more than 80 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and accounts for more than one-tenth of Canada’s total emissions each year.

Almost half of them come from the oil and gas sector.

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Canada has committed to cutting methane emissions between 40 and 45 per cent by 2025, but current regulations are only expected to cut 29 per cent by then.

The government has not estimated yet what emissions will be cut through this new program, but said up to half the cost of the loan can be forgiven if a project eliminates methane emissions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press