Canada 'crazy' to impose oil, gas rules alone now: PM

Tue Dec 9, 2014 5:39pm EST
 
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By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Tuesday it would be crazy for Canada to impose regulations on the oil and gas industry to reduce greenhouse gases without simultaneous action from the United States, given the steep decline in oil prices.

"Under the current circumstances in the oil and gas sector, it would be crazy, it would be crazy economic policy to do unilateral penalties on that sector. We're clearly not going to do it," Harper told Parliament.

He said it was important to do oil and gas regulations "on a continental basis given the integrated nature of this industry."

It was the government's clearest indication that no action should be expected without comparable moves south of the border.

The environment ministry said on Monday Canada had no chance of meeting its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels unless it took further steps.

Harper also repeated on Tuesday that he opposed a carbon tax.

"The prime minister confirmed that he is in fact breaking his promise to regulate the oil and gas sector," New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Megan Leslie said during the daily Question Period in the House of Commons.

Harper said Canada had integrated its transport sector regulation with the United States. It had also gone farther than the United States on the electricity sector and was happy to work together to regulate the oil and gas industry.   Continued...

 
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes an announcement on a new federal research fund at an IBM office in Markham December 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch