(Adds U.S./Canada comparison, exchange with prime minister in Parliament)
OTTAWA, June 2 (Reuters) - The Canadian government, reacting to the U.S. move to cut carbon emissions from power plants, said on Monday it had already taken similar measures and called on the Obama administration to cooperate on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in the oil and gas sector.
“Building on our record, our government would like to work in concert with the United States on reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the oil and gas sector. The integration of our economies suggests our countries should be taking action together, not alone,” Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement.
This would be consistent with Canada’s approach in aligning with the United States on emissions regulations for the transportation sector, she added.
Aglukkaq said the proposed U.S. rules would contribute to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. electricity sector from 2005 levels by 2030, whereas Canadian regulations on coal-fired electricity would contribute to reductions of 46 percent during the period.
Many political players have suggested action on oil and gas would make it easier for President Barack Obama to approve TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline to carry crude from Canada’s oil sands to the United States.
Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Thomas Mulcair accused the government of delaying regulations on oil and gas, and pressed Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Parliament to take action.
“When even the oil and gas industry is calling for clear rules, what will it take for the prime minister to act?” he asked.
Harper parried the question by focusing back on electricity: “The NDP praises the action today of the Obama administration, acting two years after this (Canadian) government acted, and taking actions that don’t go nearly as far as this government went.” (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by James Dalgleish and David Gregorio)