Pembina reacts to Obama’s new climate plan

June 25, 2013

CALGARY — Ed Whittingham, executive director of the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech announcing his climate action plan:

“President Obama’s new plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the United States puts Canada significantly out of step with its closest neighbour and largest trading partner, and moves the U.S. well ahead of Canada in terms of tackling climate change.

“Obama’s statement that climate concerns are ‘absolutely critical’ to assessing whether the Keystone XL pipeline should be approved is a measured and cautious approach. Our analysis shows that filling the proposed pipeline with oilsands bitumen would require a 36 per cent increase in production from today’s levels. In terms of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, that’s the equivalent of adding more than 4 million cars to the road.

“Today’s announcements also draw a sharp contrast between Obama’s determination to cut greenhouse gas pollution and the lack of serious action from the Harper government.

“The heart of Obama’s plan is a commitment to curb emissions from coal, which accounts for a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. In contrast, the Harper government is just five days away from its latest deadline to announce rules to curb emissions from the oil and gas sector, which accounts for nearly a quarter of Canada's greenhouse gas pollution.

"While Canada has the same 2020 emissions target as the U.S., our federal government has not produced a plan to meet its goal. As a result, Environment Canada projects that we will miss our 2020 target by more than the current emissions of Canada's entire electricity sector.

“The best way Ottawa could respond to Obama’s announcement would be to make an equally serious commitment to hit Canada’s 2020 climate target, starting with strong regulations to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sector.”

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Contact

Julia Kilpatrick
Communications Manager
Cell: 403-953-0350
twitter.com/pembina_media

P.J. Partington
Policy Analyst, Climate Change
Cell: 647-706-6648
Office: 647-478-9563 x212

Nathan Lemphers
Senior Policy Analyst, Oilsands
Office: 613-562-3447 x247
Cell: 613-301-0747

Background

Backgrounder: Key issues to watch in federal oil and gas climate regulations

Backgrounder: The climate implications of the proposed Keystone XL oilsands pipeline

Op-ed: "Harper's recipe for Keystone XL success lacks key ingredients"

Blog: “Who’s really winning the race to end coal? A comparison of Canada and U.S. federal regulations”

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