Poll: Albertans clearly support stronger rules for industrial greenhouse gas emissions

May 23, 2014

EDMONTON — New poll results show that 76 per cent of Albertans support the Government of Alberta requiring stronger greenhouse gas performance regulations for industrial facilities.
Federal and provincial greenhouse gas regulations for the oil and gas sector have long been in the works, and Alberta’s existing emissions rules, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), are set to expire on September 1, 2014.
However, recent media reports suggest the Alberta government intends to put off announcing any changes to its existing industrial emissions regulations until the fall, attributing the delay to efforts to achieve consensus among industry stakeholders on the level at which the new standards should be set. With the leadership vote for the Progressive Conservative Party scheduled for September 6, this delay would mean the government risks not having new, stronger regulations in place when the existing rules expire.
The most widely discussed “double double” proposal would require companies to pay a $30 per tonne penalty if emissions were not reduced by 24 per cent per unit of production.

Economic analysis shows this proposal is anticipated to add a cost of only five to eight cents per barrel of bitumen produced, once reduced royalties and tax savings are taken into account, for oilsands companies that choose not to reduce their emissions and instead opt to pay the penalty.


“Waiting for consensus means waiting indefinitely. Albertans clearly want their government to make a decision and move forward with stronger greenhouse gas rules for industry.
“Another delay to improving Alberta’s emissions rules represents a liability for an industry that thrives on certainty and is under scrutiny for its climate impacts. Strengthening these rules would send an important signal to Alberta’s customers that taking action on climate change is a priority.”
— Simon Dyer, Pembina Institute spokesperson

Quick facts

  • 76% of respondents support or strongly support the Government of Alberta requiring stronger emissions performance regulations for industrial facilities.
  • Support for stronger requirements is higher among university graduates (83% vs. 75% with some post-secondary, 65% with high school or less) and among those with $60K+ household income (82% vs. 72% among <$60K).
  • Just 6% of respondents were either opposed or strongly opposed, and 18% said that they did not know or were unsure of whether they supported or opposed stronger emissions regulations.


Simon Dyer
Regional Director, Alberta and the North
The Pembina Institute

Kyle Braid
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

Poll results

Table showing polling results: 76% of Albertans support stronger greenhouse gas performance requirements from industrial facilities
This result comes from a survey of 802 Albertans conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance, working in conjunction with the Pembina Institute. The survey was conducted online using Ipsos Reid’s national online household panel between May 15 and 19, 2014. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and sex composition reflects that of the actual Alberta population according to 2011 Census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.9 percentage points had all Alberta adults been surveyed.
For more information, visit the Ipsos Reid website.

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