On the heels of the first meeting of the Alberta-Ottawa task force, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she recognizes there is a need to set interim targets when it comes to reducing oil and gas emissions, even if they haven’t yet. There is alignment when and how this should occur.
Speaking with host Kathleen Petty on CBC West of center On Thursday’s podcast, Smith said both levels of government were aligned on the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. But Smith has long opposed Ottawa’s 2030 goals that call for the oil and gas sector to reduce emissions 42 percent below 2019 levels.
He hesitated to suggest an alternative to that 2030 target, saying the proper work to get there had not yet been completed, although he acknowledged the need for it to eventually be implemented.
“We are working with [Ottawa] to determine what are the interim steps that are going to be taken to get there, and what they need from us, not only from a regulatory standpoint, but also from an investment standpoint, a tax credit standpoint,” Smith said.
“There are a number of different things we have to put in place to allow that. And it requires the federal and provincial governments to work together. We want to get a common set of facts…we recognize there has to be some type of agreement.” interim steps so people can see progress.”
The governments of Alberta and Canada met on September 12 for the first meeting of a working group, which aimed to focus on finding consensus around emissions reductions and energy development.
Smith said discussions were underway about additional timelines set for electricity decarbonisation, a separate part of the 2050 targets.
“Capital Power has been very open in saying they think they can hit a 2045 emissions target. Some of the other utilities would say they can do it a little faster. Some others say they need a little more,” he said. saying. Capital Power is a power generation company based in Edmonton.
In July, federal Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he believed Alberta could bring its power grid to net-zero emissions by 2035, something Smith called too aggressive.
LISTEN | Listen to the full interview on CBC’s West of Center podcast as Premier Danielle Smith discusses her views on interim targets, progress on carbon capture and more:
West of center31:42A premiere with the premiere
The relationship has been difficult
Recent weeks have been marked by tension between Smith and federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.
In an interview with The Canadian Press published last month, Guilbeault had criticized Suncor CEO Rich Kruger, claiming that his comments during a conference call about second-quarter results suggested Kruger had become disengaged from climate change and sustainability. to focus on short-term gains.
“If before I was convinced that it was necessary to regulate, now I am even more so,” Guilbeault said at the time.
Kruger later rejected that characterization of his company’s plans in a column in the Calgary Herald.
Draft regulations planned by the federal government to limit emissions are expected to be released later this year.
Smith would later suggest that Guilbeault’s criticism of the Calgary-based tar sands company showed an “utter contempt” for Alberta, and in CBC Power and politics I would go a step further: I would say that the federal government should tell the Environment Minister that he should “put a sock in it” and, furthermore, that he should “zip it up.”
When Petty asked him in West of center If that language helped keep the lines of communication open, Smith said what didn’t help were the goals stipulated by the federal government that should have been discussed collaboratively.
“Obviously I can do my best. And if he’s going to continue doing that kind of action, I’ll have to respond to it,” he said. “I think it would be much better if he reduced it, so we can make sure we negotiate and get what everyone wants.”
Smith praised other members of the federal cabinet, including federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who Smith said had “done a great job” on the Trans Mountain pipeline and carbon capture, utilization and storage.
He added that, in his opinion, he had positive relations with the federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, with the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, and with the federal Minister of Public Security, Dominic LeBlanc .
“I don’t have a terrible relationship with all the ministers and the federal government. I just feel like Steven Guilbeault wasn’t being constructive, and I’m going to criticize him when he’s not,” Smith said.
After Smith’s initial comments saying Guilbeault had shown “absolute disdain” for Alberta, a spokesperson for his office told Breaking: the creation of a cap was in the minister’s mandate letter and was a platform commitment.
“This is neither a threat nor a surprise…The government of Canada has been very clear: the limit applies to emissions, not production,” wrote Oliver Anderson.