Alberta PM calls Ottawa greenhouse gas targets ‘insane’; promises to fight them

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called Ottawa’s federal emissions plan, tabled in the House of Commons last week, “insane” and pledged to fight it “with everything we have.”

The federal government says the country’s oil patch is capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent below 2019 levels by 2030.

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According to the climate plan, Canada must cut emissions by 42% to meet the new 2030 targets

Kenney told his weekly telephone radio show on Saturday that the plan would require a production cut, which he said would only shift energy production from Canada to places like “Putin’s Russia and the OPEC dictatorships.”

He called Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault a “former Greenpeace radical” and also described the plan as “a frontal attack on the 800,000 people who work in the energy sector”.

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Kenney’s Environment Secretary, meanwhile, said in a statement over the weekend that “there are only two ways to reduce emissions – either invest in technology or reduce economic activity.”

Kenney says the plan would be “disastrous” for Canada’s economy.

“We feel that this is an implicit violation of our exclusive authority to regulate the production of our resources,” Kenney said Saturday when asked in a text by an audience member for his opinion on how the plan would affect Alberta would.

Alberta has also used a similar argument in its legal challenge to the federal Environmental Impact Assessment Act, which allows Ottawa to consider the effects of climate change before approving new resource projects.

That case is awaiting a decision from the Alberta Court of Appeals, and Kenney told the radio audience that a ruling, which he expects soon, would play a key role in his administration’s fight against emissions targets.

Kenney’s Environment Secretary Jason Nixon said in an op-ed on Saturday that the plan Guilbeault drafted last week was “insane” and that Alberta would not accept a plan “that will further hit Canadians’ wallets”.

“The world needs more oil and gas, and the Alberta government is not interested in any proposed transition of energy jobs,” Nixon wrote.

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Canada’s 2030 emissions targets depend heavily on the oil and gas sector. But what is achievable?

Guilbeault, who called the plan’s goals ambitious, also said last week that the federal Liberal government wants to “future-proof” its carbon price against policy decisions to scrap it or lower it later, possibly by anchoring the price and its annual increase in law .

The federal carbon price rose to $50 last week from $40 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, adding 2.2 cents per liter of gasoline.

Kenney was ridiculed online over the weekend, stemming from video of him at a news conference on Friday at a Calgary gas station fumbling around while trying to fill the tank of his blue pickup truck.

The press conference was held as part of the introduction of a temporary suspension of the province’s gas tax to give consumers some relief from soaring fuel prices, and Kenney also took the opportunity to blast Ottawa over the carbon price hike.

But when Kenney tried to pull the pump’s nozzle out of the truck, it got stuck, and it got stuck while he pulled on.

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Feds aiming for ‘future-proof’ carbon pricing in Canada: Guilbeault

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Kenney tweeted a self-deprecating meme on Sunday that included two photos — the first, captioned “Instagram,” in which he looked confident as he filled up his tank, and the second, captioned “Vs Reality,” showing him hanging out with the pump is struggling.

He also addressed the gaffe at the beginning of his radio show, calling him an April Fool’s joke on himself.

“It’s something you’ve done a thousand times, and then I decide to screw it up in front of some TV cameras,” he said.

“The joke was on me.”

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Ottawa announces plans to cut emissions by more than 40 percent by 2030

Ottawa announces plans to cut emissions by more than 40 percent by 2030

© 2022 The Canadian Press Alberta PM calls Ottawa greenhouse gas targets ‘insane’; promises to fight them

Brian Lowry

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