Points About The New Emissions Report

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Today, a report by Environment Canada scientists was published announcing that previously recorded emissions intensities were off for four different major oil sands operations in Northern Alberta. Environmentalists have been quick to promptly use this as another source for decrying the scourge of oil and gas development in Canada. However, there are a few things that need to be mentioned about the study.

  • The study was conducted using samplings from 2013, overall, emissions intensity has dropped since 2005, including past the 2013 benchmark. This calls the accuracy about present day emissions into question.

  • The reporting method used by the oil and gas firms was the method developed by the United Nations measurement protocols. The report used a different top-down method which got higher emissions intensities. The difference in methodologies points to a gap in emissions reporting with varying degrees of accuracy. This is something that needs to be addressed.

  • The main researcher, John Liggio, points out that it is not dishonesty or faulty reporting by these companies as to why their numbers were lower. This is refreshing because of the headwinds that the #Exxonknew campaign blew around freely with. It shows that these companies are showing effort in maintaining accuracy with regards to their emissions and that the report is unbiased.

  • The CBC insinuates in its coverage of the report that because it does not include in-situ extraction using steam that the emissions may be even higher. However, the per barrel emissions have been reduced 29% or more since 2000

 

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