Notley government makes announcement to hand out penalties and suspend oil company operations

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Alberta’s NDP and their team could shut down oil sands and other emission producing sites across Alberta if they exceed the limit of mandated 100-megatonne under recommendations proposed by Alberta’s Oil Sands Advisory Group.

The more oil is being produced the more carbon is being emitted, and that will cost oil sands north of Fort McMurray to lay off workers and suspend some of their operations. 

The penalties for industry would only kick in when industry looks to be within a year of hitting the cap. The penalties could include forcing those with higher-than-average emissions intensity to reduce them or face fines proposed at $200 a tonne of carbon. The government could also suspend projects that haven’t started construction.

The oilsands industry currently emits about 70 megatonnes of greenhouse gases, but based on exceptions to the cap the number is closer to 60 megatonnes, Collyer said.

Those exemptions include the electricity portion of co-generation, as well as experimental and enhanced recovery operations. Upgraders that started after 2015 will be subject to a separate 10 megatonne cap.

To better understand how the industry is performing, the advisory group recommended establishing annual and 10-year forecasts on emissions.

It also suggested reviews on the system and how facilities might be affected as the oilsands hits 80, 90 and 95 megatonnes.

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