Whether he actually understands how the Canadian province of Saskatchewan operates or if it is a posturing political ploy, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has given a green light to oil production in his province by scrapping regulations aimed at cutting emissions. The withdrawal also signals the province’s opposition to the Paris climate agreement.
The Conservatives had pressured Mr. Moe to carry out the regulations, which would cut the province’s carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Most of the power producing plants in the province are already near the lowest CO2 emissions level allowed by Environment Canada, which means much more is needed to meet the province’s targets. The regulations would also further slow renewable energy growth, which is happening in the province at a rapid pace.
Mr. Moe, a pipeline proponent, disagrees and said his government will require those plants to slash emissions and to run their mechanical and chemical systems more efficiently. The government will also require oil companies to look for more sustainable ways to get their products out of the ground.
Environmentalists say this is hardly the solution. “It’s less about greenhouse gas emissions than it is about getting resources out of the ground.
Some, such as Justin Bieber’s father, are offering the province a harsh reality check. “You guys keep saying it’s under the leadership of Premier Moe and it’s really just one of the very few resources that you rely on right now,” said Bruce Donahue, a wood pellet truck driver and local celebrity in Saskatoon. “What will you be relying on in a couple years or the rest of your life?”
The announcement will likely give fuel to rival premiers in Alberta and British Columbia who are also embroiled in legal and public battles over carbon emissions.