Canadian and U.S. officials are actively “assessing” potential cooperation on regulations to reduce carbon emissions in the oil and gas sectors, according to a letter from Canada’s Ambassador to Washington, Gary Doer, to the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. Doer’s letter was submitted as part of the public comment period in the review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline being run by the State Department. The pipeline would bring diluted bitumen from northern Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast and is being opposed by environmentalists.
Most of Doer’s letter makes the Harper government’s familiar case in favour of the pipeline. In a section on climate change, he also notes that there are now active efforts between the two countries to come up with measures to reduce emissions from the oil sands. President Obama has said he will only approve the pipeline if it does not significantly exacerbate carbon pollution. Doer wrote:
“Our energy and environment officials are currently assessing common energy issues, including potential oil and gas issues, which we could usefully address together.”
He also notes:
“Canada is committed to further action including regulations for our oil and natural gas sectors. As Prime Minister Harper said publicly on 19 December 2013, ‘Our government is prepared to work with the United States on a regulatory regime that will bring our emissions down.”
The letter does not specify which officials are conducting the assessment, and does not indicate any timeline for the exercise.
The full letter is here: KXL GOC Letter FEB 2014