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Oil Producers Want Carbon Tax Freeze, Delay in New Climate Regs During COVID-19 Outbreak

OTTAWA—Canadas oil and gas producers have asked the federal government to freeze the carbon tax and delay new climate change regulations while the industry weathers the storm of COVID-19.

In a letter to Natural Resources Minister Seamus ORegan sent March 27, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CEO Tim McMillan said Canadas energy sector is facing an unprecedented fiscal assault from a global collapse in oil prices.

The combination of plummeting demand and a production war between Saudi Arabia and Russia pushed prices down all over the world. In Western Canada, heavy crude prices fell below US$5 a barrel again this week, less than a tenth of what it traded for a year ago.

The crisis has led to an all-hands-on-deck lobbying effort, with CAPP recording at least 29 meetings with federal officials and cabinet ministers between March 12 and March 29.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, McMillan said the root of the requests come from the industrys need to maintain safe and essential operations as it follows health guidelines. That includes limiting employees on worksites and maintaining physical distancing for those who need to be there.

The industry also wants to ensure no new laws or regulations are implemented until proper consultations can be completed, and that the industry is given time to recover from this price shock. McMillan told ORegan the fossil fuel sector wants to both survive the crisis and be part of Canadas economic recovery when it has been resolved.

“We encourage them to have a tools-down approach until we have a resolution of the crisis,” he said Thursday.

Among CAPPs requests are delays to reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions, deferring the 2020 requirements for a number of reports on compliance with environmental and safety recommendations, and extending deadlines for on things like air and water pollution.

The industry also wants promised changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to be put off because the needed consultations cant happen while public gatherings and travel are not allowed. The law, which governs toxic substances, has been under reviRead More – Source

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