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Methane-reduction fund getting overhaul: Wilkinson

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 07 Jan, 2022 03:41 PM
  • Methane-reduction fund getting overhaul: Wilkinson

OTTAWA - Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is overhauling a methane-reduction program that the environment commissioner slammed last fall as poorly designed and a waste of money.

The third round of applications for the $675-million onshore program of the Emissions Reduction Fund was initially set to close today, but it has been put on hold while Wilkinson's department tries to address some of those concerns.

The program offers loans of up to $50 million to help oil and gas producers meet or exceed regulations enforcing cuts to their methane emissions.

The first two rounds resulted in $134 million in funding for 81 projects by 26 companies.

In an audit of the first round, Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco criticized the program as wasteful and inefficient, with sketchy claims on emissions that were being cut and no evidence the projects would not have gone ahead without the program.

Wilkinson intends to change the eligibility criteria so that funds would only go to projects that fully eliminate venting or flaring of methane from oil and gas installations and that help companies go above and beyond what is required by new methane regulations.

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