BC Government Needs to Balance Economics and Environment in Oil and Gas Emission Caps

In July of 2023, the BC Government issued a policy paper highlighting an approach to design the BC oil and gas emissions cap using the BC Output-Based Pricing System (BC OBPS) as a core regulatory tool. The paper outlines policy design considerations that are in and out of scope of the oil and gas emissions cap policy, and outlines questions for consideration around how the policy could be designed and regulated. The oil and gas emissions cap will be designed to reduce and limit the emissions from the sector.

“The natural gas industry is a cornerstone of BC’s economy, and it is crucial that we strike a delicate balance between emissions reduction and economic vitality,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “We respectfully recommend a measured approach, including the possible delay of emissions caps, to safeguard a balanced approach to economic needs and global environmental commitments at the same time.”

“The policy decisions being proposed by the BC Government will cost this province billions of dollars in lost income, export earnings, capital investment and government revenues,” said Jock Finlayson, Chief Economist, ICBA.  “And this will produce no net benefit to the global climate, because energy production that doesn’t happen here will instead take place in other supplier jurisdictions that have less stringent environmental standards and bigger carbon footprints than British Columbia.”

The economic landscape of Canada has undergone significant transformations since the inception of the Clean BC plan. These changes, driven by both global and domestic factors, necessitate a government that is not only committed to environmental sustainability but also adaptable and responsible in its approach to ensure the economic viability of our province.

The government must remain agile and flexible in its approach to these initiatives. While the goals of sustainability and reduced emissions are commendable, they should be pursued in a manner that does not harm the economic health of our province. This is our call to action to the BC Government.

Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,