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Call for Committee Members – Methane Reduction Oversight Committee, AER

Initiative: 
Methane Reduction Oversight Committee
Position: 
ENGO Representative

Alberta has developed a new strategy on climate change, the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan. The Climate Leadership Plan includes a target to reduce methane in Alberta by 45 percent of 2014 emissions by 2025. Alberta Energy is leading the overall methane reduction work, with the implementation of new methane standards being led by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). 

Purpose

To help meet the province’s methane reduction target, the AER is establishing a Methane Reduction Oversight Committee which will have a mandate to work collaboratively with AER and the Government of Alberta to propose a regulatory framework to reduce methane by 45 percent of 2014 emissions in the oil and gas sector by 2025. The framework will include opportunities for early action and be described through a White Paper outlining Alberta’s Intent to Regulate Methane. The AER will publish the resulting White Paper in order to publicly disclose and articulate, in advance of releasing new requirements, the general outline and intended outcomes of the regulatory framework. This will include specific regulatory tools, instruments, approaches and linkages with Government of Alberta (GoA) and Government of Canada (GoC) policy.

Specifically, the Methane Reduction Oversight Committee is being asked to develop a Discussion Paper outlining Alberta’s Intent to Regulate by the end of July 2016 and furthering this work by providing strategic direction to upcoming multi-stakeholder technical committees. While striving for consensus, the Oversight Committee will provide recommendations to the AER and GoA on reducing barriers for early action and improving the regulatory management of methane emissions in the oil and gas sector in the province.

Committee Composition

The Oversight Committee for Methane Reduction will consist of self-selected representatives from industry, environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), research or innovation organizations with direct interest in methane management, indigenous people and the AER/GoA. The group size and balance of stakeholders will be determined by stakeholder response, but to ensure that the process is manageable and productive, the AER is recommending the Oversight Committee should not exceed 16 members.

Meeting Format

The Oversight Committee will reach agreement on its recommendations through consensus-based approach. Consensus is achieved when each stakeholder agrees that they can support the outcome of a particular recommendation or action. The resulting recommendations are likely to be more innovative and longer-lasting than those reached through traditional negotiation processes. While the goal is to reach consensus, items on which agreement is not reached will nevertheless be forwarded to the AER who is the final decision-maker on regulatory requirements. The Methane Reduction Oversight Committee serves as an engagement tool for the methane reduction initiative but does not replace other stakeholder and indigenous engagement initiatives within Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan.

To help ensure that the process is manageable and productive, the AER is recommending stakeholders work together and consider nominating subject matter experts that have an interest and understanding of regulatory requirements in Alberta and/or an understanding or knowledge or methane reduction efforts in Alberta or other jurisdictions.

Commitment of Resources

The AER anticipates that the committee will meet for five two-day workshops and four half-day teleconferences between May and December 2016.  Timelines must align with the intent to publish a Discussion Paper on the Intent to Regulate Methane reduction in July 2016, and provide direction for subsequent technical committees throughout 2016. The following dates are proposed for the Multi-stakeholder Committees for Methane Reduction:

  • May 25-26, 2016
  • June 7-8, 2016
  • June 28-29, 2016
  • September 13-14, 2016
  • November 15-16, 2016

Meetings will be held at Centennial Place, 250 – 5th Street SW, Calgary, AB.

Members who are not otherwise compensated for their time on the Oversight Committee will be provided with an honorarium and are entitled to reimbursement by the AER of nominal expenses incurred as a result of their participation in accordance with the AER’s guidelines on committee compensation. Additional information will be included in a Terms of Reference.

To learn more about the Multi-stakeholder Committees for Methane Reduction please consider joining us for an information session:

May 12, 2016

10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
University of Calgary Downtown Campus, Room 416,
906 – 8th Avenue SW,
Calgary, Alberta

Teleconference will be available

RSVP to Rhonda King at Rhonda [dot] King [at] aer [dot] ca

Confirmation of participation in the Information Session is needed by May 9, 2016. Time will be allotted in the afternoon for delegate selection conversations. Facilitators will be available if requested.

Following the information session, please send your proposed sector representative name, along with a summary of their related qualifications, to Rhonda King atRhonda [dot] King [at] aer [dot] ca by May 16, 2016. The AER will confirm all committee participants by May 20, 2016.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact Rhonda King atRhonda [dot] King [at] aer [dot] ca.

We thank you for your interest in reducing methane emissions in Alberta and look forward to your contributions in the near future.

Regards,

Mark Taylor
VP Climate Policy Assurance Team (CPAT)
Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
403-297-3382 (office)
403-801-9463 (cell)

Posted May 6, 2016 by AEN

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