Alberta Extends Carbon Levy Amid Policy Revamp, Oil Slump

Alberta will delay changes to its carbon emissions regulations until June as the provincial government continues work on the policy amid plummeting oil prices.

The current regulations, which impose a levy of C$15 ($12.92) a metric ton for large industrial emitters that exceed limits, will be extended until June, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice said today at a briefing in Calgary. The government had planned to present a revised greenhouse-gas policy by the end of the year.

“There is a lot of hard work going on and the policy isn’t yet to the condition that I want to have it,” Prentice said.

Environmental groups and U.S. and European legislators have highlighted the higher carbon intensity of Alberta’s oil sands, the world’s third-largest crude reserves, as a reason for delaying construction of pipelines like TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL and limiting exports to Europe. Prentice has said the province plans to expand partnerships with environmental groups, and improve monitoring and the use of technology in the energy industry.

The U.S. oil price has lost about half of its value since June, threatening to reduce Alberta government revenue by as much as C$7 billion, Prentice said today. West Texas Intermediate has fallen 47 percent from this year’s high on June 20 to settle at $56.52 a barrel today.

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