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Albertans want tighter rules for methane emissions, poll suggests

EDMONTON—A new poll suggests nearly three-quarters of Albertans want tighter rules on methane release from oil and gas facilities.

The poll, done by EKOS research and funded by Environmental Defence, says 71 per cent of Albertans want regulations on the potent greenhouse gas to be at least as strict as those in the U.S.

The provincial regulator and the federal government are gathering public comment on proposed new regulations that would force companies to inspect more often for leaks and reduce venting of methane.

Read more: New reports say Canada’s oil, gas methane emissions higher than previously thought

Such rules are in place in many U.S. states.

Methane is a greenhouse gas considered to be 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the long term.

Ottawa estimates that its proposed rules would reduce methane emissions by 282 megatonnes by 2035.

The poll surveyed more than 1,000 Albertans by phone and online over a two-week period ending Aug. 8 and is considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.