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Oil Sands Not A Dirty Fuel Says EU

Oil Sands In Fort McMurray, Alberta

Oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The European Union voted by an extremely narrow majority Wednesday against a proposed fuel quality directive that would have stigmatized as "dirty" all imports coming from Canadian oil producers, something which Ottawa has been fighting for over two years.

The rule, passed by a difference of just 12 votes, will now go to a ratification vote early in 2015.

"Our government will continue advocating for Canadian interests and Canadian jobs," Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford told CP after the vote.

"We are encouraged the European Parliament relied on science and the facts in making this decision."

Related: When Needs Must: EC Greenlights Canadian Oil Sands Imports

Geoff Regan, MP for Halifax West and Liberal Critic for Natural Resources, was not nearly as positive about the news. "The fact today’s vote even happened is the direct result of this Prime Minister’s failure to champion strong environmental policies that will ensure we get our resources to European and international markets," he told MINING.com.

The vote of the full plenary was prompted earlier this month when the European Parliament's environment committee utterly rejected a deal allowing oil producers to report an average carbon rating of their oil stock, instead of singling out oil sands content.

Canada and representatives of the oil industry have said unconventional oil has a valuable role in diversifying EU supplies and that Canada’s huge deposits of oil sands, being developed by oil majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, were being unfairly singled out by the original EU plan.

Today’s decision opens up the European market to Canadian oil sands producers.

By Cecilia Jamasmie

Source - http://www.mining.com/  

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  • Martin H. Katchen on December 19 2014 said:
    Consider the main alternative. News reporters briefly showed a light on the untreated waste that pollutes the coral reefs of the Persian Gulf, contaminating a valuable reef ecosystem from Persian Gulf oil production, especially Saudi Arabia on the eve of the US "liberation" of Kuwait in the Gulf War. Whose oil is cleaner? Canadian oil sands that do get treated (and yes, oil lands are reclaimed to be grazing land if not restored to muskeg, of which Canada has an aboundance or Persian Gulf oil manufactured in places where environemtalists can lose their heads? Or at least be swiftly kicked out of these countries before they can take any pictures. To say nothing of the oppressive social systems that dependence on the Mideast for oil continues to enable and enrich. We need to take into account how much blood is in that oil too. There is such a thing as moral pollution. And we wonder why Western businesses prefer to do business with dictators than with democracies.
  • David Hrivnak on December 19 2014 said:
    How could it not be dirty if one is digging up 4000 lbs of tar sands to then treat with 120 gal of hot water to then get 1 barrel of oil and now have 3900 lbs of contaminated sand and 120 gal of water one cannot drink.

    There has got to be a better way.

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