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EU row over Canada's "dirty oil"

posted 22 Feb 2012, 07:41 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 22 Feb 2012, 07:42 ]

Canada says it will take the European Union to the World Trade Organization in protest if it labels oil sands as highly polluting in a key vote on Thursday.

CANADA-OIL SANDS ROW  - This field of dirt is at the centre of a row between Canada and Europe.

It's oil sand from which Canada extracts fuel.


The European Union considers it highly polluting and is about to vote on whether to include oil sands in a bill ranking the most carbon-intensive fuels.


The move has angered many in Canada.


They say fuel from oil sands doesn't produce as much carbon dioxide as coal.


Canada is also home to the world's third-largest oil reserves and almost all of it comes from sand.

It's accused the EU of discrimination and is threatening to complain to the World Trade Organization.

Travis Davis from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says the law would create an unreasonable administrative burden.


TRAVIS DAVIS, CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM PRODUCERS, SAYING:

"You look at other jurisdictions doing fuel quality standards - we maintain that this is poor example of a policy that isn't going to reward performance enhancement, or being transparent."

Alberta holds some of the largest oil sand deposits.

Cal Dallas from the region's legislative assembly, says they are comitted to its production.


CAL DALLAS, PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ALBERTA, SAYING:

"We are going to responsibly extract and develop that resource. We have a responsibility to market that on behalf of Albertans. There's a net benefit for Canadians, and North Americans as a whole."


But environmentalists say there is firm scientific evidence supporting the EU view that oil sands crude is more polluting than oil from other sources.


They say a shift to greener energy would avoid the need to extract every last drop of oil.


Ciara Sutton, Reuters.

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