Thursday, February 23, 2012

EU directive targeting Alberta tar sands oil as polluting blocked for now

After heavy lobbying by Canada and oil interests the EU parliament has for now blocked passage of a directive that would rank Alberta tar sands oil as a highly polluting source

Proponents of the bill could not muster a majority in favor. On the other side there was not a majority that could kill the bill. The proposal will go before a committee in the next months.

Britain, France and the Netherlands all of whom are host to giant oil companies abstained on the bill. These companies invest in the oil sands.

The Canadian Harper Conservative government has been lobbying for several years to prevent passage of this directive. Production of oil from the Tar Sands involves higher emissions than from conventional oil. It also poses problems for local water quality.

Alberta, oil producers and the Canadian government fear that the EU directive would provide a precedent for U.S. states to consider measures of the same sort. Companies such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others worry about the directive. Some have faced demands from shareholders that they disinvest from the Tar Sands.

Canada has said it will challenge any directive that is passed at the WTO. For more see the full article.

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