Oil Industry And Canadian Govt Team Up To Attack European Fuel Standards That Could Limit Alberta Tar Sands Development

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
on

The Tyee has an excellent piece exploring the joint lobbying efforts of the Canadian government and the oil industry to attack European climate legislation that would set a precedent that could eventually impact the development of Alberta’s dirty tar sands.  

While very little of Alberta’s tar sands oil is currently exported to Europe (nearly all goes to the U.S.), the entrenched tar sands defenders in Canadian government and the oil companies who stand to profit from tar sands development are concerned that Europe’s efforts to favor low-carbon fuel sources could influence other countries that also need to find ways to reduce global warming emissions – say the U.S. for instance.

That could spell disaster for the Alberta tar sands profiteers, since the tar sands are known to have a far greater carbon footprint than conventional oil, and certainly more than rapidly-growing alternative fuels. 

The Tyee reports about the extensive lobbying being done by Canada and oil interests to block progress on emissions reductions regulation in the EU:

“Canadian officials weren’t the only ones concerned. European oil heavyweights Shell, BP, Total and Statoil all have investments in the northern Alberta muskeg. Voluntary lobbying records – though in obvious ways incomplete – give some indication of fossil fuel influence. Shell, for instance, reports it spent 400,000 to 450,000 Euros “representing interests to EU institutions” in 2009.

Transport and Environment’s Dings, currently based in Belgium, said the Dutch fossil fuel giant is “red hot” on the Fuel Quality Directive. “They have a very well-organized, very deeply-entrenched lobby in the [European] capitals and Brussels,” he said. “They make sure that their presence is heard.” 

Check out the full story at The Tyee: “Why Europe Could Decide Fate of Canada’s Oil Sands.”

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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