EU vote on oil sands a wakeup call: New Democrats
February 23, 2012
OTTAWA - Megan Leslie (Halifax), New Democrat Environment Critic, today reacted to a deadlocked vote by the European Union’s fuel quality committee on listing fuel derived from the oil sands as more polluting than more conventional forms of oil. The deadlock means the decision will be bounced back to European Ministers for a final decision.
“This is a wakeup call for the Harper government. If the federal government had made responsible choices, and had regulated environmental impacts of oil sands projects at the outset, Canada would not be in this position,” said Leslie. “Instead, we have seen furious lobbying and bully tactics, including the demonization of Canadian citizens and threats of trade wars.”
In an effort to encourage use of fuel with a lower carbon footprint in order to meet its climate change targets, European lawmakers voted on a Fuel Quality Directive, which will assign oil sands oil a default value of 107 grams of carbon per megajoule of energy produced. Conventional crude oil is rated at 87.5 grams.
“The message Europe is sending us is that the Harper government needs to clean up its act. By failing to manage this important resource sustainably, this government has made the oil sands reputation worse,” said Leslie. “Our trading relationships, export markets and Canadian jobs will all suffer as a result. This shows how Harper Conservatives are out of touch with Canadians and the international community.”