Environmentalists are doing their best to destroy Canada’s oil industry.
Canada’s oil industry is based primarily on tar sands (i.e., oil sands), where Canada has a supply of oil that rivals Saudi Arabia’s. Extracting the oil from tar sands requires using heat, much of which is produced using natural gas. As a result, the process emits more CO2 than does ordinary drilling.
CO2 emissions are what’s behind the attacks by environmentalists.
Here in the United States, there is an effort to stop building the Keystone pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil to refineries along the Gulf coast. These refineries are best equipped to refine this oil.
There was also an attempt in Congress and several states to adopt a California-style low-carbon fuel standard for oil, which would penalize Canadian oil. This effort is currently on hold.
The United States imports more oil from Canada than from any other country.
Destroying Canada’s oil industry would force the United States to import more oil from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.
Now Europe is on the verge of implementing a “California-style standard for oil” that would prevent Europe from importing oil that was produced from tar sands.
The EU’s Climate Commission has backed a new directive on fuel quality that will establish minimum environmental standards for a range of fuels, including tar sands, coal converted to liquid and oil from shale.
Quoting from the Guardian, “The commission has proposed that tar sands be ascribed a greenhouse gas value of 107 grams per megajoule of fuel – this compares with 87.5 grams per megajoule for ordinary crude oil, on average.”
If the EU directive goes into effect, it could hurt the Canadian oil industry by limiting its growth. Couple this with similar efforts in the United States and the Canadian oil industry might be badly damaged.
Note also that the directive would shut down the development of shale gas in Europe with its concurrent production of oil.
Franziska Achterberg, from Greenpeace, said: “Today’s move by the commission is good news.” It is not, of course, good news for the United States.
Environmentalists may find that, rather than destroying the Canadian oil industry, Canada will merely turn to the Pacific and sell its oil to China – oil that could have gone to the United States.
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