Canada accused of trying to kill US, EU clean fuel policies

Nov 22, 2010
The Syncrude oil sands extraction facility is seen behind a lake reclaimed from an old mine near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada in 2009. Environmentalists on Monday accused Canada of attempting to kill proposed US and EU clean energy policies in order to protect its oil exports.

Environmentalists on Monday accused Canada of attempting to kill proposed US and EU clean energy policies in order to protect its oil exports.

Climate Action Network executive director Graham Saul told a press conference government letters, memos, speeches, and lobbyist reports assembled by the group point to a "coordinated lobbying strategy to kill climate change policies in other countries."

"This systematic effort, is being run out of Foreign Affairs and some of the briefing materials feeding into key discussions was drafted by the rather than having more neutral versions prepared by civil servants," he said.

"In our opinion, this is a scandal. It's outrageous," he added.

In a report, the coalition of environmental groups cites three cases in 2007 in which Ottawa fiercely lobbied to "undermine" or "weaken" climate and policies of foreign governments.

They were the establishment of a low-carbon fuel standard in California; a US federal clean fuels policy directing government departments not to buy dirty fuels; and the European Union’s Fuel Quality Directive on blending more biofuels into their gasoline and reducing emissions from the production of fossil fuels.

It was feared that exports from Canada's oil sands, whose exploitation generates more greenhouse gases than extracting crude oil, would be impacted by the new laws.

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council noted that Canada failed to sway California and the EU, and Washington's position is still undetermined.

But Saul said: "We have reason to believe that these three cases are only the tip of the iceberg."

He and other members of the Climate Action Network Canada called on Harper "to stop trying to kill policies in other countries."

Explore further: EPA staff says agency needs to be tough on smog

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

British government to require biofuels

Nov 07, 2005

The British government will reportedly soon require oil companies to blend a fixed proportion of biofuels into the gasoline and diesel fuel they produce.

21 grants awarded for biomass research

Mar 05, 2008

Two U.S. departments said they plan to invest $18.4 million for biomass research, development and demonstration projects over three years.

Fuel emissions from marine vessels remain a global concern

Sep 09, 2008

The forecast for clear skies and smooth sailing for oceanic vessels has been impeded by worldwide concerns of their significant contributions to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that impact the Earth's climate.

Recommended for you

Shell files new plan to drill in Arctic

Aug 29, 2014

Royal Dutch Shell has submitted a new plan for drilling in the Arctic offshore Alaska, more than one year after halting its program following several embarrassing mishaps.

Reducing water scarcity possible by 2050

Aug 29, 2014

Water scarcity is not a problem just for the developing world. In California, legislators are currently proposing a $7.5 billion emergency water plan to their voters; and U.S. federal officials last year ...

User comments : 11

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

joefarah
3 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2010
Your phoney Climate and Environment propaganda has severely tainted any true environmental causes.

You have not accurately reported on a quantitative comparison of Canada's oil sands to other forms of fossil fuels. I don't trust any organization with "Climate" in its name, and I'm glad if Canada doesn't either.
ekim
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
Your phoney Climate and Environment propaganda has severely tainted any true environmental causes.

You have not accurately reported on a quantitative comparison of Canada's oil sands to other forms of fossil fuels. I don't trust any organization with "Climate" in its name, and I'm glad if Canada doesn't either.

Do you have any proof to your claims? Or are you just trusting your gut?
Skepticus_Rex
2.7 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
Nobody, on either side of the fence, has any kind of "proof" of claims made. It is all hypothesis at the moment. No side has been able to convince me thus far. I wait for a side to do so in such a way that it cannot be explained by something else.

Writing about 'unprecedented this' and 'unprecedented that' and glacial melting and disappearance, I am reminded of weather and climate reports from the 1920s and 1930s, all of which said exactly the same things as those written today.

When I see reports of temperatures in various regions that were as high as 20 degrees above normal in the mid-1930s it gives me pause when I read of ten degree increases in this day and age.

What we need is more science and less propaganda--on both sides of the climate fence. Just saying...
ekim
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
What we need is more science and less propaganda--on both sides of the climate fence. Just saying...

I agree. However carbon dioxide is on the rise and humans do contribute to that rise. The consequences of this rising carbon dioxide is still up for debate.
Skepticus_Rex
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2010
That is exactly where I agree--it still is up for debate. Tens of thousands of years ago there was no Sahara Desert. Is that a bad thing if rising CO2 creates a situation like that again? The Sahel has grown and even the Sahara is greening. The evidence is being observed. Will it continue? Will it not? It is all up for debate. More science is needed, not more control and more regulation to prevent something that is debated--at least not at this time. More science is needed, not stifling of discussion and threats to get funding pulled and so forth. All sides need to be free to consider the question and both sides need to try to falsify the other sides hypothesis with legitimate scientific observation and inquiry.
StarDust21
4.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2010
Harper is such a joke on environmental issues
getgoa
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
this could be a tangent but reminds me of only war and more war---for example that the "good" country fought the "bad" country but the "bad"country had all the future plans.

Adolph Hitler is the example that he wanted the Reich to stand for 1000 years and no other president mentioned the future plans of their country while going to war that I know of?

It is dirty water no matter what and to say it's filtering vs. cleaning is a matter of opinon.
AkiBola
3 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
Al Gore told you the debate is over. Get with the program folks. Isn't it the one year anniversary of Climategate? Just saying.
zevkirsh
5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
the essential problem of game theory as applied to energy policy is that all the major players who have the strongest influence on government are much better off by hiding their agenda instead of all coming to the table to discuss openly an honest compromise. and then how to organize and execute it. so secrecy guides the process of compromise and then, you just get policy crap.
3432682
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
If I want to read propaganda, I'll go elsewhere. Stick to science. "Critics say" stories have no place here.
croghan26
5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
Oil from the tar sands is 'dirty oil' even by refining standards. 'Dirty oil' contains a lot of contaminents (sulphur and nitrogen) that have to be refined out. This takes a lot of energy and produces a lot of carbon dioxide.

As well it is 'heavy'. All the light elements that are normally found in crude have been weathered away.

Arabian/Iranian light oil is considered clean, as it has relatively few sulphur/nitrogen attachments to the hydrocarbon atom.

The marketable fractions of the oil are the ligher parts ... propane, ethane, butane .. 'dirty' or 'light' is a marketing decision - the bunker 'A's and 'C's do not sell any more.