Two Canadian ministers coming from Alberta region are currently in a tour of Europe where they wish to promote tar sand oil, one of the most polluting fossil fuels at present. The ministers’ tour was prompted by the European Union’s preparations to adopt the legislative package that would ease the transition to a low carbon economy while prohibiting the entry on the European market of low performing fossil fuels in connection to greenhouse gas emissions.
The visit of Cal Dallas, the Minister for International and Intergovernmental Relations of the Alberta region is announced for tomorrow, October 2nd. His agenda includes a high-level meeting at the Ministry for Environment and Climate Change. It is during this meeting that Dallas wishes to influence Romania’s position in the Council of Ministers in Brussels.
The Canadian ministers are concerned about the high environmental standards that the EU wishes to impose in regards to unconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sand oil or shale gas. They state that Europe is discriminating against tar sand fuels and is unfairly limiting the access to the European market through the proposed legislation (see here). In fact, it has been proven that the legislation does not discriminate on geographical basis and that the measures are justified if we take into account the European strategy for tackling climate change.
The U.S. are also lobbying in Brussels
In parallel to the Canadian lobby, the representative for The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Michael Froman is also pressuring Brussels forums in order to prevent the adoption of European standards for unconventional fossil fuels. During a information meeting in Brussels, Mr. Forman declared that the U.S. and the EU have already signed an agreement on the liberalization of the market and commerce. He noted that the high standards that the EU is trying to impose contravene the agreement and the most difficult impediment to market liberalization. Against this background, the U.S. are directly interested in the problem of tar sand oil being sold on the European market as the resources coming from Alberta, Canada are refined in Texas oil refineries.
The Canadian and American pressure come at a time when there is also powerful lobby around European governments for the exploring and exploitation of shale gas, yet another type of unconventional fuel.
Do you need more information? Download the brochure on tar sand oil and find out what the connection is between tar sand oil carbon emissions and the Directive on Fuel Quality.