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NEWS: Alberta to promote tar sands in London, Brussels, Jan. 28 – Feb. 5

A Government of Alberta media release states that, “Energy Minister Ron Liepert will promote Alberta as a leading source of secure energy in the United Kingdom and Belgium, January 28 to February 5. …Liepert will address the Pan European Oil Sands Team Meeting in London. …While in Brussels, Liepert will give a presentation to parliamentarians of the European Union.”

In the release, Liepert says, “The European Union is not currently a major market for Alberta’s oil sands products, but any legislation or tariffs adopted by the union’s government can serve as a model for individual nations around the world. We want to continue to share our story with the legislators so they have the facts about our clean energy strategies.”

Both the Harper government and the Alberta government have taken aim at the European Fuel Quality Directive. A draft version of the directive written by European Union environment officials in 2009 deemed the tar sands to be 20 percent more damaging to the climate than the petroleum typically used to power Europe’s cars. The Harper government has described this directive as a ‘trade barrier’ and linked it to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. More on that at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4260.

And MLA Diana McQueen, parliamentary assistant to the provincial energy minister, recently said, “We will make sure oil sands products are not wrongly targeted by them (EU) under the proposed low-carbon fuels standard and emission legislation and will oppose any discrimination against our extra-heavy crude oil.” That’s at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=5842.

The European Commission’s Sustainability Impact Assessment on the Canada-EU CETA states, “The Canadian economy is energy and carbon‐intensive. The oil and gas sectors, notably the tar sands industry in Alberta, are in part responsible for the important increase in Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. Where the CETA contributes to greater extraction and investment in the tar sands, it is likely that Canada’s emissions of greenhouse gases will increase.” That’s on page 32 at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/september/tradoc_146459.pdf.