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NEWS: UK Tar Sands Network protests Alberta lobbying against EFQD

The Calgary Sun reports that, “Alberta continues to push the European Union to blunt its proposed fuel-quality directive (EFQD) for fear other governments will copy environmental legislation that may penalize the oilsands. Environmentalists (from the UK Tar Sands Network), meanwhile, are asking Canadians to not interfere in the EU legislative process.”

“What’s causing decision makers in Edmonton some grief is a piece of European climate change legislation known as a fuel-quality directive. The draft directive, which could go into effect this year, distinguishes between conventional and unconventional oil. The oilsands fall into the latter category because of its more energy-intensive extraction methods. Europe doesn’t import oilsands crude, nor, given production in the North Sea and the Middle East, are there any plans afoot to open up the European market. But Edmonton is concerned that the U.S., which is working on its own environmental legislation and is Canada’s largest customer, could adopt restrictive EU climate legislation. That is why Alberta cabinet members are spending so much time on the other side of the Atlantic.”

“Energy Minister Ron Liepert has just arrived in Europe, where he’ll press a similar message in London and Brussels.”

“While in London on Monday, Liepert was greeted by a handful of protesters, who wanted to meet with the minister to voice their concerns. (They) showed up at the Canadian High Commission demanding a meeting. Suzanne Dhaliwal, who belongs to the UK Tar Sands Network, said ‘we’re really asking for European climate legislation to not be meddled with by the Canadian government.'”

For a (better) Guardian UK article on this – plus quotes from Council of Canadians energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue and Board member Steven Shrybman, and a photo from the protest – please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=6208. The Calgary Sun article is at http://www.calgarysun.com/money/2011/01/31/17102936.html.