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EU Backs Away from Fuel Quality Directive in Victory for Tar Sands/Oil Sands

After what one environmental NGO called a “five-year siege by Canadian officials and industry lobbyists,” the European Union is proposing to back away from a Fuel Quality Directive that would have classified crude oil imports according to their emissions values.

The proposal keeps tar sands/oil sands oil on a par with other sources of crude, and “removes one of the biggest hurdles that was standing in the way of Canada exporting its oil directly to Europe,” CBC reports. “EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor given the situation with Moscow.” Tar sands/oil sands production “requires more water and energy than most other forms of oil, and emits more greenhouse gases along the way.”

Pembina Institute Oilsands Director Amin Asadollahi commented that “if this proposal is adopted, the directive will have lost its original purpose. It will have little influence on the actions of other countries and corporations that seek to supply fuels to the European Union.”