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Canada-EU Oil Sands Battle Continues With New Report

OTTAWA - Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is welcoming a new report that's critical of the European Union's proposal to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of different oil sources.

The report by ICF International bolsters Oliver's frequent argument that the European calculations would unfairly discriminate against Canada's oilsands.

He says the report, which was commissioned by the Canadian government, shows there is no scientific basis to support differentiation between conventional and oilsands crude.

It also says the science underpinning the European measures contains significant methodological and data errors.

The report suggests that the greenhouse gas emissions from conventional oil sources are underestimated.

Oliver says Canada supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but insists the EU's Fuel Quality Directive, or FQD, must be based on sound science.

"The FQD implementation measures, as currently drafted, are unscientific and discriminatory, would discourage disclosure, harm the European refinery industry and not achieve its environmental objective," he said in a statement.

"The study conducted by ICF International, one of the European Commission's own expert consultants, substantiates Canada's position."

The report found that the greenhouse gas intensities of conventional crude oils fall on a continuum, not just one value.

It also concludes that some light and heavy conventional crudes have greenhouse gas impacts that are similar to or even higher than those of oilsands crude.

It says the European fuel directive should judge each crude oil source individually.

Cal Dallas, Alberta's minister of international and intergovernmental relations, agreed wholeheartedly with Oliver.

"If the European Union is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then the FQD needs to apply the same standard to all crude oils and reflect the true emissions intensities of each," Dallas said in a statement.

Canada exports little oilsands crude to Europe, but doesn't want to be hit with a dirty oil label internationally.

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