OTTAWA - Canadian oil sands exporters narrowly survived a vote today In the European Parliament that could have once again labelled Alberta bitumen as dirty oil.
A proposed fuel quality directive for European Union refineries has been the subject of intense lobbying for more than two years.
Canadian negotiators thought the matter was settled this fall when a compromise deal allowed Canadian bitumen to enter refinery feedstocks without being singled out as having a much more intense carbon footprint.
However the European Parliament's environment committee flatly rejected the proposal earlier this month, forcing today's vote.
More elected parliamentarians actually voted to reject the new fuel quality directive than accept it, however their numbers fell short of the absolute majority needed to overturn the proposed deal.
The fuel quality directive, as written, will now go to a ratification vote early in the New year.
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