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Natural Resources Canada
2011/105
October 20, 2011

Minister Oliver Promotes Canada’s International Energy Interests in Paris and London


LONDON, ENGLAND — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered an address to the London School of Economics. He focused on the role Canada can play in global energy security and economic stability.

Minister Oliver also met with Canadian High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and key members of the UK government to discuss energy policy and international cooperation on energy issues.

During his travels to Paris and London over the past two days, the Minister took the opportunity to meet with his counterparts from a number of European countries to convey Canada’s position on the proposed implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive.

If the current proposal were to be implemented, the Fuel Quality Directive would penalize refiners using oil sands crude by making it harder for them to meet their regulatory targets than if they used other sources of crude, even ones with similar or higher greenhouse gas (GHG) intensities than oil sands crude.

“The Government of Canada does not object to the Fuel Quality Directive’s goal of reducing GHG emissions for transportation fuels,” said Minister Oliver. “It does, however, object to the discriminatory treatment currently contemplated in the Fuel Quality Directive that singles out oil sands-derived fuels without sound scientific justification.”

The Government of Canada believes that all crude oil must be treated the same and based on life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have shown that the life-cycle GHG emissions of oil sands crude are similar to, or lower than, those of several heavy crude oils currently imported into the European Union.

“With this proposed implementation, the European Commission is acting in a way that is inconsistent with its stated goal of lowering GHGs in the fuel supply, as it targets crude oil that is barely used in the European Union and ignores the GHG intensity of actual crude oil imports,” said Minister Oliver.

The Minister also sent a letter to the European Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, to deliver Canada’s message, and a senior official from Natural Resources Canada has been dispatched to Brussels to meet today with European Union officials.

“The European Commission needs to do its homework before it finalizes the Fuel Quality Directive. The level of analytical rigour by the Commission is insufficient and cannot support regulatory actions. We expect scientifically sound, peer-reviewed analysis on all crude oils used in Europe,” said Minister Oliver. “We believe the European Commission’s approach is unfounded. If discriminatory measures to implement the Fuel Quality Directive are put in place, Canada will not hesitate to defend its interests.”


FOR BROADCAST USE:

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver visited London today to meet with influential leaders and engage in public and private discussions on Canadian energy policy and potential international cooperation on energy issues. During his travels to Paris and London over the past two days, the Minister also took the opportunity to meet with his counterparts from a number of European countries to convey Canada’s position on the proposed implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive.

Media may contact:

Julie Di Mambro
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

The general public may contact:

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E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

NRCan’s news releases and backgrounders are available at http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/home/1784.