Alberta premier weighs in on EU plans for oilsands ranking
Proposed fuel quality directive would make Alberta's main export more expensive for European customers
Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she does not want to see the European Union label oil from Alberta's oilsands as dirty.
The EU is drafting a fuel-quality directive (FQD), which refers to the oilsands as producing oil that is harmful to the environment.
Redford says both her government and the federal government have taken the message to Europe that Alberta's oil is not as carbon intensive as what is produced in most other places.
"We're very confident about the fact that we're transparent with respect to our production [and] that our statistics are out in the open," said Redford. "We think it's important to be able to compare our productivity statistics and our environmental impact statistics to other suppliers.
"That's been our message to Europe and it's really been resonating, so we'll keep delivering that message."
Redford says her focus is finding more markets for Alberta's oil and gas. Not much oilsands production goes to Europe but some makes it there after being passed through American refineries.
Federal minister lobbies in Europe
Member countries were supposed to vote on its controversial directive last year, but delayed the vote to gather more evidence about the oilsands.
The FQD is intended to help EU member countries hit greenhouse gas targets by assigning values to fuel feedstocks. For instance, oilsands oil gets a higher value than traditional crude oil because it uses more energy to extract and refine.
The directive would then make Alberta's main export more expensive for European customers. The EU thinks it would encourage the use of cleaner fuel.
Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was in Europe this week to lobby against any negative designations for Alberta oil, which the government says discriminates unfairly against Alberta bitumen.
The federal government has said Canada might take the matter to the World Trade Organization if the directive is imposed.