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Canada PM Pledges to Prohibit Bitumen Exports to Countries with Lower GHG Standards than Canada

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that a re-elected Conservative Government will prohibit the export of bitumen to countries outside Canada that do not have equivalent greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Earlier this month, Harper asked for a dissolution of Parliament and called an election for 14 October.

Bitumen from the oil sands is a strategic resource for Canada, and a critical part of Canada’s energy supply and security, Harper said. Due in part to oil sands, Canada is second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of global oil reserves.

Currently, Alberta produces about 1.3 million barrels of bitumen per day—with about 800,000 barrels (61.5%), staying in Alberta, and 500,000 barrels being exported and upgraded outside Canada—mainly to the US.

The Globe and Mail reported:

Mr. Harper’s ministers noted that both US presidential candidates have promised tougher emissions standards, so a ban might never apply to exports to the United States. Still, Mr. Harper said his promise could affect eventual exports to Asia, where countries such as China haven’t adopted emissions standards for heavy industrial plants.

Harper also re-affirmed Canada’s position that the North American Free Trade Agreement cannot require Canada to export bulk water to other NAFTA countries, and said that he would continue to promote the development of northern pipelines to bring oil and gas to markets in Canada and throughout the world.



What an meaningless political promise.

Since Canada is one of the worse per capita polluting country in the whole world, (and polluting more every year) this would not be a restriction at all.

A better idea would be to create a clean up fund with a progressive $5 to $20/barrel pollution tax on oil from tar sands.

It will not happen.


".. equivalent targets."
Targets? Just targets?

Could be just a pretext to impose trade sanctions against some countries like China and/or Russia.
Likely he just follows orders of his bosses from Washington.


I find that hard to believe, since the socialist Canadian government generates a big chunk of its revenues from those sales. Politicians are only interested in environmental issues when they can be used as a weapon against their political adversaries. When this GHG thing starts cutting into the amount of tax money they have available to spend buying votes in the next election, they will become global warming skeptics faster than you can say Al Gore.

Henry Gibson

There is no economical way to reduce greenhouse gases in industrial societies except by building nuclear power plants. They can be used immediatly to provide the heat for extracting bitumen and assist in providing hydrogen for up grading to fuels. Canada can also built the first commercial Carlo Rubbia "Energy Amplifier" to provide heat hot enough for thermo-chemical reactions to make liquid fuels. Methanol should become the liquid fuel of choice for plug-in-hybrid long distance vehicles. Crude oil at $100 a barrel costs nearly seven cents per kilowatt hour of energy. This is at least twice the cost of electricity from nuclear power plants. Gasoline at four dollars a gallon is nearly twelve cents per kilowatt-hour, and by the ime it gets to the wheels a kilowatt-hour costs sixty cents. To make the equivalent energy of a gallon of gasoline in hydrogen by electrolysis at %50 efficiency with $0.02 per kilowatt hour at the nuclear power plant would cost $0.70. It may be possible to build a small methanol generator that converts CO2 and water into methanol using electricity and get %50 of the electrical energy into methanol as well. It would be nearly ten times more efficient to use the electricity directly in a car.

A ZEBRA battery cell the size of a liter bottle can contain enough energy for traveling a mile in a small car. There is a similar value for lithium cells. The energy is not even nearly as dense as gasoline at about 25 kilometers per liter. It is now possible to make liquid fuels from CO2 and water with nuclear energy at a price about the same as gasoline.

It makes about as much sense to send CO2 up chimneys as it does to dump sewage on the roads. Now cities and towns should consider large pipes to collect CO2 from homes and businesses for recycling or disposal. ..HG..

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