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.