Thursday, February 23, 2012

EU’s oil sands vote kicked upstairs and down the road

Thursday’s vote on whether EU nations will classify Canada’s oilsands crude as more harmful to the environment than other fuels ended in a stalemate. Ballots, which were weighted by population, were cast by experts from the EU’s 27 member states.

The vote failed, however, to produce the required 255 votes needed to approve the classification and, consequently, the proposal will move up to the European Council, which will vote on it in late spring or early summer.

As one might expect, the Canadian government and oil industry have lobbied against this proposal and, of course, environmentalists have supported it.

David Plunkett, Canada’s ambassador to the EU, wrote to Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action commissioner, in late 2011. “Canada will explore every avenue at its disposal to defend its interests, including at the World Trade Organization,” he wrote.

It’s an important issue and Canada faces an uphill battle, especially since Connie Hedegaard has staunchly defended the intent of the classification. Canadian officials, though, can take some comfort from today’s vote: of the 345 votes cast, 89 were “for”, 128 were “against”, and 128 were abstentions.

With neither side of the issue getting the required 255 to pass or fail, the proposition will be left for politicians to decide.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell



  1. You know... I'd be just as happy not selling our oil to Europe. We have lots of potential customers for our oil. If they don't want it, then we'll sell elsewhere. I'm tired of these environuts telling us our oil is "dirty". It burns the same as anyone else's oil and it comes from a country that actually wants to clean up after itself even though we know it causes the price of oil to rise. I don't think many of the other oil producing nations can say that.

  2. Now that Iran is carrying out their threat to stop exporting oil to the EU, the Europeans have realized that annoying one of the world's largest producers of oil might not be such a good idea after all.....