Dozens of states are moving ahead with regulations that would penalize more carbon-intensive fuels like those made from oil sands bitumen, and encourage the use of greener alternatives. The states are proceeding amid growing doubts about President Barack Obama's ability to get cap-and-trade legislation through Congress this year. Under proposed regulations, refiners and marketers would either have to reduce their reliance on oil sands and other heavy crudes, or buy credits from low-carbon energy producers. In either case, the value of the Alberta crude to its producers would fall. California pioneered the low-carbon fuel standard with a plan that was condemned as discriminatory by the Alberta oil industry as well as federal and provincial governments. Now other regions are following California's lead, including 10 Midwestern states that together represent the oil sands' largest export market.Perhaps climate activists should lobby individual states and point out the amount of natural gas and water consumed in the production of tar sands oil. Why not? Disclosing the pillaging of old growth rain forest in Europe put pressure on forestry companies in British Columbia. The same sort of tactic might work on oil sand producers .... at the very least, more states would implement regulations similar to Califonia's. This would slow down tar sand development in Canada - and slow down greenhouse gas emsissions.
Friday, January 8, 2010
More Troubles for Tar Sands Oil Producers