Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Oil industry studies Harper's surprise bitumen pledge

Oil industry studies Harper's surprise bitumen pledge
Dave Cooper, edmontonjournal.com
Published: Friday, September 26, 2008

EDMONTON - The Alberta government and the oil industry are studying Prime Minister Stephen Harper's surprise election pledge this morning to place restrictions on the export of raw bitumen.

Premier Ed Stelmach is expected to respond this afternoon.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers are in meetings. "We are going over exactly what he said," said CAPP vice-president Greg Stringham. The association, which represents oilsands producers, will have a response later today.

Neil Shelly, executive director of Alberta's Heartland, home to the upgrading and chemical industry near Fort Saskatchewan, applauds the move by Harper.

"This is a very progressive move. It levels the playing field for us because we will be capturing carbon dioxide, and the U.S. does not have those requirements. So firms could consider shipping the bitumen for processing in the U.S. and avoid that step," he said.

Harper promised to halt the flow of bitumen to countries with weaker greenhouse gas emission reduction standards than Canada.

Enbridge is proposing a $4.2-billion pipeline to ship oil through Kitimat, B.C., to customers in China. And there are two refineries in the U.S. in the process of being enlarged to handle Alberta bitumen.


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