Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another trade war with Canada?

The Wall Street Journal reports
The European Union's executive body will propose that oil extracted from sands should be treated as dirtier than conventional oil, a move that will inflame a spat with Canada, a major producer of oil from sands, an EU official familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The European Commission, which has executive powers within the EU, agreed Monday to set a higher value for carbon-dioxide emissions from tar sands compared with crude oil extracted from conventional wells, the official told The Wall Street Journal.

This would discourage the use of oil from sands in Europe, where companies have an obligation to cut their CO2 emissions by 2020. To do so they will have to use the cleanest fuels.

Monday's decision is likely to deepen the EU's dispute with Canada, which is negotiating a free trade agreement with the bloc and says such a provision discriminates against one of its key exports.
Is this a random decision to ensure that European countries use oil from the Middle East in preference to oil from Canada? Just asking. Glenn Reynolds asks even more bluntly: "I wonder which Arabs bribed which officials?"

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