Clock Ticks for Canadian Carbon Rules as Keystone Decision Looms

View of the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 25, 2009. Greenpeace is calling for an end to oil sands mining in the region due to their greenhouse gas emissions and have recently staged sit-ins which briefly halted production at several mines. At an estimated 175 billion barrels, Alberta's oil sands are the second largest oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia, but they were neglected for years, except by local companies, because of high extraction costs. Since 2000, skyrocketing crude oil prices and improved extraction methods have made exploitation more economical, and have lured several multinational oil companies to mine the sands.
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Ben Geman
Dec. 8, 2013, 5:12 a.m.

Canada’s plan to impose greenhouse-gas regulations on oil producers could sway the outcome of the Keystone XL pipeline battle — if regulators move fast enough.

“Canada is running out of time to offer U.S. President Barack Obama a climate change concession that might clinch the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline,” Reuters reported Sunday.

Proposing new carbon-emissions rules for the oil and gas industry could influence the White House.

Obama has put climate change at the heart of his administration’s review of Keystone. And he told The New York Times in July that Canada could “potentially be doing more” to curb carbon emissions from oil-sands development.

But Reuters notes that longstanding plans to propose new rules have not yet come to fruition. “Two years of negotiations between the Canadian government and the energy sector to curtail carbon pollution have not produced an agreement,” the story states.

“The clock is running out,” the news service reports, because the U.S. State Department is wrapping up its review of Keystone XL.

TransCanada’s proposed pipeline would bring crude oil from Alberta’s oil-sands projects across the border en route to Gulf Coast refineries.

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