Cdn Energy Minister - Not ruling out Emission Breaks for Oilsands
Global Warming, or Climate Change, according to environmentalists, is the biggest issue of our time. The Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was hoped to emerge with a binding agreement that would establish targets well below 1990 levels and cuts of up to 80% by 2050.
Environmentalists with one of their major stars, Al Gore, were hoping that the agreements made during the Kyoto Conference would be made permanent and binding. Instead this week has turned out to be a fight between developed and developing nations. Earlier this week developing nations walked out of the conference.
Some European companies have threatened to move their operations to India should the Cap and Trade Scheme and higher targets be implemented. Some consider this scheme the largest redistribution of wealth under the umbrella of the UN.
Canada has been taunted as one of the biggest offenders of the Kyoto agreement. This is true as Canada did not only not meet targets but exceeded them. This happened under both the previous Liberal Government (which signed on to Kyoto) and the Conservative Government.
The Alberta Oil Sands have become the poster child of environmentalists. Greenpeace has conducted a major campaign to draw attention to them.
Yesterday a draft plan was leaked that the Canadian government may give special consideration to the emission standards for the Alberta Oil Sands. Naturally, the Canadian and world press jumped on this leak. Canadian Energy Minister, Jim Prentice, confirmed that this was in fact considered.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation, Waxman-Marky Legislation, which would give special consideration to the steel, lumber and various other high emission industries that need special trade consideration because of foreign trade.
The Canadian Government has indicated that it would match President Obama's environmental standards because of the integrated nature of the U.S. and Canadian economies.
If the U.S. can pass legislation for special emission consideration for some of its industries, is it unrealistic for Canada to do the same? Why is there no outcry when these things are implemented in the U.S. Are environmentalists afraid to take on President Obama?
The Conservative government has not ruled out giving special breaks to oilsands companies when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Jim Prentice acknowledged Tuesday.
Prentice's comments came in response to draft documents obtained by CBC News that suggest the Tories want to harmonize their approach to cutting greenhouse gases with that of the United States and have considered allowing weaker targets for the oil and gas sector.
The draft documents compare the Conservatives' 2007 green plan, called Turning the Corner, with U.S. legislation (Waxman-Markey legislation) passed by the House of Representatives and suggest the targets of Canada's plan are more stringent.
Speaking in Copenhagen, Prentice told reporters that the U.S. legislation includes a number of industries that are described as "trade-exposed industrial sectors."
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