Tar Sands – European Sales Temporarily Saved by the Netherlands and UK

Tar sand oil has a bad reputation. Its production destroys large expanses of land and requiring huge amounts of energy (emanating from fossil fuel) input, heavily pollutes the atmosphere adding to global warming. Transporting the oil to refineries and consumers threatens even more land and people. In short, tar oil is about the dirtiest and most harmful source of energy you can think of. Now, Europe is on the brink to introduce a labeling system for energy sources according to their greenhouse gas footprint. Tar sand oil, will get the little attractive label of producing 22% more emissions than conventional oil. However, due to determined lobbying of the Netherlands and the UK (both home of Shell) this project has now been postponed.

ON-green-policy! In order to produce five barrels of tar oil, producers input one barrel worth of fossil energy. Surely, there are more efficient fuels than that and consumers should be able to know and to choose the best and least environmental harmful product. It’s not even about outright barring tar sand oil or taxing it, it’s just about enabling qualified buying decisions by informing consumers – I really think this would be good environmental policy. Come on Netherlands, come on Britain, how can you consider yourself a frontrunner in ecological issues and renewable energy, if you are not even ready to just inform your citizens about different environmental impacts of fuel. That’s really the smallest thinkable step in green policy!

Source: New Scientist

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