Alberta Minister Urges Northeast Governors to be Cautious When Considering LCFS
CEA joins Environment Minister of Alberta, Consumer Groups and Policy Experts for Boston Forum on Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)
BOSTON, Mass. – The environment minister from the Canadian province of Alberta participated in a regional energy conference in Boston today that, among many important issues, examined the potentially adverse consequences of imposing a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) on the Northeast, a policy that could greatly reduce the region’s access to secure and affordable energy from Alberta.
“Alberta is committed to reducing the environmental impact of oil sands development, and we have already made great strides. We are uniquely able to provide safe and secure energy resources that are essential to the northeastern United States and beyond,” said Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner. “We are not asking for special treatment, only fair treatment. When one considers the full life cycle of a barrel of oil, the carbon intensity of Alberta’s oil sands is very much in line with many other sources of crude, including those in the United States.”
An improperly designed LCFS in the Northeast could discriminate against reliable, affordable sources of Canadian fuel and raise the prices of gasoline and diesel, forcing New England states to increase imports from foreign, far-away suppliers, participants discussed today. Massachusetts imported more than 2.8 million barrels of petroleum products from Canada in the month of March alone, according to the Energy Information Administration – supplies that would be put in danger under an LCFS.
“During this time of unprecedented economic uncertainty, instituting a region-wide policy designed to drive up gas and diesel prices and make essential energy commodities such as home heating oil a whole lot more scarce doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” said Michael Whatley, vice president of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and the emcee of the forum today. “Maybe the more unfortunate reality of the LCFS, though, is that it won’t do a thing to reduce global concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But that’s the LCFS: All pain, no gain.”
This afternoon’s regional low carbon fuel forum, hosted by CEA, drew the participation of the environment minister of Alberta, as well as a number of local and regional stakeholders, consumer groups and policy experts to discuss the regional impact of an LCFS, an initiative supported by Gov. Patrick and being pushed by the Boston-based group known as the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM).
Addressing the forum earlier today, Renner provided participants with an overview of the latest technological advances being deployed to develop Alberta’s oil sands in an environmentally sensitive way, highlighting among many other important points that CO2 emissions from the production of oil sands has come down by an average of 39 percent per barrel since 1990.