The European Union voted by a extremely narrow majority Wednesday against a proposed fuel quality directive that would have stigmatized as “dirty” all imports coming from Canadian oil producers, and which Ottawa has been fighting for over two years.
The rule, passed by a difference of just 12 votes, will now go to a ratification vote early in 2015.
“Our government will continue advocating for Canadian interests and Canadian jobs,” Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford told CP after the vote.
“We are encouraged the European Parliament relied on science and the facts in making this decision.”
The vote of the full plenary was prompted earlier this month when the European Parliament’s environment committee utterly rejected a deal allowing oil producers to report an average carbon rating of their oil stock, instead of singling out oil sands content.
Canada and representatives of the oil industry have said unconventional oil has a valuable role in diversifying EU supplies and that Canada’s huge deposits of oil sands, being developed by oil majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, were being unfairly singled out by the original EU plan.