By Alberta Oil staff
Understanding the energy sector often requires navigating competing, chaotic and often confusing data sets. Figuring out the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from oil sands is one example. Wide-ranging estimates, differences in data quality, availability and collection all make getting the numbers right difficult. As a result, using these numbers for policy is challenging.
Illustration Kaley McKeanYet GHG policy directed at crude oil is advancing in some places. California has its Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and work continues on a European Fuel Quality Directive. In both cases, Canada, Alberta and industry participants strongly oppose the high-carbon label uniquely applied to oil sands.
At a glance, the opposition is curious. Oil sands exports to these markets are currently small to nil. Why does Canada care so much? One reason is that numbers etched in policy, even if highly uncertain, are often perceived as more credible than others.