MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) – The European Commission has proposed eliminating a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting, Reuters reported Tuesday.
"The commission is today giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands," EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement as quoted by Reuters.
"It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states," Hedegaard added.
The revised proposal still has to be debated by EU member-states and also needs a sign off from the European Parliament.
The debate about labeling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when the European Union approved legislation aiming to cut greenhouse gases from transport fuel sold in Europe by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.
In 2011, the European Commission agreed tar sands should be given a carbon value a fifth higher than for conventional oil, but EU member-states could not agree and the Commission has been reconsidering the proposal ever since.
Oil sands crude, found in clay-like sands, is used by major oil companies, such as BP Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. It costs more to produce than conventional crude, uses more energy and water and emits more carbon over its life-cycle.