Kyoto Accord could kill Alberta oilsands projects

EDMONTON, Alta. — The revival of the controversial Kyoto Accord could cripple Alberta’s booming oil and gas industry, warns the province’s environment minister.

Environment Minister Lorne Taylor is appealing to the government to reconsider the agreement, which calls on Canada to reduce greenhouse emissions dramatically. He is concerned Canada may no longer be able to compete with oil producers such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — countries that aren’t part of the agreement.

“If it becomes a competitive disadvantage it will hurt oilsands. So what I’m saying is we have to be proactive as a government and industry,” Taylor says.

Alberta premier, Ralph Klein has also voiced concern over the agreement. He worries the Alberta economy could be devastated by the agreement, which many observers thought was dead before its surprising revival this week.

“I’ve heard figures that are astounding,” Klein says of the cost to the industry. “I’ve heard figures in the billions of dollars. I’ve heard figures in the trillions of dollars … if we were forced to achieve those standards.”

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