Oil sands release 8% to 37% more greenhouse gases during production and use than conventional oil, according to the Pembina Institute, a Calgary-based non-profit research and advocacy group.
Oil sands production is forecast to more than double to 5.2 million barrels a day by 2030 from 1.8 million currently, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said in its annual forecast released June 5.
Canada is increasingly reliant on revenue from oil. Energy products were the nation’s fastest-growing export over the past 20 years, increasing to 23% of all shipments, from 9% in 1993, according to Statistics Canada.
The State Department’s draft environmental analysis said Keystone won’t increase climate-change risks because the oil sands will be developed even without the project. The Environmental Protection Agency criticized the draft analysis, and asked the state Department to conduct a fuller review.
Critics also say that, once spilled, bitumen is tougher to remove. Unlike conventional crude, bitumen sinks in water rather than floating on the surface where it can be skimmed off.
In October, the EPA said Enbridge must do more to clean a spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River from a pipeline rupture.