Alberta crude may be too dirty, U.S. law says

Alberta’s oil sands are taking a hit from new U.S. energy legislation passed last month that has an unusual wrinkle suggesting that Canadian crude might be too dirty for the U.S. government.

The legislation won’t allow any U.S. federal agencies to buy vehicle fuel derived from non-conventional sources unless the life cycle of its greenhouse-gas emissions is the same or less than that of conventional petroleum.

The sticky bitumen in Alberta’s tar sands is considered one of the world’s biggest potential sources of energy, but it’s also one of the dirtiest in terms of carbon dioxide emissions because it takes so much power to wring it out of the soil in which it’s trapped, putting it in the crosshairs of the new rules.

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