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Suncor warns Canada about the environmental impact of proposed oil sands projects
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Suncor warns Canada about the environmental impact of proposed oil sands projects

Suncor Energy logo seen at Calgary, Alberta, Canada’s head office on April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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CALGARY (Alberta), April 6, (Reuters) – Suncor Energy (SU.TO), was warned Wednesday by the Canadian government that the environmental impacts of a proposed extension of its oil sands mine in northern Alberta would be unacceptable.

Suncor, a Calgary-based company, was also granted a nine month extension to the deadline for submitting an impact statement on the project near Fort McMurray.

According to Suncor’s website, the base mine extension project is still in its early stages of development. It is being considered as a way for Suncor to continue bitumen supply to Suncor Base Plant facility in the event that resources in the existing mines are exhausted.

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Suncor, along with the Canadian government, has promised to achieve net-zero emission by 2050. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, however, has a more ambitious target, which is to reduce emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels in 2030.

Canada’s most polluting sector is oil and gas, accounting for 26%.

The extension of the base mine would produce up to 225,000 barrels daily over a 25 year period and emit three million tonnes of climate-warming greenhouse gasses per year.

Steven Guilbeault, Environment minister, wrote to Suncor Chief executive Mark Little, stating that he believes the proposed Suncor project would likely have unacceptable environmental effects.

Guilbeault wrote that “emissions at such a level may not correspond with the pace or scale of emission reductions required for our targets and this would hinder Canada’s international commitments to climate change.”

The letter was posted on the website of Canada’s Impact Assessment Agency (IAAC), which reviews major projects. It was posted the same day Guilbeault approved Bay du Nord offshore oil drilling project, despite climate campaigners’ concerns. Continue reading

Suncor stated it had requested an extension to the base mine proposal to comply with additional IAAC requirements. The company also took into consideration feedback from stakeholders, and ensure that it uses the most advanced technology.

SnehSeetal, spokeswoman, said in an email that she was taking more time to improve project compliance with our strategy. This includes meeting our emissions reduction ambitions to reach net zero.

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Reporting by Nia Will
Chris Reese & Leslie Adler Editing

Our Standards The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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