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Dallas to deliver fuel directive concerns to Europeans

Red Deer South MLA Cal Dallas and one of his cabinet colleagues will offer an Alberta perspective on the European fuel quality directive this month.

Dallas, who is Alberta’s International and Intergovernmental Relations minister, will speak with government and industry officials in Ireland, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Italy between Jan. 17 and 25.

Sustainable Resource Development Minister Diana McQueen will perform a similar exercise in Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and the Netherlands from Jan. 15 to 23.

A provincial government release said Dallas and McQueen will discuss Alberta’s commitment to responsible energy development, and its view that the proposed fuel quality directive (FDQ) discriminates unfairly against oilsands crude.

European Union environment ministers are expected to vote this spring on the implementation of the FQD.

“Our province has always supported the intent of the FQD and its carbon reduction targets,” said Dallas.

“We are fully prepared to have our crude oil assessed against all other crudes — as long as it is on a fair and level playing field.”

He and McQueen are expected to emphasize the Alberta government’s commitment to open and transparent energy development and the fact it requires large emitters of greenhouse gases to reduce their emissions, purchase offsets or pay into a clean energy technology fund.

The two ministers are also slated to promote market access for Alberta products and services, and the province’s favourable investment climate. In this regard, Dallas is expected to focus on advanced industries, science and technology, and beef, pork and wheat exports.

“Europe is Alberta’s third largest trading partner and second largest source of foreign direct investment into Canada,” said Dallas.

“It’s essential that we use every opportunity available to highlight Alberta’s leadership in clean energy technologies, investment, innovation and business, particularly in today’s competitive global market place.”

Each minister will be accompanied by a staff member on their trips, with the estimated cost of Dallas’s mission $45,500, and McQueen’s $51,000.

Dallas previously travelled to Europe in September. That 11-day trip, which was also organized to promote trade and investment between Alberta and EU countries, was cut short by the death of former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed.

 
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