Canada to assess oil sands

Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The Canadian minister of infrastructure and oil sands said the government formed an advisory committee to assess the future transportation needs of oil sands.

Minister Jeff Johnson said the government recognizes the importance of working with a wide range of authorities in order to make key decisions on transportation infrastructure in the oil sands regions of Alberta province.

"This committee will be a powerful tool for the region to plan and coordinate its transportation needs and will help support the continued growth of the entire region," he said in a statement.

In 2010, Fair Pensions, a group advocating for ethical investment of pension funds in the United Kingdom, called on Shell and BP to outline the market and environmental conditions they considered when deciding to move on oil sands in Canada.

The group says Canadian oil sands are dicey both environmentally and financially.

Lawmakers in the United States are sparring over the importance of the planned Keystone XL pipeline while aboriginal groups along the western coast of Canada expressed concerns about the safety of oil sands.

Johnson's committee is part of a 20-year strategic plan for oil sands in Alberta, some of the largest deposits of oil in the world.

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