"Canada supports the EU Commission's objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for transportation fuels but believes it must be based on science and facts," Oliver said Tuesday from London. "Unfortunately, the Fuel Quality Directive, as currently drafted, is unscientific and discriminatory ... harm[s] the European refinery industry and [does] not achieve its environmental objective."
The European directive ranks conventional crude oil, bitumen, known also as oil sands, and shale oil according to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The values are used to determine which grade contributes how much to total emissions. The European Union aims to cut its emissions from fuel by 6 percent of their 2010 levels by 2020.
The Canadian government last week published a report saying oil sands in some cases produces the same or fewer emissions than conventional crude oil from countries like Nigeria or Venezuela.
Oliver said greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil production at home decreased 26 percent from 1990 to 2011.
The Canadian government is working to diversify an energy sector dependent almost exclusively on the United States for oil exports.