Oil sands case tossed out of court

Aug. 3, 2011 at 9:20 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The courts got it right by deciding that a case targeting the Pentagon's use of Canadian oil sands didn't have merit, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said.

Federal law requires the U.S. government to make sure that unconventional fuels, like those derived from Canadian oils sands, emit lower levels of greenhouse gas than conventional counterparts. Environmental advocacy group The Sierra Club claimed the U.S. Defense Department violated that rule by buying fuel produced from heavy crude from Canada.

A federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia found that plaintiffs couldn't prove the Defense Department was responsible for the alleged grievances. The courts decided to dismiss the case.

Karen Harbert, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's energy institute, said they courts in this case made the right decision.

"At this time of high energy prices and economic hardships, the last thing we should do is restrict the use of a stable, reliable fuel source which would harm our energy security and cost us jobs," she said in a statement.

The Sierra Club offered no public comment on the ruling.

The case is Sierra Club, et al. vs. U.S. Defense Energy Support Center, et al.

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