Pembina Reacts: AERI Reports on Oil Sands Emissions

Dan Woynillowicz, spokesperson for the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the release by the Alberta Energy Research Institute of two new analyses comparing the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands and other sources of crude oil:

“These reports reaffirm that producing and burning oil from the oil sands results in up to 45 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions relative to some sources of conventional crude oil.

Despite looking at oil producing regions like Nigeria that have few if any environmental standards and poor operating practices like gas flaring, the studies still found that on average, oil sands production has higher greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than lowering the bar by comparing oil sands to other pollution-intensive sources of oil, we should be assessing how the oil sands compare with technologies like advanced biofuels and electric vehicles.

For Canadians, how oil sands’ emissions stack up against oil from Nigeria or Venezuela offers little consolation. The fact remains that the oil sands sector is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in the country.

North America is moving towards cleaner fuels and new technologies to address climate change, and it’s clear that because of their high greenhouse gas pollution the oil sands will find it increasingly challenging to compete.”


The Pembina Institute is a non-partisan sustainable energy think tank.

Dan Woynillowicz was in attendance at AERI’s technical briefing at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Walker/Bannerman Room, 700 Centre Street SE, Calgary, Alberta.

For more information, contact:

Dan Woynillowicz
Director, Strategy and External Relations
Tel: 403-888-6272