Oil sands opponents file challenge against EU executive

Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:21am EST
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* Campaigners say ready to go to EU's highest courts

* If implemented, fuel quality law would curb tar sands imports

* President Obama's decision on Keystone XL keenly awaited

By Barbara Lewis

BRUSSELS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Environmental campaign groups have submitted a legal complaint to the European Commission, the EU executive, for failing to implement a proposal that labels Canada's tar sands and other non-conventional fuel as highly polluting.

If implemented, the draft law would slow Europe's imports of tar sands crude, which scientists say is especially harmful to the environment. Imports have so far been limited, but are predicted to increase as new pipelines come on stream.

Directors of Greenpeace, Transport & Environment, and Friends of the Earth Europe sent their complaint on Thursday to senior Commission officials.

If the Commission fails to respond, the campaign groups say they will take the issue to the top EU courts in Luxembourg.

The Commission was not immediately available for comment.   Continued...