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GLIN==> Shell Canada Abandons Plan to Expand Ontario Refinery

Title: Shell Canada Abandons Plan to Expand Ontario Refinery

Alliance for the Great Lakes
Friday, July 11, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Lyman Welch
312-939-0838 ext. 230

Shell Canada Abandons Plan to Expand Ontario Refinery

The Alliance for the Great Lakes and its partner groups are praising Shell Canada’s decision to abandon plans to expand its Sarnia, Ontario oil refinery for processing tar sands.

The company said in a prepared statement earlier this week that the decision came after a comprehensive assessment of the proposed project, including market conditions and inflationary pressures across the oil and gas industry.

Shell Canada was studying the feasibility of building a new heavy oil refinery near Sarnia, Ontario, capable of producing between 150,000 and 250,000 barrels per day of various light oil products. Shell had also secured options on approximately 6,000 acres of land slated for industrial development in Lambton County, near Sarnia.

“This is a great victory for the health of the Great Lakes and our communities,” said Lyman Welch, Alliance Water Quality Program manager.

The Alliance submitted comments to Canadian officials on May 23. In its comments, the Alliance asked the Canadian government to eliminate any proposed new pollution to the Great Lakes; minimize greenhouse gas emissions; eliminate and minimize damage to coastal habitat; and appoint an international review panel to evaluate the environmental impacts of the expansion.

Other partner groups also worked to oppose Shell Canada’s plans, and hundreds of people attended a public hearing in Canada to voice opposition to the project.

Canada has a vast reserve of tar sands, a source of petroleum that was uneconomical to mine when oil prices were lower. Literally earth mixed with petroleum, the tar sands are mined and processed into heavy crude oil that is sent via pipelines into the Midwest for refining into gasoline and other petroleum products.

Welch noted that refinery expansions continue elsewhere in the Great Lakes, including BP’s refinery in Indiana and Marathon’s refinery in Michigan. Expansion plans are also being studied at BP’s Toledo, Ohio refinery.

“The Alliance continues to monitor these proposals around the Great Lakes to ensure they are carried out in a way that reduces and ultimately eliminates pollution over time,” Welch said.

For more information visit http://greatlakes.org/refineries. Contact Lyman Welch at 312-939-0838 ext. 230, or lwelch@greatlakes.org.

Susan Campbell
Communications Manager
Alliance for the Great Lakes

Visit http://www.greatlakes.org