Canadian oil sands companies to adopt environmental standards

A handful of Canadian oil sands producers are taking steps toward adopting voluntary environmental impact reduction targets.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the producers, which include some of the world's largest energy companies, will commit to targets later this month.

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"We are in a position to launch our first two performance goals within two weeks," said Dan Wicklum, Chief Executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, according to the Journal.

Those involved in the environmental-technology partnership, formed two years earlier, include ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

Water treatment, greenhouse gases, land reclamation and waste management are the four top priorities the oil sands companies have marked for the commitments.

Environmentalists in the U.S. and Canada have pushed hard against the expansion of oil sands. The controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude from oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries, raised alarm over such an expansion.