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The recent drop in oil prices, in combination with the failing economy, is taking a toll in the development of Canadian oil sands. Because of low labor productivity and increasing costs, the Canadian-based industry is finding it increasingly difficult to compete in the global marketplace. Poor environmental practices and an "uncertain regulatory picture" are, according to a recent report by consultants McKinsey & Co., also contributing factors to a slew of development slowdowns and "postpone

The Suncor Energy ethanol plant in Sarnia, Ontario – Canada's largest – is now producing ethanol and employing 38 full-time employees, Suncor announced yesterday. The plant should be able to make 200 million liters (53 million gallons) of ethanol a year from 20 million bushels of corn. While the plant is now in operation, there won't be a grand opening ceremony until later this summer.