Oil Sands and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund: The Definition of 'Oil' and Related Issues for Congress [February 3, 2016] [open pdf - 765KB]
From the Summary: "Imports of crude oil derived from Canadian oil sands have increased substantially in recent years, and some project further increases in the future. Recent pipeline oil spills, including the 2010 Enbridge spill in Michigan and the 2013 ExxonMobil spill in Arkansas, have involved this material and have generated interest from policymakers and a variety of stakeholders. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) provides an immediate source of federal funding to respond to oil spills in a timely manner. Monies from the OSLTF can be used to respond to a wide variety of oil types, including oil-sands-derived crude oils. The OSLTF is primarily financed by an 8-cents per-barrel tax on domestic crude oil and imported crude oil and petroleum products. In the context of the per-barrel OSLTF tax provision, a 1980 House committee report stated that 'the term crude oil does not include synthetic petroleum, e.g., shale oil, liquids from coal, tar sands, or biomass, or refined oil.'"
CRS Report for Congress, R43128
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html