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Raitt pushes the tar sands in the US

The Financial Post reports today that, “Canada has mounted its biggest campaign yet to sell the United States on the energy security benefits of the oil sands as Washington debates new environmental policy, (Canadian Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt) said on Friday.”

“Ms. Raitt travels to New York next week as part of the effort to promote the oil sands. That trip follows a series of meetings with the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new top diplomat in Washington, Gary Doer.”

“Ms. Raitt was (also) in Calgary to talk to industry R&D people about ways to cut emissions, such as carbon capture and storage, as well as how to make energy production more efficient to offset some of the costs of CCS.”

Raitt says, “We’re deploying people on the ground in the United States as well. It has to happen at all levels, you have to engage at ‘officials’ levels, you have to engage at ministerial levels, you have to engage at business levels.”

She adds, “I absolutely recognize the fact that in some cases, individual states are implementing energy policy that would seem to be detrimental to Canadian positions. But as well, even with all that, we exported more oil this summer than we ever have.”

And while there was no additional detail or reference to a successor agenda to the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the article does note that, “Canada can cooperate with the United States on some aspects of energy and environmental policy, Ms. Raitt said. But she said a full-blown continental energy plan is not possible.”

The article continues, “The push comes as environmental groups have intensified their own campaigns warning of the impact of oil sands development on climate, water, land and local communities on both sides of the border.”

Raitt says, “There are certain groups that just want to completely shut down the oil sands. That is completely unacceptable. That will not happen. This is too strategic a resource for the country, and that’s the other part of the message: we will develop it, we will use technology, we are going to work with the United States on it.”

For information on the Council of Canadians tar sands campaign, please go to http://canadians.org/energy/issues/tarsands/index.html.

The Financial Post article can be read at http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2194535.