Denial Machine Heads to Wyoming
Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008
|Canwest News Service|
EDMONTON – Premier Ed Stelmach will pitch Alberta as a stable and nearby source of energy for American states when he meets with western U.S. governors next week in Wyoming.
“I’m going there specifically to share the correct information, the facts about Alberta’s energy production, our legislation, what we’ve accomplished so far in carbon reductions – and also to share information on what the future will look like in terms of improvements in the oilsands reduction of the carbon footprint,” Stelmach said Friday.
But Stelmach is taking his message into increasingly hostile territory. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, U.S. mayors and environmental groups have all recently questioned the environmental impact of the oilsands.
Many of the western U.S. states, as well as British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, are joining a common carbon-trading market, which Alberta has said it will never join.
Stelmach favours carbon capture and storage as a way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from the oilsands. He said carbon markets and taxes just increase the cost of consumer goods.
“They’re clearly energy taxes. And at the end of the day, consumers will be paying more, no matter how people try to flip and spin it.”
Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft accused the premier of talking tough without actually doing anything to address American environmental concerns.
“He’s not going to pull the wool over the eyes of these American governors,” Taft said. “The thing we have to do – and the Tories will be dragged kicking and screaming into it – is fix the problem. We have to work with the oilsands to clean them up.”
Stelmach also called federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s suggestion that Alberta and Saskatchewan contribute 40 per cent of the nation’s greenhouse-gas emissions “nonsense.”
Stelmach will be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from June 29 to July 1.
The Alberta oilsands were the target of biting satire Thursday, when Greenpeace launched a mock Travel Alberta website attacking the province’s “dirty oil.”
The site, http://www.travellingalberta.com, shows children with black goo on their faces playing on “beautiful black-sand beaches that stretch for miles” and mom getting a tar sand facial at a spa.
The video also touts paragliding over oilsands mega-mines, where enthusiasts can “ride the unique coal-bed methane and sour-gas updrafts.” A couple is shown sipping wine at sunset against a backdrop of towering stacks spewing emissions into a yellow sky.
The province’s tourism minister, Cindy Ady, called the video an insult to the 110,000 people who work in Alberta’s tourism industry.