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Positive spin for oil sands needed now

Posted by mhudema on June 26, 2008

Don Martin,  National Post Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008

Greg Fulmes For National Post

OTTAWA -There was a time when being Alberta’s man in Washington D. C. involved golf rounds and cocktail circuits of non-stop fun.

As America’s most reliable energy supplier, the province rated a red-carpet reception in a national capital thirsting for secure oil. Not any more.

Gary Mar is not yet a political pariah, but he’s running an Alberta office in the Canadian embassy that’s fighting negative perception battles on multiple fronts.

Arguably the brightest Cabinet minister to grace former premier Ralph Klein’s front bench for more than a dozen years, he’s been representing the province in the U. S. capital for less than a year now and finds himself under increasing siege by an organized environmental backlash against the Alberta oil sands.

Mr. Mar is continuing to fight the threat of a U. S. energy bill that would prohibit federal agencies, including energy gobblers like the air force and post office, from buying oil, such as from the oil sands, that gives off above-normal emissions during production.

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