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Alberta pays to get oilsands message to Washington
A good neighbour lends you a cup of sugar.
A great neighbour supplies you with 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.
That was the opening remark in Alberta Premier, Ed Stelmach’s Washington Post ad.
EDMONTON Albertas premier delivered his pro-oilsands message to a Washington Post audience Friday morning through a $55,800 half-page ad in the paper, instead of an opinion piece as originally intended.
Premier Ed Stelmachs office learned Thursday afternoon that the high profile U.S. newspaper rejected the letter for its opinion pages, said spokesman Jerry Bellikka.
We decided this is a message we needed to get out anyway, so we booked an ad, Bellikka said.
The defense of the oilsands industry, which appeared today on A4 which is the fourth page of the Posts front section, comes after 50 U.S. congressmen made a case for the $12-billion Keystone XL pipeline expansions should be put on hold. The pipeline is expected to run from Hardisty, Alta., to Monchy, Sask., before heading into the U.S. Midwest. The U.S. politicians argued it would double consumption of Alberta crude and pay no heed to the potential impact on climate change.
The Posts assistant editorial page editor Autumn Brewington said Friday the paper receives between 60 and 100 unsolicited opinion pieces a day, in addition to its 17 regular columnists.
You can see from reading the piece, it does make a lot of interesting points, Brewington said of Stelmachs submission. But it focuses more on Canada Day than making a new point about energy usage.
The paper ran two pages of opinion pieces Friday. They ranged from Thurgood Marshall Jr. reflecting on Elena Kagans nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court and the legacy of his father, who was the first African-American Supreme Court justice, to a piece arguing that the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will not lead to significant economic losses on a national scale.
Another piece, from the founder of a venture capital firm, makes the case it is important to move toward cleaner technologies without getting hung up on a specific price for carbon.
The money for the premiers ad came from the provinces public affairs bureau budget.
Because of the discussions going on in Washington, we felt it was important to get out factual information about Albertas energy supply to the United States, what we are doing to deal with environmental issues in oilsands and just talk about the relationships between Alberta and the U.S., Bellikka said. Most Americans, and probably most Canadians, dont know we are the largest supplier of petroleum to the United States, bigger than Saudi Arabia, bigger than Venezuela.
Stelmachs ad opens with the comment: A good neighbour lends you a cup of sugar. A great neighbour supplies you with 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.
-With files from Trish Audette
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