Tag Archives: Alison Redford

Province Pushes Keystone XL Pipeline With Another Round of U.S. Ads

12 Apr

By Bryan Weismiller, Calgary Herald April 7, 2013

CALGARY —  Alberta is releasing another series of advertisements in U.S. publications aimed at convincing Americans that approving the Keystone XL pipeline would benefit both sides of the border.

The advertisements, which carry a $77,000-price tag, are being rolled out in the Washington Post and news websites this week as Premier Alison Redford returns to Capitol Hill to pitch power brokers on the value of the controversial oil pipeline.

“These ads are targeted at key decision-makers in the Washington area,” Neala Barton, press secretary for Redford, told the Herald.

“We want them to know about the province’s strong environmental record and the huge potential for energy security and job creation that the pipeline would bring.”

The quarter-page Post ad, titled “Keystone XL: The Choice of Reason,” appeals to American patriotism, middle-class prosperity and neighbourly goodwill.

It’s almost identical to one that ran in a Sunday edition of the New York Times newspaper last month.

“America’s desire to effectively balance strong environmental policy, clean technology development, energy security and plentiful job opportunities for the middle class and returning war veterans mirrors that of the people of Alberta,” reads an advanced copy of the April 9 advertisement.

“This is why choosing to approve Keystone XL and oil from a neighbour, ally, friend, and responsible energy developer is the choice of reason.”

Barton noted new online ads, which are slated to run on political news sites — such as National Journal, Politico and Roll Call — will contribute to reaching an audience of more than 1.5 million people.

Advanced copies of the ads, obtained by the Herald on Saturday, tout industry restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, government funding for clean technology projects and vast stretches of protected land in Alberta’s oilsands.

“Blessed with natural resource. And a conscience,” read all three versions of the online ads.

Chris Sands, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think-tank, expressed skepticism and characterized the Tory government’s sales pitch as a “teardrop in an ocean of political communication.”

“We’re bombarded by political ads from everybody all the time,” Sands said, in an interview from Washington.

“They just sort of wash over you.”

If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels a day of Alberta oilsands bitumen through many states to the world’s largest refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Calgary-based TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., the company behind the 1,800-kilometre oil pipeline, has faced fierce opposition from environmentalists and their supporters. Opponents say it’s fostering new fossil fuel consumption from the oilsands, which they believe is dirty oil with high greenhouse gas emissions.

On Sunday, a coalition of Keystone opponents launched a new national TV ad campaign, hitting many of the U.S. morning talk shows. The “All Risk, No Reward” coalition membership includes faith groups, environmental advocates, and landowners along the proposed pipeline route.

The U.S. Senate has previously backed construction on the pipeline, but a final decision must come from U.S. President Barack Obama, who has twice rejected the $7-billion project.

Sands questioned the Redford government’s decision to keep Keystone XL in the news when a likely favourable ruling on its fate is expected in coming weeks. It could, he warned, stir up pre-presidential election debates that pit environmentalists against pipeline proponents who say it’ll boost a sagging economy.

“If we go back to the rhetoric of that period it’s going to be harder for the president to make a low-key decision to move forward,” said Sands, an expert on Canada-U.S. business and economic relations.

“There’s a chance, not a guarantee, that would be one of the effects of advertising that way at this time.”

On Monday, Redford begins her three-day trip in Washington. It’s her second trip to the U.S capital in two months. She will be joined by Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations Cal Dallas and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Diana McQueen.

In addition to meeting with legislators and administration officials on both sides of the Keystone debate, Redford will speak at the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution.

The entire cost of the mission is $34,000.

NDP Leader Brian Mason contended the Tory government should step up its environmental performance instead of trying to “convince the Americans that everything is rosy.”

While the ad boasts Alberta “was the first place in North America to legally require all large industry to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” Mason pointed to the Tory government’s acknowledgment it’s not close to meeting targets for reducing carbon emissions.

The province committed to slashing emissions by 50 megatonnes a year by 2020 but has averaged about 10 per cent of that since 2007.

“It’s extremely misleading if not false in describing Alberta’s environmental record,” Mason said of the New York Times advertisement.

With files from Darcy Henton and Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald

Republished from the Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/alberta/Province+pushes+Keystone+pipeline+with+another/8207735/story.html


Redford argues Keystone XL Controversy Obscuring Truth About Alberta’s Environmental Record

12 Apr

By Darcy Henton, Calgary Herald April 10, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The polarized debate over the Keystone XL pipeline and global warming overlooks the fact that you can build the pipeline and still reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be good stewards of the land, air and water, Premier Alison Redford told a Washington think tank Tuesday.

Redford told the Brookings Institution that the dialogue over approval of the 1,800-kilometre pipeline between Alberta and the U.S. gulf coast “suffers from some glaring deficiencies, which cause essential truths to be overlooked.”

“The most basic truth is that the stark choice Keystone’s opponents have put at the heart of the debate is an illusion,” the Alberta premier said on the same day the province touted Keystone’s value in the Washington Post. “Too many of the arguments deployed against Keystone are far too far from reality. They proclaim that either you stand against the oilsands, or you write off the environment, along with any hope for a sustainable existence.That is completely wrong.

Redford, who met with Canadian ambassador Gary Doer Tuesday morning on the first day of her two-day visit to D.C., said Albertans want to be responsible stewards of their natural resources.

She said Alberta is home to some of the most environmentally friendly, progressive legislation in the world.

“You wouldn’t know that from the clamor of the debate,” she said. “We have nothing to hide, because the facts are on our side.”

The oilsands contribute 21 per cent of Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions, seven per cent of Canada’s emissions, and less than 0.15 percent of the global total, Redford told the gathering.

She added the Canadian oilsands, in total, produce less greenhouse gas emissions than the electric power plants in Ohio, in Indiana, and even less than the agricultural state of Iowa.

Redford noted that Alberta became the first jurisdiction in North America to require large industry to curb greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 and is reviewing its climate change policy to make it even stronger.

She said that since 1990, Alberta’s energy industry has reduced greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil produced by an average of 29 per cent, with some some facilities achieving reductions as high as 50 per cent.

Alberta’s coal-fired power plants have lowered their emissions by an amount equivalent to taking roughly 240,000 cars off the road, the premier added.

“We will close up to a dozen of our older plants over the next 17 years, so we can replace them with cleaner alternatives,” she said.

She said her government is providing $1.3 billion in funding for two large-scale carbon capture and sequestration projects, but didn’t mention that funding for two other programs has been cancelled due to poor economics.

“Alberta has a strong record to defend, a very persuasive case to make, and an undeniable need to make it,” she said. “The facts need to be on the table during the debate over Keystone.”

“We are a responsible energy producer looking to develop and market our resources in a sustainable and thoughtful way, to the benefit of both buyer and seller. That’s really the story.”

Redford said that while there’s much talk now in the United States about energy independence in the U.S., the only realistic way to see that is in terms of North American energy independence — integration between the two countries.

She pointed out almost 30 per cent of U.S. oil imports now come from Canada.

“Without Canada’s almost two million barrels per day from the oilsands, there is no prospect of North American energy independence,” she said. “It makes economic and environmental sense to get that energy from a trusted partner.”

She said more than 900 American companies supply oilsands firms with equipment, parts and services.

Keystone XL would add an estimated $6.9 billion per year to the U.S. economy over the next 25 years, and create or preserve more than 75,000 American jobs, Redford explained.

“Canadians would like to see a level playing field in the debate over Keystone XL,” she said. “The opponents of Keystone are, in effect, tilting the playing field in favor of Venezuela, which would be the biggest beneficiary in the absence of Keystone.”

Redford said Venezuela’s oil has the same carbon footprint, but the country doesn’t have the environmental policies and commitment that Alberta has.

She said Alberta has other options and that includes selling on the global market.

“We know that the developing world is thirsty for our energy,” Redford said. “I’ve been to China twice, and I’ll be leading another trade delegation there later this year, along with one to India. But it’s Keystone that offers the US the most direct and tangible rewards.”

Republished from the Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Alberta+Premier+Alison+Redford+argues+Keystone/8217845/story.html

Alberta Premier Lobbying for Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington

12 Apr

April 9, 2013


Alberta Premier Alison Redford meets with Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the United States (second from the right) in Washington on Tuesday. Redford was joined by Environment and Sustainable Resource Minister Diana McQueen and International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas. Alberta Premier Alison Redford meets with Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States (second from the right) in Washington on Tuesday. Redford was joined by Environment and Sustainable Resource Minister Diana McQueen and International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)


Alberta Premier Alison Redford appears to be looking to Congress for support of the Keystone XL pipeline in what could prove to be an end-run around U.S. President Barack Obama.

Redford is in Washington today where she met with Canada’s ambassador, Gary Doer.

During a photo op at the Canadian embassy, Doer waved toward the Capitol while stating that 62 senators had, in principle, voted for what the ambassador called “our favourite project.”

A March congressional vote, which supported the building of Keystone with 17 Democrats onside, was interpreted by some as a move toward taking away Obama’s presidential permit for the pipeline.

Another bill is currently before Congress that would explicitly remove the presidential permit and put the decision in the hands of pro-pipeline U.S. senators.

On Wednesday, Redford will meet with members of Congress to pitch the pipeline’s importance to the Canadian and U.S. economies, but her staff won’t yet say who she’s meeting.

Republished from CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/04/09/edmonton-redford-washington-keystone.html?cmp=rss


Alberta premier pipes up about controversial game showing bombing of pipeline

22 Mar

The Canadian Press – March 22, 2013

Alberta premier pipes up about controversial game showing bombing of pipeline

This screengrab from the online game Pipe Trouble shows bombing and protests are part of the Ontario taxpayer-funded game, with which Alberta Premier Alison Redford has taken issue.

Photograph by: Craig Small/Vimeo , Screengrab

TORONTO — Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she is disappointed to see a taxpayer-funded online game showing the bombing of a gas pipeline.

TV Ontario provided money to create the game, called Pipe Trouble, to accompany a documentary about the pipeline debate in British Columbia.

But questions have been raised about the game’s introductory video, which appears to show activists protesting before a pipeline blows up.

The provincially funded broadcaster says the game is meant to engage people on both sides of the pipeline debate and it’s not taking sides.

But Redford says a taxpayer-funded game depicting the blowing up of pipelines is contrary to Canada’s interests given that the entire country benefits from a strong and diverse energy sector.

Redford says she’s encouraged that Ontario’s governing Liberals are looking into the matter.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said that her government isn’t taking a side in the pipeline debate.

Pipe Trouble: http://vimeo.com/61024880

Story Republished from the Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/Alberta+Premier+Alison+Redford+pipes+about+controversial/8138353/story.html


Pipeline Denial Would ‘Fundamentally Change’ Relations with U.S.: Redford

22 Mar

Shawn McCarthy – March 18, 2013

Alberta Premier Alison Redford has warned that rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline by the Obama administration would undermine the economic relationship between the countries, and strengthen Canada’s resolve to look for new markets for its resources.

During a visit to Ottawa Monday, Ms. Redford painted the Keystone project as vital not only to Alberta but to Canada’s national interest – and slammed federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, saying he had betrayed those Canadian interests when he talked down the pipeline proposal during a trip to Washington last week. Federal and provincial leaders have launched an intense lobbying campaign to win approval from President Barack Obama for the controversial pipeline, which would transport 800,000 barrels a day of oil sands bitumen to the world’s largest refining hub on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Canadian leaders paint the Keystone project as a critical link to a major new market for oil sands production, which now is mainly sent to the U.S. Midwest. Alberta needs to expand its oil sands markets to eliminate the current glut of such crude and help drive up depressed prices. The province says it will bring in $6-billion less in revenue this year as a result of lower-than-forecast prices, and Ms. Redford said Monday that Ottawa will have to make some “painful choices” in its Thursday budget due to a shortfall in federal revenues.

In an interview Monday, Ms. Redford said she remained optimistic the pipeline would be approved, but stressed a rejection would hurt Canada-U.S. relations.

“I looked at it historically that we’ve always had a very strong trading relationship, especially between Alberta and the United States around energy,” she said. “If this didn’t go ahead it would be disappointing for Albertans and Canadians and I think people would wonder what that meant. I don’t think at the end of the day it would cause irreparable damage, but I think it would fundamentally change the relationship.”

The result would be that Canada would look elsewhere for markets, she said, and that would increase the importance of concluding pipeline projects through British Columbia and to the Canadian East Coast to access overseas customers.

Opponents in the United States – including prominent Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – argued the Keystone pipeline will stoke further development of the oil sands, and contribute to increasing greenhouse-gas emissions that threaten catastrophic climate change.

Ms. Redford insisted she is not advocating for a specific project, though her government ran an ad in The New York Times on Sunday challenging its anti-pipeline editorial under the headline “Keystone XL: The Choice of Reason.”

In a luncheon speech, the Premier said Keystone and other proposed pipelines are in the Canadian national interest because the energy exports fund social programs like health care and education, both provincially and federally.

And she echoed criticism of Mr. Mulcair from federal Conservatives and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

“I think it was very unfortunate for Mr. Mulcair to have travelled to Washington to undermine the months of good work that’s been undertaken by national leaders in this country and premiers in this country and advocates in industry and the trade unions,” she said. “I actually believe it was a fundamental betrayal of Canada’s long-term economic interests.”

Mr. Mulcair did not respond directly to the barrage of criticism. He said he is advocating policies that would see oil sands bitumen processed in Canada, rather than losing jobs by shipping the raw resource to the United States to be turned into products like gasoline and diesel.

“The NDP’s position is that we should be adding value to our own natural resources and creating jobs in Canada,” he told reporters. “We think that we should take care of Canada’s own energy security first.”

Republished from The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/pipeline-denial-would-fundamentally-change-relations-with-us-redford/article9871895/


Alberta Premier Redford Calls NDP Leader’s Comments in U.S. “ridiculous”

22 Mar

By Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press – March 18, 2013

OTTAWA – Comments made by Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair in the U.S. last week were ridiculous and unhelpful, Alberta’s premier said Monday.

Alison Redford is the latest leader to frame Mulcair’s D.C. visit as a poison dart aimed at the heart of Canada’s efforts to convince U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Mulcair insists he’s not providing advice to Obama on the issue one way or another and has said it’s up to the Americans to make up their own mind on the project, though it’s not one the NDP consider a priority.

They should, Redford suggested in an interview with The Canadian Press just ahead of a noon speech at the Economic Club of Canada.

It’s not an American pipeline but a Canadian one that’s vital to the country’s economy, Redford said.

In that context, Mulcair’s trip was disappointing, she said.

“Thomas Mulcair comes to Alberta and makes nice, he pretends to be a national leader who cares about environmental policy but understands importance of the oilsands and talks about economic growth and then goes to other places and says different things and that’s not what a national leader should do,” Redford said.

Mulcair was in the U.S. capital last week and spoke out against Canada’s environmental record, while also warning that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would cost 40,000 Canadian jobs.

Redford said that comment was ridiculous.

“To be spreading information that isn’t true with respect to any pipeline clouds the water, confuses the conversation, gets people unnecessarily emotional about the issue,” she said.

“It’s not helpful.”

The pipeline will create jobs both in Canada and the U.S. and players on both sides of the border know that, she said.

Mulcair has said the trip was part of his job as leader of the Opposition and nothing he said should have surprised anyone.

His preference, he told his American audiences, would be for Canada to focus on its own energy security and building pipelines within the country, creating Canadian jobs.

He also had harsh words for the Conservatives on their environmental record, saying there was no way the government could meet its targets for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

His remarks were characterized by the federal Tories and some other provincial leaders as “trash talk.”

They came at the same time the Harper government was on a lobbying tour in the U.S. related to the pipeline but also to selling Canada’s environmental record.

Obama isn’t likely to decided until later this year whether he’ll approve the Keystone project, which would deliver 830,000 barrels a day of mostly oilsands crude to U.S. markets.

A draft environmental report into the $5.3-billion pipeline released by the U.S. State Department reported no major environmental concerns and said it was unlikely to affect the pace of oilsands development or U.S. oil consumption.

Republished from Edmonton Journal: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Alberta+Premier+Redford+calls+leader+comments+ridiculous/8115282/story.html