Tag Archives: New York Times

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

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Alberta Lobbies for Keystone XL in New York Times ad: Influential Newspaper Ran Editorial Last Week Urging Obama to Reject Pipeline

22 Mar

The Canadian Press – March 17, 2013

Crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline east of Winona, Texas, on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. Crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline east of Winona, Texas, on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. (Sarah A. Miller/The Tyler Morning Telegraph/Associated Press)
 

The Alberta government, continuing to press its case for the Keystone XL pipeline, took out an ad in Sunday’s New York Times newspaper, tying the controversial project to core American values and to U.S. pride in its military.

The half-page ad is headlined “Keystone XL: The Choice of Reason.”

It acknowledges the validity of environmental concerns, but stresses the $7-billion pipeline is about much more than that.

“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 the $30,000 ad.

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

Stefan Baranski, a spokesman for Alberta Premier Alison Redford, said the ad was taken out to counter a New York Times editorial that ran a week ago urging U.S. President Barack Obama to reject the 1,800-kilometre TransCanada line.

“It’s important for Alberta to get the facts on the table as widely as possible,” said Baranski.

“Certainly the Sunday Times is a critically important audience to speak to, and I think Alberta has a good track record, a very good story to tell, and it’s important that we’re out there telling that story at this very critical time.”

Obama is expected to decide the fate of the pipeline in the next few months.

If approved, Keystone XL would take oil from Alberta’s oilsands through the heart of the U.S. Midwest to refineries on the Gulf Coast in Texas for transshipment to consumers around the world.

Protests held in Washington

Alberta and the federal government are urging Obama approve the deal to open up new markets for the oilsands.

A glut of oil due to new finds in North Dakota coupled with pipeline bottlenecks in Canada are squeezing the price of the oilsands product compared with the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate. That price gap will cost Alberta an estimated $6 billion in lost revenue this year alone.

‘It’s important for Alberta to get the facts on the table as widely as possible.’—Stefan Baranski, spokesperson for Alberta Premier Alison Redford

Keystone proponents, including labour groups and the petroleum industry, got a boost two weeks ago when the U.S. State Department, in a preliminary report, said rejecting Keystone XL would not reduce greenhouse gas emissions or slow down development in the oilsands.

Protesters, meanwhile, have gathered by the thousands in Washington in recent weeks to demand the project be abandoned.

For them, the carbon-intensive oilsands operations are a symbol of greedy, shortsighted thinking. Approving Keystone, they say, encourages producers to pursue high-carbon operations that will boost the greenhouse gases already causing climate problems like higher temperatures, superstorms and severe flooding.

The New York Times, referred to by some as the paper of record in the United States, agreed with that position in its editorial last Sunday.

The Times said Obama must adopt a broader view and take a stand.

A yes to Keystone XL, said the Times, makes it economical to expand the oilsands, resulting in even higher greenhouse gas emissions to go along with more collateral environmental damage like denuded landscapes and polluted waterways.

“In itself, the Keystone pipeline will not push the world into a climate apocalypse. But it will continue to fuel our appetite for oil and add to the carbon load in the atmosphere. There is no need to accept it,” said the editorial.

Economic benefits touted

The Alberta government ad takes pains to make the case for the province’s environmental responsibility. It reiterates previous arguments that Alberta is financing more clean energy projects and is the first North American jurisdiction to charge large emitters $15 a tonne on carbon.

The ad focuses on the economic benefits of Keystone, including 42,100 jobs during the construction phase.

It also makes the case, suggested previously by Redford and others, that the oilsands have been unfairly scapegoated despite much larger emitters burning coal on both sides of the border and around the world.

“Greenhouse gas emissions from all the oilsands in Alberta, Canada, make up just over one-tenth of one per cent of the world’s emissions,” said the ad.

Provincial officials, however, have previously conceded Alberta isn’t even close to meeting its goals for reducing greenhouse gases. The province has pledged to reduce emissions by 50 megatonnes a year by 2020 but has averaged just over five tonnes a year since 2007.

This is the second time in recent weeks that Redford has stated her case in mass-circulation newspapers in the United States. She made a similar pitch in a guest column in USA Today three weeks ago.

Baranski said they requested a guest column in the Times but were turned down, leading to the decision to take out the ad.

The newspaper offensive is being matched by work on the ground. Redford, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, and federal politicians have been jetting down to Washington in recent weeks to make the case for Keystone.

Redford has been to the U.S. capital twice and is scheduled to return there on April 8th or 9th for three days of meetings with decision makers, said Baranski. A detailed itinerary has not been set, he said.

Republished from CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/03/17/alberta-lobbies-keystone-xl-new-york-times.html