Pelosi somewhat receptive to oil sands development

By Oil & Gas Financial Journal staff

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) emerged from a three-hour meeting with Canadian officials in Calgary on Sept. 8 that left the Canadians in an upbeat mood, according to a report in the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Although Pelosi and Markey have been critics of the oil and gas industry in the past, Pelosi told the Canadians she was open minded about future oil sands development and interested in hearing “both sides of the story.” The Canadian officials included Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, and federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice – all solid backers of Canada’s petroleum industry, including the oil sands.

The US and Canadian officials discussed the possibility of establishing a benchmark for carbon emissions from the oil sands, with the government of Alberta agreeing to provide updates on environmental improvements in the oil sands to correct misinformation in the press.

Stelmach said he was “excited” about how receptive Pelosi and Markey were to the Canadian proposals and added that he is confident Alberta and Saskatchewan will meet or exceed emissions targets. In return, he said Pelosi pledged to the Canadians that the US drive to reduce its dependence on foreign oil “does not mean Canada” and that she has no desire to halt oil sands expansion.

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