A First-Hand View of the Alberta Oil Sands

From The Calgary Sun:

In what is billed a congressional investigative trip, two U.S. lawmakers will get a bird’s-eye view of Alberta’s oilsands today, a region which has lately been denigrated by mayors south of the border as well as Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s campaign.

But despite the recent spate of criticism, the two Democratic congressmen told the Sun crude from Alberta’s oilsands is vital to the energy security of their country.

“It’s critically important,” said Rick Boucher, a congressmen from Virginia who also chairs the subcommittee on energy and air quality. “We need that oil and we’re going to take whatever steps are necessary to make cure that we continue to have access to it.”

Boucher and Florida congressman Tim Mahoney were in Saskatchewan yesterday to visit the Weyburn carbon dioxide sequestration project. Today, they are touring the Alberta oilsands and meeting industry representatives in Calgary.

Congratulations to Reps. Boucher and Mahoney for their investigations, which show an appreciation of Canada’s role in addressing U.S. energy needs. Many Canadian officials and commentators were offended by the recent know-nothing, no-nothing resolution adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors condemning the use of “high-carbon” fuels such as the heavy oil from Canada.

Fortunately, Western governors are less reflexively anti-energy. From The Edmonton Journal, “Governors Cheer Oilsands.”

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming – Alberta found some allies Sunday at a meeting of governors of western U.S. states, when a pair of lawmakers

defended the oilsands and suggested Canada continue to ramp up its output in the face of environmental concerns.

“I look forward to the day that we markedly increase the oilsands production,” said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat. “We have an energy crisis in this county and maybe the only reliable trading partner that we have in this country is my neighbours, my friends in Alberta.”

Boucher, Mahoney, Schweitzer — all Democrats. Very good to see the pro-energy caucus taking an active role in shaping policy.

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