OTTAWA, ON — Dr. Marlo Raynolds of the Pembina Institute and Dr. Rick Smith of Environmental Defence made the following statements following their meeting with U.S. Speaker of the House, the Honourable Nancy Pelosi, and the Honourable Edward Markey, Chairman of the Energy and Environment Sub-Committee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:
"I was absolutely impressed with the Speaker's focus and conviction to move the U.S. toward a cleaner energy future. I wish we had the same here in Canada.
"Speaker Pelosi and Representative Markey are helping lead a transition in the U.S to cleaner sources of energy, enhanced energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This morning, we discussed how new pipelines, like TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S, risk locking the U.S. and Canada into growing dependence on high-impact oil. As the primary customer of Canada's oilsands, Americans will rightfully question whether increasing their dependence on the oilsands advances or distracts from this clean energy agenda. Here in Canada, we should do the same.
"Our federal government needs to demonstrate to Canadians that it is implementing a clear plan to meet the international commitments it has made to deliver greenhouse gas reductions, while also working with the Alberta government to establish and enforce limits on the environmental impacts from oilsands development on air quality, fresh water, wildlife and the boreal forest."
— Dr. Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director, The Pembina Institute
"I find it very encouraging that two such strong advocates for clean energy and action on global warming reached out to us to learn about the environmental impacts of the tar sands. Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Markey understand that America needs to chart a course off oil and is making the investment to spur that transition.
"As the main customer of tar sands oil, the U.S. has a leadership role to play where our governments at home are failing. We took the time to clarify the serious environmental problems that exist right now in the tar sands and the risks posed by expansion.
"The U.S. needs to send a signal that projects like the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will not be approved until Canada takes responsibility for the environmental impacts and works with the U.S. to transition to a clean energy economy."
— Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
The Pembina Institute