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Energy Ministers must prove they are not captives of their oil industry sponsors

Ottawa, July 13, 2011 - Leading Canadian organizations are dismayed that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Oil Sands Developers Group are the major sponsors of this weekend’s meeting of Provincial and Federal Ministers of Energy and Mines.

The annual meeting of energy and mines ministers, to be held July 16th – 19th in Kananaskis, Alberta, is scheduled to discuss Canada’s energy future and the path towards a national energy strategy.

“Having oil companies sponsor a meeting of energy ministers is like having tobacco companies sponsor a meeting of health ministers,” says John Bennett of Sierra Club Canada. “This is lobbying at its most perverse.”

“Canada needs to be building a future that moves beyond fossil fuels and towards a clean energy economy,” says Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. “Allowing the oil and gas industry association to sponsor the discussion sends exactly the opposite message. The ministers must now use this meeting to prove that they are not being held captive by the oil and gas industry and are prepared to act in the public interest and show leadership in the fight against climate change.”

The ministers are faced with a choice between an energy future built around a rapid expansion of the Alberta tar sands and an alternative vision that would serve all Canadians by making Canada a leader in clean energy and ensure that Canada does its fair share to reduce global warming pollution.

“The oil industry is lobbying governments to steamroll over any objections or alternatives to huge pipelines like the Enbridge's Gateway proposal*,” says Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada. “Energy Ministers need to look beyond this dangerous short term scenario and start building a safe, clean and reliable energy future.”

* Enbridge is a Bronze Sponsor of the meeting

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Pertinent links:
Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference sponsor page: https://emmc2011.alberta.ca/EnglishContent/34.asp

For media enquiries, please contact:
Hannah McKinnon
hmckinnon@climateactionnetwork.ca
613-276-7791

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