On eve of Prime Minister Harper's visit to White House, American
environmentalists escalate international campaign to oppose Tar Sands

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - An international network of environmental groups, including ForestEthics, Natural Resources Defence Council, Environmental Defence and the Sierra Club, with members in the millions, today escalated an international campaign to oppose Canada's Tar Sands on the eve of Prime Minister Harper's visit to the White House where he is expected to discuss energy issues with President Barack Obama.

"We're going directly to the top energy decision makers in Washington and to hundreds of thousands of clean energy enthusiasts across the United States with one message - Canada's dirty oil will derail America's clean energy future," said Gillian McEachern of ForestEthics, a North American environmental organization.

Tar sands oil would have to be imported through a sprawling network of thousands of miles of pipeline, threading through almost every American state (at a cost of $15 billion), along with 33 new and retrofitted refineries and tanker traffic.

"Canada should be focused on building strong climate and energy regulations at home rather than trying to undermine emerging U.S. climate and energy efforts," said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, senior attorney Natural Resources Defense Council. "Tar sands should not be allowed to keep our leaders from moving forward on fighting climate change - especially in the run up to the international climate meeting in Copenhagen."

Activities during Harper's visit include:

Launch of new website - www.WhoIsHarper.org - aimed at Washington-based bloggers that exposes Harper's anti-environmental background and the impacts to the US on relying on Tar Sands oil.

A damning DVD about Tar Sands, tailor-made for energy decision makers in Washington and distributed to heads of all the major federal agencies involved in climate and environmental issues, the committee chairs and members of climate committees in the Senate and House and all US senators.

Distribution of another Tar Sand DVD to more than 500,000 Americans across the country via email.

International online advertising campaign which is running in outlets in Europe, Asia and across North America, including Politico.com, the New York Times, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, Hill Times, Salon and Huffington Post.

Street demo outside the White House during Harper's meeting with Obama, as well as a projection of a movie about the Tar Sands playing on a massive screen outside the White House.

This latest campaign follows an escalation of international controversy in Germany and the UK over the Tar Sands that also was a prominent issue in yesterday's Norwegian election.

More information, including a list of Network partners, photos, new B-roll video of Tar Sands and other materials, is available on www.whoisharper.org.

SOURCE ForestEthics Advocacy

For further information: For further information: Gillian McEachern, ForestEthics: (416) 938-6032; Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Natural Resources Defense Council: (646) 287-6225

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