Groups Urge Obama to Stand Strong on Clean Energy in First International Visit

    Canadian Government Wants Special Treatment for World's Dirtiest Oil

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - Today, an international network of
environmental groups is launching a cross-border campaign urging President
Barack Obama to stand strong on his new energy economy agenda and reject
entreaties from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to shelter the dirtiest
oil on earth from global warming regulation.
    "Tar sands oil is the dirtiest form of energy in the world. It has no
place in President Obama's plans for a clean energy economy," said Sierra Club
Dirty Fuels Campaign Coordinator Pat Gallagher. "Tar sands oil accelerates
global warming. It destroys forests. It endangers public health. Instead of
importing this expensive, dirty oil, we can invest in clean energy that will
create millions of much-needed, sustainable jobs."
    On February 19, President Obama travels to Canada on his first
presidential visit abroad, where he will face pressure from the Government of
Canada to support production of Alberta tar sands oil. Producing oil from tar
sands emits three times the global warming pollution as conventional oil,
requires excessive amounts of energy and fresh water, and destroys huge swaths
of boreal forest.
    Leading up to Obama's visit, environmental groups will conduct a wide
variety of outreach, including running newspaper ads, launching a new website,
and asking Americans and Canadians to sign letters and petitions to Prime
Minister Harper and President Obama. The campaign kicks off today with an ad
in Roll Call, a prominent Capitol Hill newspaper in Washington D.C.
    "The new energy economy means a green economy, and the tar sands just
don't fit," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
Canada. "Tar sands oil is dirty oil. We need to eliminate both the carbon
emissions and the toxic pollution that is destroying the environment and
harming human health."
    More information, including photos, B-roll video and other campaign
materials are available on
    Obama2Canada Partners Include:

    Calumet Project
    Council of Canadians
    Environmental Defence Canada
    Forest Ethics
    Global Community Monitor
    Greenpeace Canada
    Honor the Earth
    Indigenous Environmental Network
    Plains Justice
    Polaris Institute
    Oil Change
    Sierra Club U.S.
    Sierra Club Canada

For further information:

For further information: Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club, (415) 977-5619;
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence Canada, (416) 323-9521 x 232; Lisa
McCrummen, Obama2Canada: (206) 321-9461; William Craven, Forest Ethics: (415)

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