Press Release: Washington mission aims to build on Alberta-U.S. relations

Posted by admin on Apr 23rd, 2008

Edmonton… Strengthening Alberta-U.S. relations and reinforcing Alberta’s commitment to environmentally
sustainable development of the oil sands are the main areas of focus for Ron Stevens, Deputy Premier and
Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations, as he travels to Washington, D.C., April 26-30. “Alberta remains committed to building on the foundations of its strong relations with the United States,” said Stevens. “We are at a critical stage where we need to demonstrate to the world that we are a global leader in responsible resource development
and in technology and innovation.”

Stevens stated that Alberta will continue to find new and innovative solutions to expand energy production
in an environmentally responsible manner, despite opposition from groups whose goal is an oil-free
world. He stressed that Alberta has already demonstrated a commitment to find solutions. Examples

* innovative work being undertaken by the Alberta Energy Research Institute and the Alberta Research
Council on clean carbon/coal production, renewable energy, CO2 capture and storage, water use, improved
recovery and bitumen upgrading

* investment to date of $148 million in carbon capture and storage research and development, a field
with significant opportunities to partner with the U.S. on leading-edge technologies that will benefit
Canada, the U.S. and other countries around the world in the fight against climate change, and;

* being the first jurisdiction in North America to legislate greenhouse gas reductions on large
industrial facilities, such as those in the oil sands, and demonstrating an enhanced commitment to combating
climate change by releasing a new plan that reduces projected emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.

“My goal is to make it clear that partnering with Alberta to develop the oil sands in an environmentally
sustainable manner is far better, both in terms of energy security and environmental protection, than
penalizing oil sands products and increasing imports from unstable and at times environmentally
irresponsible overseas sources of crude,” said Stevens.

Stevens will also explore developments in other sectors of importance to Alberta’s economy, such as
forestry and agriculture.

He also expects to meet with a variety of officials and organizations, including:

* Michael Wilson, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, and Canadian Embassy staff;
* public policy institutes, such as Woodrow Wilson International Center and the Hudson Institute;
* Members of Congress;
* the U.S. Department of the Interior;
* the Inter-American Development Bank.

Stevens will also meet with Gary Mar, Alberta’s representative in Washington to discuss the operations of the Alberta Office in Washington, D.C.  The United States is Alberta’s largest trade partner. Almost 90 per cent of all Alberta exports, worth about $74 billion, go to the U.S. annually. Of Alberta’s 25 top trading partners, 21 are U.S. states.

Total mission costs for Minister Stevens, including travel, accommodation and meals are estimated
to be $6,500.

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