(Toronto, ON; Washington, DC) One week after U.S. mayors expressed concern about the environmental impacts of the tar sands, U.S. and Canadian organizations are reaching out to Governors to debunk the green tar sands spin coming from Canada at the Western Governors’ Association meeting in Wyoming which starts tomorrow and runs until July 1. The groups are asking Premier Ed Stelmach of Alberta and Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan, who will also be at the meeting, for action to clean up the tar sands.
“The meeting is focusing on the themes of global warming and wildlife corridors,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Governors need to know that the tar sands are Canada’s fastest growing source of global warming pollution and that the tar sands toxic tailings ponds are right in the migration corridor of many of North America’s birds.”
The organizations sent an open letter to the 22 Governors of the Western Governors’ Association, as well as to the Premiers of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba who are also invited to attend the meeting. The letter asks the Governors to raise global warming and wildlife corridor concerns with the Premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan during the meeting. The organizations are also placing an ad on Monday in the Casper Star-Tribune of Wyoming. For a copy of the letter and the ad see, http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/campaigns/whatsnew/TarSandsAd.htm.
“The governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan are trying to tell other U.S. leaders that they are dealing with the environmental problems of the tar sands while their global warming emissions are exploding and landscape and water impacts are multiplying daily,” said Matt Price, Project Manager with Environmental Defence Canada. “We need real action to clean up the tar sands, not more talk.”
The Governors meet twice a year and focus on issues of mutual interest. Many of the Governors in the Western Governors Association are also part of the Western Climate Initiative and have supported strong limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
“We’re reaching out to Governors because the United States, as the main customer of tar sands oil, is in the perfect position to ask Canada to clean up its toxic tar sands and reduce global warming emissions,” said Gillian McEachern, Senior Campaigner with ForestEthics.
– 30 –
For more information contact:
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, NRDC, (646) 287-6225 (cell)
Theo Spencer, NRDC, (917) 208-5192 (at Western Governors’ Association meeting)
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence (647) 280-9521 (cell)
Gillian McEachern, ForestEthics, (416) 938-6032