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Leaders’ green talks ‘good news’: Stelmach

Talks between Canada and the United States for a green energy plan is music to the ears of Alberta’s premier, he says.

Talks between Canada and the United States for a green energy plan is music to the ears of Alberta’s premier, he says.

After U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper both agreed in Ottawa Thursday to work together on building technologies to capture and store carbon gases, Premier Ed Stelmach says the move has Alberta written all over it.

“This is good news for Alberta, good news for Canada, and good news to all North Americans,” said Stelmach.

Stelmach said he was glad the leaders focused on the technology, saying a tax on Alberta’s oilsands would have damaged his province’s competitiveness.

Greenpeace, and other environmental groups, have also urged Obama to press Canada to clean up its “dirty” oilsands as the entire process spews huge amounts of greenhouse gases. Most of the oil from the oilsands is also shipped to the U.S.

Obama, however, said his country has its own problems in dealing with greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources such as coal and said finding a technology to store all that carbon is a solution to look into.

“So what we’ve heard in the last couple of days from President Obama is that he is clearly speaking Alberta’s language,” said Stelmach.

“Balancing the environment and the economy, investing in carbon capture and storage technology — these are all the things Alberta has been talking about.”

Environmentalists were outraged by Thursday’s agreement between the two leaders, saying Obama is making a mistake in committing to an “unproven” technology.

“(This) won’t reduce Canada’s emissions anytime soon,” said Matthew Bramley, executive director of the Pembina Institute, to reporters Thursday. with files from reuters

 
 
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