Activist Oil Sands Ads Inaccurate; Canadians Want Truth, Balance - Not Propaganda

July 16, 2010 - Calgary, Alberta

Corporate Ethics International and other activist groups involved in the Rethink Alberta campaign today pulled several anti-oil, anti-Canada advertisements placed in U.S. markets. The ads were pulled because they contained inaccurate statements.

"Both the U.S. and Canada have advertising standards to protect the public from claims that are not truthful, fair and accurate," said Janet Annesley, CAPP Vice President of Communications. "We suggest to Corporate Ethics International the only ethical response is a full correction to their ads, website and statements to media."

Earlier this week Corporate Ethics International and several other activists launched Rethink Alberta, a billboard and internet campaign comparing the crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to Canada's oil sands. Unfortunately much of the information they use to support their comparison is inaccurate.

While the campaign was met with an immediate negative backlash from the public in various internet discussion forums, and Corporate Ethics International suspended comments on its website to stem the tide, it took until today for the group to begin retracting its billboard ads and online communication tools like videos.

Meanwhile individual Canadians created other websites condemning the campaign, such as this one: http://rethinkrethinkalberta.blogspot.com/.

"Our research indicates that Canadians want a more balanced discussion than activist groups have so far provided," Annesley said. "Saying ‘stop the fill-in-the-blank' over and over with no realistic energy or economic solutions offered is a message that appeals to peoples' environmental concerns but does not recognize our needs also for energy and economic growth."

Canada's Oil Sands

In more than 40 years oil sands mining has disturbed about 620 square kilometers - about 4.8 per cent of Los Angeles County or 0.2 per cent of Canada's Boreal forest.

  • All land disturbed must be fully reclaimed by law.
  • Alberta's Athabasca River is one of the largest rivers in Canada.
  • Currently oil sands production draws less than one per cent of the Athabasca's average total flow.
  • All oil sands mining projects, including current and approved projects are forecast to use about two per cent of the average river flow.
  • Industry supports protecting the river during winter low flow and is developing improved recycling measures as well as water storage options (more than 80 per cent of mining process water is recycled and some in situ projects use no fresh water).
  • The Government of Alberta has found no link between oil sands development and the health concerns of people in Fort Chipewyan, an Aboriginal community more than 250 kilometers downstream.

Oil sands produce:

  • about one-tenth of one per cent (1/1000th) of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • about 1/100th of the GHG emissions produced by U.S. coal-fired electrical generation
  • between five and 15 per cent more GHGs on a lifecycle basis than the average barrel imported into the U.S. today (Source: Cambridge Energy Research Associates)
  • fewer GHGs per barrel than some other U.S. sources (Venezuela, Nigeria, California thermal)
  • 26 per cent fewer GHGs per barrel from 1990 to 2010 (Source: Environment Canada) and continue to reduce emissions intensity or pay a carbon levy under law
  • Read more about GHGs

"The oil sands industry continues to improve environmental performance and meeting the expectations of the public for safe, reliable, responsible energy development," said Annesley. "For the real story, please visit our website at www.oilsandstoday.ca."

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a $110-billion-a-year national industry that provides essential energy products. CAPP's mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate.

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For additional Information:

Chelsie Klassen, Media Relations

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

(P): 403-267-1151

(M): 403-542-4115

(E): [email protected]

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