Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach says he hoped meeting with several U.S. senators in Washington has helped to explain the vital role Alberta's oilsands play in American energy security and job creation.
"As the United States moves forward with climate change policies, it is imperative that U.S. lawmakers have a full and accurate understanding of oil sands development," said Stelmach.
While in Washington, Stelmach had a chance to meet with senators from Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, Montana, and Alaska.
Stelmach said he had a chance to promote what he says is the province's commitment to making progress on greenhouse gas reductions and advancing technologies like carbon capture and storage. He says he used his time in the U.S. to reinforce that our oilsands contribute to job creation in the U.S.
Recently, James Cameron, the Canadian director of the blockbuster film Avatar, said he was interested in learning more about the Athabasca oilsands after he was contacted by local groups concerned about the environment.
Cameron has said Alberta's oilsands are a "black eye" to Canada's image. He said the government should be spending money on wind turbines instead of extracting crude oil.
Following Cameron's comments, Alberta environmental advocate George Poitras who represents the Mikisew First nation, said he met with Cameron while at a United Nations forum.
Poitras said Cameron appeared to accept his invitation to visit the oilsands while the two were attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.