Speaking to reporters yesterday in Ottawa, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein criticized remarks Al Gore gave in the current issue of Rolling Stone that compared the province's oil sands industry to drug addicts.
"For every barrel of oil they extract there, they have to use enough natural gas to heat a family's home for four days," Gore told the magazine. "And they have to tear up four tons of landscape, all for one barrel of oil. It is truly nuts. But you know, junkies find veins in their toes. It seems reasonable, to them, because they've lost sight of the rest of their lives" (Will Dana, Rolling Stone, July 13).
Klein, who visited Washington last week to promote Canadian oil sands as a reliable energy source, dismissed Gore's remarks. "I don't know what he proposes the world run on, maybe hot air," Klein said. "The simple fact is America needs oil."
Klein: "I don't listen to Al Gore in particular because he's a Democrat. And not only that, he's about as far left as you can go. The simple fact is America needs oil. They need gas. And unless he can find some other source, fine."
For the first time, Klein said he believes global warming is attributable to human activities, although he criticized the Kyoto Protocol. "I don't argue with the science that all of us -- as we exhale, as the population grows, as there are more vehicles on the streets and more carbons produced -- that we contribute to global warming," he said, adding, "We take the matter of global warming very seriously. We just don't think that the Kyoto Protocol is the way to go" (Canadian Press, July 5).
Canada has an estimated 179 billion barrels of oil equivalent in its tar sands. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated last month that Canada's oil sands production would grow to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2015 (Agence France-Presse, July 5). -- DK