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The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday February 20, 2009
Canadians will pay a huge financial price if our media continue to use double standards to evaluate U.S. President Barack Obama's policies compared to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's.

Take the way in which our media, spurred on by Canada-bashing environmentalists, claim the biggest threat when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in North America is Alberta's oilsands.

This in the lead-up to Obama's visit yesterday to Ottawa, his first foreign trip.

One environmental group, ForestEthics, (active in Canada, the U.S. and Chile) ran an ad in USA Today, showing oil from Canada dripping across the U.S. border headlined: "President Obama, You'll never guess who's standing between us and our new energy economy ... Canada's Tar Sands: the dirtiest oil on Earth."

Wrong. What's standing between the U.S. and its new energy economy is coal.

U.S. coal-fired plants used to generate electricity spew up to 50 to 70 times the carbon dioxide emissions of Alberta's oilsands.

The main reason is coal-fired plants supply 50% of electricity in the U.S., while in Canada half is supplied by cleaner hydroelectric power.

Coal-fired plants in the U.S. generate about two billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually compared to 30 million to 40 million tonnes (slightly larger than a U.S. ton) for Alberta's oilsands. Source.

Obama and Old King Coal
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