Stephen Harper: Canada to Discuss Energy, Security and Environment with Obama

Posted: Jan. 22, 2009

Stephen Harper told a Calgary radio station on Tuesday that the role of the oil sands in North America’s energy security, as well as the impact on climate change will be key topics of discussion when Barack Obama visits Canada on his first foreign visit as president.

“We will be making a point…of saying we want to work together with the United States on environmental and energy issues. I think they’re irreparably linked. You can’t separate the two…But at the same time the development of these things is pretty important in our judgement to North American energy security so I think there’s a balance to be seen there,” the Prime Minister said during an interview with talk show host David Rutherford.

The full radio interview is available here.

As for the new American administration’s views, the New York Times reported earlier this month that there is a diversity of perspectives on climate change in Obama’s team. On the one hand, it is feared that moving forward too quickly with a carbon cap could eliminate jobs and deepen the recession while increasing energy costs. At the same time, Carol Browner, the new energy and climate policy coordinator has been in favor of aggressively moving away from carbon based energy for several years. It appears that Obama’s tasks will include brokering different interests and perspectives to reach a balance.

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