Published on Thu, 01/15/2009 by Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Oil Sands Producers "need to do better" on the environment

Industry releases results of survey showing Canadians seeking more action and communication

Canadians have told oil sands producers that they are concerned about the oil sands' impact on the environment. That was one of the key findings recently released by representatives of the oil sands industry, collected over the past six months via consumer surveys and through input provided on an industry website,

"Canadians are telling us that we need to do better," said David Collyer, President of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, in releasing the findings. "There's broad recognition of the importance of the oil sands to the Canadian economy and to Canadian energy security, but we’ve also received a clear message that the economic and energy security benefits of the oil sands cannot come at the expense of the environment."

Several key themes emerged from the discussion, Collyer said.

"Canadians believe that it is possible to develop the oil sands while protecting the environment. They also told us they do not believe oil sands companies are doing enough today to reduce environmental impacts."

He adds that Canadians are most concerned about the impact of the projects on fresh water, and about greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands.

Collyer acknowledges industry must do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, where the environmental footprint of oil sands is currently larger than conventional crude oil production, but while he says the industry can address some areas of public concern by doing a better job of clearly explaining our business, Collyer says there are some "wild misconceptions" in the public about the industry. He says that points to the need for the industry to do a better job of explaining what it’s already doing to address the issues identified.

Canadians still have an opportunity to express their opinions on oil sands development by visiting the website.

Website Facts

- The website has attracted over 50,000 unique visits. While the large majority of users of the site are Canadian, there were also visits from more than 100 other countries.

- There have been more than 250 comments posted in the public discussion forum on the website, and an additional 150 comments in response to "today’s question."

- While the discussion forum is moderated, no comments were ever removed.


Travis Davies
Media Coordinator
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers