Thank you, Jane Fonda

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No, seriously.

On behalf of every oil and gas-loving Canadian, thank you.

Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to come all the way up to Canada to talk about our resource.

You could have stayed in Hollywood, where you’re surrounded by 13 oil fields that generate a higher level of GHG emissions than Canadian dilbit blends, but instead you came and visited us in the Great White North. 

Thank you.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be even more vocal about Canada’s energy industry. As the world continues to grow it will need more oil and gas, and Canada is the best country to provide it.

Every time someone like you or Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron or Neil Young condemns how a great number of Canadians pay our mortgages, feed our families, and provide your jets and yachts with fuel, we get to talk about what a leader Canada really is.

It’s an opportunity we welcome.

Earlier this week, you toured Alberta's oil sands. It’s always nice to see oil and gas critics take the time to observe the industry first-hand.

You said the aerial sight of oil sands mining sites felt like “someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface. It made my body ache to watch it.”

That struck me as odd. Did your chartered helicopter fly you over the vast amount of reclaimed oil sands mines?

If it had, you’d have seen sprawling snow-covered terrain that show no signs of ever being disturbed. In the summer, these vast fields turn a lush, grassy green and provide prime grazing lands for herds of wild bison. That’s what the mine you saw will look like after reclamation.


Were you informed of the 90,000 square kilometres of protected boreal forest in Alberta, or the fact that in the last 40 years, less than 0.02% of Canada’s boreal forest has been disturbed by oil sands mining, or that our oil sands count for a shade over one tenth of one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions? 

By the way – how much forest is protected in Los Angeles? 

You urged Alberta to embrace renewable energy. We agree. Developing renewables is one of the best ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Just FYI, though, the companies who run those mines you flew over? They're the ones actually building renewable energy. 

Suncor, the single largest synthetic crude oil producer in Alberta’s oil sands, operates five wind farms in Canada - with plans to build two more - generating a total of nearly 200 megawatts. 

Enbridge, a pipeline company and proponent for the Line 3 project, just invested $200 million in a 103 megawatt wind farm. The company is now invested in nearly 2,200 megawatts of renewable power generation, enough to supply electricity to about 700,000 Canadian homes. 

I presume none of this was brought to your attention during your Alberta visit. That's fine, though - we love getting the chance to talk about it.

Two years ago, at a pipeline protest in Vancouver, you said you wanted to be arrested in order to bring more attention to energy issues. I hope you've softened your stance since then. 

If every Hollywood star that's anti-oil sands gets hauled away in handcuffs, they wouldn't be able to come to Alberta. Because when they do, it gives us a great opportunity to tell the awesome story of oil and gas developed the Canadian way – sustainably and environmentally-responsibly in one of the greatest countries in the world.

So thank you, Jane Fonda. Come back anytime. 

Brad Tennant
Canada’s Energy Citizens


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