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  2. "233957","11/9/2009 22:20","09OTTAWA874","Embassy Ottawa","UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY","","VZCZCXRO3831
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  4. RR RUEHGA RUEHQU RUEHVC
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  6. DE RUEHOT #0874/01 3132221
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  8. ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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  10. R 092220Z NOV 09
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  12. FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
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  14. TO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
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  16. RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0063
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  18. INFO ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
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  20. RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC","UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000874
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  22.  
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  24. SENSITIVE
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  26. SIPDIS
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  28. STATE FOR OES/EGC
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  32. STATE FOR S/CIEA
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  36. PASS TO DOE/PIA
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  38.  
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  40. E.O. 12958: N/A
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  42. TAGS: SENV, ENRG, CA
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  44. SUBJECT: Ottawa: Ambassador Jacobson and Environment Minister
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  46. Prentice discuss continental carbon market and oil sands
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  50. 1)       Summary:  During an engaging introductory lunch on
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  52. November 5, 2009, Ambassador Jacobson and Canadian Minister of the
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  54. Environment Jim Prentice covered a wide variety of issues, ranging
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  56. from Canada\'s international reputation and potential damage from
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  58. oil sands coverage to exploring the possibility of a harmonized
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  60. continental carbon market and collaborating on the Great Lakes.
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  62. Minister Prentice clearly indicated his interest in working closely
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  64. with the Obama Administration and both parties stressed the
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  66. importance of the environment globally, but also as a key component
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  68. of our bilateral agenda.  As an immediate follow-up, Minister
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  70. Prentice asked for assistance in setting up a conversation with
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  72. Senator Kerry to discuss some key issues of concern to Canada in
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  74. regard to potential Senate climate legislation.  The Ambassador
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  76. also agreed to assess interest in Washington on further exploring
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  78. the benefits of a continental carbon market.  Based on the breadth
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  80. and scope of their discussion, the meeting established common
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  82. interest and a mutual intention to push forward a strong
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  84. environmental dialogue.  End Summary.
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  90.  
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  92. 2)      From the onset of lunch, Minister Prentice was clearly
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  94. making every effort to establish a connection with Ambassador
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  96. Jacobson, outlining his respect for the Administration and his
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  98. interest in President Obama\'s \"back story\", persona, and goals.
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  100. The tone was very collegial and Prentice appeared unrushed,
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  102. focused, and interested in getting to know the Ambassador on a
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  104. personal level, sharing stories about his daughter, life in
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  106. Alberta, and his love for the outdoors.  Prentice appeared keen to
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  108. forge a personal relationship with Ambassador Jacobson - to the
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  110. mutual benefit of both countries.  Note:  Prentice is
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  112. widely-considered to be the most respected member of Prime Minister
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  114. Harper\'s inner circle and enjoys Harper\'s complete trust.  He is
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  116. the lead Minister for climate change, as well as the lead on the
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  118. Clean Energy Dialogue and Northern Gas pipelines.
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  120.  
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  122.  
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  124.  
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  126. 3)      During a discussion of the Ambassador\'s travels, Prentice
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  128. asked for his views on the oil sands.  Prentice shared that he was
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  130. concerned about the media focus on the sands and the possible
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  132. impact on Canada\'s international reputation.  He recalled that he
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  134. was first concerned about oil sands coverage during a trip to
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  136. Norway where the public was debating whether or not Norway should
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  138. be investing public funds (Statoil) in \'dirty oil\'.  As Prentice
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  140. relayed it, the public sentiment in Norway shocked him and has
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  142. heightened his awareness of the negative consequences to Canada\'s
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  144. historically \'green\' standing on the world stage.   Calling himself
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  146. \"conservationist-minded\", Prentice said he would step in and
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  148. regulate the sands if Canada\'s image in the world gets further
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  150. tarnished by negative coverage.  Although he never mentioned
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  152. Natural Resources Minister Raitt by name (perhaps, an indication of
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  154. the rumored tensions between the two Ministries), Prentice did say
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  156. that he felt that Government of Canada\'s reaction to the dirty oil
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  158. label was \'\'too slow\" and failed to grasp the magnitude of the
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  160. situation.   As the Minister representing Alberta and one of the
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  162. most senior Ministers in the Cabinet, Prentice made clear that he
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  164. was constantly monitoring the situation.  He noted that if industry
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  166. did not take voluntary measures and if the provincial government
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  168. did not set more stringent regulations, he would step in and press
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  170. federal environmental legislation.   In response to the
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  172. Ambassador\'s inquiry about a possible moratorium on further
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  174. expansion in the oil sands, Prentice didn\'t think it was necessary
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  176. at this time and felt growth to the 3-4 m/b/d was sustainable.  He
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  178. agreed that the province should be looking at cumulative
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  180. environmental impacts and addressing long-term sustainability
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  182. concerns.    At the end of the day, Prentice wants Canada to be
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  184. billed as the most environmentally-conscious energy superpower.
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  186.  
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  188.  
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  190.  
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  192. 4)      As the topic turned to climate change, Minister Prentice
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  194. highlighted a number of concerns that he was interested in
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  196. discussing further, preferably with Senator Kerry prior to the
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  198. passage of legislation in the Senate.  These issues include:  the
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  200. need for an integrated carbon market, necessitated by the
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  202. integrated nature of our economies and energy markets; a harmonized
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  204. approach to a low-carbon fuel standard; further discussion of
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  206. renewable portfolio standards; an assessment of the impact/nature
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  208. of border adjustment measures; and a general increase in
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  212. OTTAWA 00000874  002 OF 002
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  214.  
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  218. understanding to avoid inadvertent/unintended consequences of U.S.
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  220. legislation on Canada.  The Ambassador offered to assist in setting
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  222. up a conversation with Senator Kerry, as well as exploring the
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  224. possibility of initiating a dialogue on a harmonized continental
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  226. carbon market.
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  234. 5)      The last major topic of discussion was a mutual interest in
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  236. the protection of and long-term health of the Great Lakes.  Both
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  238. parties expressed a desire to work collaboratively on such efforts.
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  240. Overall, the lunch was a success and laid a number of markers for
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  242. further cooperation.  Minister Prentice and Ambassador Jacobson
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  244. will be meeting again for dinner on November 9, building further on
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  246. their relationship.    End Cable.
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  248. JACOBSON
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  250. "
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