The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Will Craven, 415 407 3426,,

Canada Places 'Personal Ad' to Obama in US Newspapers ahead of his Feb. 19 Visit

New York Post, SF Chronicle, LA Times, Craigslist feature playful appeals asking Obama to reject Dirty Canadian Tar Sands Oil


Environmental group ForestEthics placed personal ads in three
large-circulation papers and Craigslist portals across North America
today to highlight growing concerns surrounding Canada's Tar Sands oil
developments ahead of President Obama's trip to Canada next Thursday.
The United States gets more of its oil from Canada than from any other
nation and much it comes from Alberta's Tar Sands, home to the dirtiest
oil in the world.

In Canada, President Obama is expected to
discuss energy and climate issues with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper. Harper, a strong proponent of expanded Tar Sands developments,
is expected to propose a joint US-Canada climate pact that will seek to
contain greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously exempting
Canada's fastest-growing source of emissions: the Tar Sands.

if conventional oil doesn't cause enough problems around the world, the
Tar Sands are a Frankenstein of local and global environmental
hazards," said Todd Paglia, executive director of ForestEthics. "They
have no part to play in the plan for a clean energy future."

Facts about Canada's Tar Sands:

  • Local communities downstream of the Tar Sands are experiencing rare forms of cancer;
  • The production of Tar Sands oil generates three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventional oil;
  • Toxic ponds--so big they can be seen from space--are bleeding dangerous chemicals into the water;
  • "Duck-rakers" are employed by oil companies in the Tar Sands to remove dead ducks and other birds from the toxic ponds;
  • President Obama has pledged to spend $15 billion per year to catalyze
    investment in new jobs in the clean energy sector. The Tar Sands
    undercut these investments;
  • the Canadian province of Alberta
    is spending $25 million to convince Americans that the Tar Sands are a
    solution to our energy needs.

The personals ads will run in the
New York Post's 'Personal Messages' section for one week, the Los
Angeles Times' 'Personals' section for four days, and the San Francisco
Chronicle's 'Personals' section for five days. The Chicago Tribune
declined to run the personal ad.

The ad will also run in the
'Strictly Platonic' section of across North America. It
can be found by searching for the word "sands" on the site.

Tuesday, a full-page ad will run in USA Today raising awareness of the
Tar Sands and urging President Obama to prioritize clean energy over
fossil fuels.

Founded in 2000, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing--one of our focus areas is climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked. We catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting and highly effective campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve our goals.