Campaign asks Americans to choose Canada first for oil imports

Billboards in Times Square, strategic U.S. markets tout benefits of Canadian energy

By CEC Staff

Sept. 27, 2021 – The first phase of a new Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) awareness campaign launched in the United States today asks Americans to choose Canadian oil imports first for solutions to cleaner energy production and a break from rising prices at the pumps.

This includes informing Americans the U.S. has a choice from where it imports oil, and that Canada is a better, closer, cleaner and friendlier option compared to countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia. The US uses approximately nine million barrels of oil per day beyond what is produced domestically.

The friendly campaign with the message Cleaner, Closer, Committed to Net Zero was launched today with billboards in Times Square and in strategic high-profile locations in New York City and Washington D.C.  The approximately $240,000 initiative is a reminder to Americans that their friends and allies in Canada hold solutions to cleaner energy and lower gas prices – and the key to a strong post-pandemic economic recovery.

The outdoor and online campaign will direct people to information about Canada’s responsible energy development at www.friendlyenergy.com.  The campaign will also feature a grassroots component that calls on Canadians and Americans to respectfully advocate to the president and U.S. lawmakers about the benefits of Canadian energy.

“We want to give our American friends the information they need to urge their leaders to look to safe, responsible and increasingly less intensive crude from Canada that U.S. refiners need and that will help keep gas prices down,” said Canadian Energy Centre CEO Tom Olsen.

“We are speaking out for the many Canadians and Americans dismayed that the U.S. government asked OPEC+ countries for more oil to curb rising gas prices, rather than working with Canada.”

Olsen pointed out the U.S. government closed the door on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have been the first pipeline operated at net-zero emissions and eventually powered by renewable energy resources.

“While Keystone XL’s fate has been decided for now, there remains urgency in letting Americans know any further threatened sanctions in the U.S. on pipelines by state governments and activist-led court challenges will be detrimental to American families, struggling to get back on their feet from the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

While Americans would like the country to be truly energy independent, it is vital to note that there is still a need to import oil from foreign countries. Of the top ten countries from which the U.S. imported oil in June 2021, three were designated Not Free (Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq) and three were designated as Partly Free (Mexico, Nigeria and Colombia). The campaign will highlight that oil from Canada is a better option for America.

Specifics for the billboard advertising include:

  • Two digital billboards in Times Square for a four-week period and online display campaign promoting Canada as the responsible and reliable energy provider for the U.S.
  • A static digital billboard, located in Astor on New York’s Grand Central Parkway, for a two-week period targeting traffic heading to LaGuardia Airport, the Mets Citi Field Stadium and a “chokepoint” for traffic to Queens.
  • Three full-motion digital billboards for a two-week period on the exterior of the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas.

“Canada’s responsible energy production is a critical element to helping our First Nations people find a pathway to prosperity. It only makes sense for our friends and allies in the United States to use oil produced here, in place of that being imported from Russia, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Thousands of Indigenous people on both sides of the border benefit from the industry, through jobs and other benefits that help to address poverty. We are able to do so while ensuring the land is protected. Protecting the land is part of our culture.  We believe climate change is a real issue. But we don’t believe that cutting off oil and gas is the way to go to reaching a low-carbon future. Canada’s energy industry can lead the way for the world. We applaud the Canadian Energy Centre for undertaking this important initiative.”

-Dale Swampy, CEO of the National Coalition of Chiefs

“Canadian oil and gas exports to the U.S. support thousands of jobs and families on both sides of the border. Canada’s oil industry operates to some of the highest environmental standards, and there is a real commitment to constant improvement. Americans should make sure their policy makers are choosing Canadian oil and gas over places like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Thank you to the Canadian Energy Centre for getting the message out.”

– Scott Archer, Business Agent with UA Local 663 in Sarnia, Ontario (United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada)

“EPAC supports the CEC concept of direct public advocacy in major U.S. centers, which will speak about clean Canadian energy. I’m sure most Americans would prefer to use oil from their friends and allies here in Canada, as opposed to imports from jurisdictions with limited focus on the environment, labour rights, and indigenous participation, for example.

The CEC continues to build momentum and positive results for Alberta’s energy products and is critical to the long-term success of Canada’s positive energy brand.”

-Tristan Goodman, President of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada.