May 22, 2009 / 5:28 PM / 11 years ago

Canadian PM says oil sands must be developed

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canada’s oil sands are critical to the Canadian economy and must be developed, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.

Some critics in the United States and elsewhere have suggested banning the import of oil from the oil sands in northern Alberta on the grounds that vast amounts of energy are required to produce it, making oil sands developments major emitters of greenhouse gases.

“We’re working closely with the Alberta government and our provinces to make sure we do everything to ensure the responsible environmental development of this resource but that we do develop it, because it is critical not just to our economy, but to North American energy security as well,” Harper told a news conference in Calgary.

Reporting by Scott Haggett, writing by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway

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