Suncor Energy's Rick George blogs about oil sands

CALGARY: Rick George, president and CEO of Suncor Energy, has weighed in on the environmental impact of oil sands in his first-ever blog.

CALGARY: Rick George, president and CEO of Suncor Energy, has weighed in on the environmental impact of oil sands in his first-ever blog. His blog was posted on Canadasoilsands.ca, a Web site forum created internally by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) “as part of our efforts to listen and respond more effectively to concerns about the environment and social impacts of developing Canada's oil sands,” read the site.

In George's post, he wrote that people have to stop taking sides in the oil sands versus environment debate. “I know it sounds funny coming from an oil sands CEO, but I'm not a supporter of either side. That's because I believe we can do both…produce the crude oil for our economy needs (and consumers' demand) while also taking action to reduce our environmental footprint.” At the end of his positing, George said he will monitor the site and comment from time to time.

“The whole idea [with the site] was that we would have more CEO involvement, but this is actually the first time we've had a CEO make a blog posting” since its launch in June, said Travis Davies, public affairs advisor for the CAPP. “The Web site has its slow moments and heavy moments in terms of traffic, but it seems to be working for us.”

Davies expects the Web site to pick up traction; the hope is that George's posting will spark a dialogue among visitors and other posters. In its ongoing PR battle with environmentalists, the lobby group will also soon have a new leader. David Collyer, the current president of Shell Canada, will become the CAPP's new president. He will replace current president Pierre Alvarez on September 15, 2008.

“This is an important time for this cruical sector and I look forward to working with the industry, government and the public on the challenges we face,” Collyer said in a statement.

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