A letter from Premier Ed Stelmach which aims to clarify misconceptions around Alberta's oil sands for Americans appeared in the Washington Post as an advertisement Friday.

The ad, which was published on page A4 and came at a cost of over $55,000, begins by detailing the strong friendship between the U.S. and Canada and then goes on to promote the Keystone XL pipeline which would carry oil between Canada and the U.S. 

"A lot of critics out there, people who want to shut down the oil sands aren't constrained by facts and we thought it was important to get out some factual information," said Office of the Premier spokesperson Jerry Bellikka. 

The premier promotes the $12 billion pipeline after 50 U.S. congressmen recently argued the project should be put on hold because the pipeline could double consumption of Alberta crude without taking the potential impact to climate change under consideration. 

Stelmach writes, "Though the pipeline could carry oil from various sources in Canada and the U.S., a lot of the debate during the permitting process seems to be centered specially on the transportation of oil from Alberta's oil sands."

The Keystone XL pipeline is promoted in the ad as being a tool to benefit the U.S. economically because, "as recently forecast by the Canadian Energy Research Institute, over the next five years, oil sands development will result in an additional 343,000 jobs in the U.S. and, over the next 15 years, an average annual increase in U.S. GDP of over $30 billion."

The letter then goes on to "clarify a few misconceptions around Alberta's oil sands," by maintaining that Alberta is and continues to be a safe, reliable and responsible energy producer.

"We stand virtually alone in North America with respect to the regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large industrial facilities. Only in Alberta will you find mandatory GHG reporting requirements, legislation requiring mandatory GHG reductions, and a price on carbon emissions," writes Stelmach.

To view the advertisement click here

CTV news has learned the letter was originally submitted to the Washington Post as an op-ed, but didn't meet the newspapers requirements, so the Government of Alberta decided to purchase ad space to publish the memo. 

"We have absolutely no intention of capitalizing on the disaster in the gulf and using it to our advantage...it's only about the discussion surrounding the Keystone pipeline to the United States," said Bellikka.  

The ad has a number of critics speaking out, including the Alberta NDP and Greenpeace.

"I think the government needs to realize that it doesn't have a public relations problem, it has an environmental impacts problem.," said Greenpeace spokesperson Mike Huddema. 

NDP leader Brian Mason also spoke out Friday saying by supporting the pipeline project the province is giving away jobs to the U.S.  Mason also believes the government is afraid of the U.S. banning oilsands oil, something that has already happened in Washington state.

"Obviously it's an attempt to influence decision makers in Washington," said Mason.

The exact cost of the ad was $55,779.99.