Neil Young Renews Feud With Ottawa Over Oilsands Fight

Global Citizen Festival - Neil Young
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"Of course, rock stars don't need oil," the rocker told Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper's spokesman in an exchange over energy exploration.

TORONTO -- Rock stars don't need oil.

That's the word from Neil Young after a spokesman for Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper said rock stars depend on the oil industry to sustain their celebrity lifestyle.

"Of course, rock stars don't need oil. I drove my electric car from California to the tar sands and on to Washington D.C. without using any oil at all, and I'm a rock star," Young said as continues a series of Canadian benefit concerts to raise money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation legal defense fund.

"My car's generator runs on biomass, one of several future fuels Canada should be developing for the post fossil fuel age," Young said in a statement published on the website.

His broadside followed Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the Canadian prime minister office in Ottawa, earlier indicating Canada's resource industry helps power rock stardom.

"Even the lifestyle of a rock star relies, to some degree, on the resources developed by thousands of hard-working Canadians every day," MacDonald told when asked about Young's Canadian concert tour.

In their exchange, MacDonald urged that Alberta's oil sector provides Canada with an "economic opportunity" and highly paid jobs for Canadians.

But Young countered that Canada's oilsands projects "are among the very dirtiest on earth," and daily spew as much CO2 into the atmosphere as all Canadian cars combined.

Diana Krall is opening for Young during his Honor the Treaties concerts, with the next date in Winnipeg, and the final stop in Calgary, Alberta.