The federal Minister of the Environment was in Calgary on Thursday for a speaking engagement at the Chamber of Commerce.

Peter Kent spoke to a group of industry leaders at a breakfast meeting and addressed the negative reputation that the Alberta oilsands has received from media and protest groups around the world.

"There are some groups, characterized by my colleague, and they are narrowly focused on certain areas that they perceive to be unacceptable in a variety of ways and we intend to fully push back and to counter that respectfully with facts and with science," said Kent.

He also talked about the decision by the United States to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

Kent says the resource industry needs to match the passion of its detractors and combat their claims using facts and science.

"The industry, to a certain extent, has been somewhat remiss in not proclaiming the good news of better practices, better technologies, responsible regulation, and development of our national resources," said Kent.

A small group of protesters demonstrated outside the Chamber and were hoping to confront Kent but they arrived too late.

"Is this what we have to be excited about? Our pipelines and tankers and oil spills? Is this what we should be excited about?" said Protester Travis Ford, "Should we not be doing something else? Should our Environment Minister not be looking after the environment and not exploiting people and our environment for profit?"

The minister says his department is not just there to protect the environment but also to protect jobs, growth and the nation's prosperity by creating a balance and fostering responsible resource development.