Our mission is to bring corporations back in service to and under the control of the citizenry.
Corporate Ethics International
• Main Office: 221 Pine Street - 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
• Mailing Address:P.O. Box 2401, Suisun City, CA 94585
info at corpethics.org
Recent TSC Articles
Many people are concerned with what is happening in Alberta, Canada. They are variously concerned about their health, the health of their environment, the monies spent on extraction of a resource to feed the unchecked power needs of the United States, and the global effects of the inefficient mining process currently in use.
The Tar Sands Campaign is determined to educate the wider public about the true costs of the tar sands operations, and about those responsible for these operations. To that end, many articles and reports that cover aspects of the tar sands operations will be gathered here for easy access.
Proceed with caution when betting against environmentalists
by Martin Mittelstaedt
, Globe and Mail
Oil sands investors, it turns out, should have listened to environmentalists after all.
Placing a bet on the oil sands, once thought of as a sure path to riches, is looking like an over-hyped investment theme in the process of confronting a less glamorous reality. Stocks in companies involved in the industry have been taking on water, but they’re not yet cheap enough to make compelling buys.
BREAKING: Sustained Hunger Strike Launched with Blockade at Valero’s Houston Refinery
UPDATE: 4:00 PM – Diane and Bob Refuse Their First Meal in Jail – The Hunger Strike Has Begun
Blockading the dirty fuel and chemicals entering the Manchester community was just the opening salvo of Bob and Diane’s action. Today the two lifelong friends begin a sustained hunger strike to demand that Valero, which has made the largest commitment to tar sands from Keystone XL, divest entirely from this dangerous project and invest that money into the health and well-being of the people of Manchester. Hunger strikers will begin their protest in theHarris County Jail.
First Nation and Metis groups denied effective access to justice
November 26, 2012 Fort McMurray, AB – Today the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) received a decision from the Alberta Court of appeal dismissing their application for leave to appeal a decision of the Joint Review Panel to not review the adequacy of Crown consultation before deciding whether to approve Shell’s Jackpine Mine expansion project. The First Nation is extremely disappointed and is currently reviewing their options to address the lack of adequate consultation with respect to Shell’s tar sands project.
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
The White House
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
Tar sands have trouble ‘getting to market’ – new report
by Lorne Stockman
, Oilchange International
Our latest report, Getting to Market: Emerging Investor Risks in the Tar Sands highlights the latest challenge facing the tar sands industry and warns investors to look more critically at industry’s ambitious claims.
Download the full report
Tar sands extraction projects are moving forward with increasing pace. The industry ambition is to grow production from today’s level an extraordinary 140 percent by 2025.
Environmental impacts are a concern, particularly greenhouse gas emissions and water. Spills from existing pipelines have put pipeline route communities on high alert. The over 1 million gallons spilt into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July 2010 is still
'Secret' Environment Canada Presentation Warns of Oilsands' Impact on Habitat
by Mike DeSouza, postmedia
, Common Dreams
Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a "high-profile concern" for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released "secret" presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry's growing footprint on land, air, water and the climate.
Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a "high-profile concern" for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released "secret" presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry's growing footprint on land, air, water and the climate. The warnings from the department contrast with recent claims made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Peter Kent that the industry is being unfairly targeted by environmentalists who exaggerate its impacts on nature and people.
GOP's XL pipeline project will increase gas prices and oil profits not much else
by Leo Kapakos
On NBC's Meet the Press, House Speaker John Boehner rejected the plan agreed to by the Senate and the White House to extend the payroll tax cut and the delivery of unemployment benefits by two months giving the President more time to review the Keystone XL pipeline project. Boehner's decision to let Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) negotiate a deal with the Democrats apparently backfired on him. The deal infuriated House Republicans who vowed to oppose the two-month extension, citing tax uncertainty and resistance to the idea of another protracted tax fight at the end of February. Instead they are calling for a year-long extension, and Boehner is now going to bat for their demand.
In Internal Canadian Documents, a Warning on Oil Sands
by Ian Austin
Internal government documents show that Canada’s scientific and environmental bureaucracy does not share the Conservative government’s view that oil sands projects in Alberta have relatively little negative impact on the environment.
Postmedia News, a publisher that owns several major Canadian newspapers including The National Post in Toronto, obtained the previously confidential material through Canada’s access-to-information laws.
Keystone XL and Jobs: Just More Pipe Dreams
by Robert Redford
This week the GOP leadership, once again, has sided with Big Oil against the will of the American people. They are trying to circumvent President Obama's decision to further investigate the impacts of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. GOP leadership is instead advocating for granting the permit now, or else they will hold up important legislation meant to benefit real people's real lives.
Big Oil’s Pipeline Stunt Will Backfire (Updated)
by Jeremy Symons
12/22 Update: Press reports indicate this afternoon that the House GOP will blink on the payroll tax bill and sign off on the version passed by a bi-partisan margin in the Senate. Of course, we have heard this before, so no telling for sure what will happen until it is on the president’s desk.
The bill heading to the president will likely include the rider that rushes the decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. So what does this mean for the pipeline? Speaker Boehner is trying to satisfy Big Oil’s lobbyists and some of the GOP’s top corporate donors by forcing the president to make a hasty decision, but it will backfire. I am confident that President Obama will stand up to big oil and reject this dangerous and unnecessary pipeline because it is the right thing to do, and that the American public will support him. Americans understand that it is wrong to play political games and strip families of our right to protect our land and our clean water from foreign oil companies, because you can’t drink oil.
New report finds Alberta must strengthen emissions rules to meet climate commitments
by Simon Dyer
In the most comprehensive assessment of Alberta’s climate change policies to date, a new report by the Pembina Institute concludes that Alberta’s current approach will deliver less than one third of the greenhouse gas reductions the Government of Alberta has committed to, but strengthening current policies could enable the province to meet its climate targets.
Responsible Action? An assessment of Alberta’s greenhouse gas policies provides a detailed evaluation of current regulations and financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and identifies key opportunities for the Government of Alberta to strengthen its approach to climate change.
Chiquita agrees to avoid fuel from Tar Sands refineries
US Market trend against Tar Sands continues
Chiquita Brands International will work with ForestEthics to eliminate shipping of Chiquita bananas with fuel from refineries that use Canada’s controversial Tar Sands. Chiquita joins a market trend against Tar Sands that now includes 15 publicly confirmed actions by major US companies.
“Canada’s Tar Sands is all risk and no benefit for leading American brands like Chiquita that are resolved to reduce environmental problems, so they are working hard to get Tar Sands out of their transportation footprint,” said Aaron Sanger of ForestEthics.
Help stop Keystone XL pipeline's long path of destruction
Under the Keystone XL plan, pristine boreal forests in Canada will be clearcut and stripmined for tar sand. That tar sand will be melted into oil, causing significant greenhouse gas emissions, then transported from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico, where most of it will be sold on international markets. Millions of endangered caribou, ducks and songbirds, and more than 70 American rivers and streams are at risk.
The House of Representatives tacked a rider forcing the pipeline to be built to a bill preventing a tax hike on the middle class. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to act. They need to hear from you to take this arbitrary handout to the oil industry off the payroll tax bill.
Tell the Senate to leave the Keystone XL on the cutting room floor.
TransCanada pours cold water on rivals’ plans to ship to Asia
by nathan vanderklippe AND shawn mccarthy
, Globe and Mail
As TransCanada Corp. (TRP-T40.79-0.19-0.46%) grows more optimistic about the prospects for its Keystone XL pipeline, the company is casting doubts on plans by its competitors to ship oil to Canada’s West Coast for export to Asia.
TransCanada has been “taking a pretty hard look” at ways to send Canadian crude to one of the country’s coasts, where it could be loaded onto tankers and shipped to offshore markets, Alex Pourbaix, the company’s president of energy and oil pipelines, said Wednesday.
Energy industry set to cut funding for oil sands environmental watchdog
by Nathan Vanderklippe
, Globe and Mail
The oil sands industry is embroiled in a dispute over its plans to trim funding to an environmental advisory and monitoring group, at a time when companies are moving aggressively to persuade the public they care about being green.
For more than a decade, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association, or CEMA, has funded research to draft recommendations on improving the impact of the oil sands on air, land, water and biodiversity. It draws the bulk of its funding from industry, which has funnelled its dollars through the Oil Sands Developers Group.
Oilsands water monitor awaits orders.
Federal-provincial environment plan yet to emerge
by Dan Healing, Calgary Herald
While federal and provincial politicians ponder how to go about fixing Alberta’s oilsands monitoring system, it’s business as usual at the organization at the centre of the debate.
RAMP — the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program — has made ongoing adjustments to the work it does but has not implemented major changes in the wake of highly critical reviews of its effectiveness, says a member of its communications committee.
New Keystone XL documents raise fresh concerns about State Department
SUBJ: New KXL FOIA docs raise more concerns about State Department collusion with TransCanada as well as potential cover-up; docs have important implications for new environmental review announced by Obama administration
Despite conclusive evidence (see http://foe.org/keystone-xl-pipeline-influence-scandal) that the State Department has overseen a corrupt Keystone XL tar sands pipeline review process, the Obama administration indicated last Thursday (November 10) that the department will remain in charge of the new environmental review of the proposed pipeline.
Keystone delayed: prepare for the industry backlash
by Lorne Stockman
With Keystone XL delayed and almost certainly dead in its current form, the industry is a little upset. What we can expect to see over the next days and weeks and on into the election season is a relentless barrage of misinformation and outright attacks on the green movement, the President and anybody who shares the aspiration to change the wasteful and polluting energy status quo.
The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, that unquestionably objective source of information and analysis on all things oil, has already weighed in with an arrogant and facile statement. The American Petroleum Institute will not be far behind.
Keystone pipeline: State Department agrees to investigate charges
by Suzanne Goldenberg,
The State Department has agreed to an independent investigation of its handling of the Keystone XL pipeline, after charges of influence peddling and conflict of interest from environmental groups and members of Congress.
In a memo, the State Department inspector general's office appointed a senior official to review charges that the oil industry exerted too much weight over decisions about the pipeline project.
Approval Won't Put Keystone XL in the Rear View Mirror
by Guest Blog by Kenny Bruno, Corporate Ethics International
Today, a groundbreaking opinion piece was published in The Hill. Titled “Tar sands pipeline will comfort our enemies,” it is a scathing indictment of the Keystone XL pipeline’s geopolitical impact by someone who knows. Retired Brigadier General Steven Anderson served as the Chief Logistician in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has seen first hand how oil dependence leads directly to the death of American soldiers.
China, and Two More Ethical Challenges to Oil Sands
by Andrew Nikiforuk
In two previous articles, I detailed seven of 10 ethical challenges Canada faces given the way it is exploiting the oil sands. Find those here and here. I wrap up here with the final three.
Ethical Challenge Eight: The Enbridge/Chinese Gamble
Public Comments on Keystone Pipeline Have Disappeared into a Procedural Black Hole
by Lisa Song
, Inside Climate News
State Dept. hearing on Sept. 29 in Atkinson, Neb., on TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL project. Credit: Lisa Song
Five weeks ago, Cindy Myers stood in a high school gymnasium before a crowd of 1,000 and said, "These words could be some of the most important of my life."
Myers was speaking at the Keystone XL oil pipeline hearing in Atkinson, Neb., but her statement could have applied to any of the thousands of people who attended hearings in five other states. Many took a day off work to get in line early; others drove for hours to reach the meetings or spent weeks polishing their testimony. They spoke with passion about jobs and energy security, their fears of water contamination and the risk of an oil spill.
Keystone XL Pipeline: All pain, no gain
by Hayden Brown and Shravya Reddy
This weekend, thousands of people will gather outside the White House to demand that President Obama stop the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have a devastating impact on our global climate. If approved, this pipeline would bring dirty oil sludge (or “tar sands”) from Alberta, Canada to refineries in the U.S. gulf coast for almost fifty years.
Here are some numbers that will give you a sense of what tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline mean for climate change:
Meet the Tar Sands PR Wizard
by Martha van Gelder
, Mother Jones
This summer, as environmental groups converged on Washington, DC, to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a Canadian "grassroots" nonprofit by the name of Ethical Oil went on the counteroffensive. The group's YouTube videos and TV ads all carried the same blunt message: You can buy oil from Saudi Arabia and bankroll terrorism, the oppression of women, and fanatical Islam, or you can buy oil from Canada, your friendly, democratic neighbors to the north.
Facing 'dirty' label, oil patch looks to partners
by Nathan Vanderklippe Oct16
, Globe and Mail
Canada’s energy industry is hoping the European corporate heavyweights in Fort McMurray, Alta., will help to derail a new fuel standard they say discriminates against oil sands crude.
Some time in the next few weeks, European nations will consider a fuel quality directive that seeks to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of transportation fuels. The draft directive, assembled by the European Commission, includes language setting oil sands-derived crude in a distinct and separate category from other oil. It assigns the oil sands oil a substantially higher greenhouse gas intensity: 107 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of energy produced. Most other crudes are lumped into a basket and assigned a value of 87.5.
Europe Labels the Tar Sands “Dirty”
by Andy Rowell
Earlier this year I worked with Friends of the Earth on a report that exposed the extent of Canadian lobbying on the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), a landmark piece of legislation by the EU which hopes to reduce CO2 emissions from transport fuels.
We detailed how there had been a huge number of lobbying events – over 110 – organised by the Canadians on tar sands and the FQD since September 2009 until now.
Tomgram: Bill McKibben, Obama and the Corruption of Big Oil
by Bill McKibben
, Tomgram - Tom Dispatch
At the Occupy Wall Street campgrounds in lower Manhattan, you can find just about anything. Like the sign held by a Marine vet wearing a "Don't Tread on Me" t-shirt (with a "Ban Fracking Now" sticker on one sleeve) and military pants: "2nd time I've fought for my country, 1st time I've known my enemy." It could give you chills. And then there were the older women who cornered me on a visit to the encampment. They were noticeable in part because Zuccotti Park is largely a stakeout for the young and in part because they were insistently shoving a petition at me. It was a call to stop fracking -- the practice of injecting water and potentially dangerous chemicals into rock formations to release natural gas, which can poison local drinking water. (I signed.)
Los Angeles Times: Proposed Keystone XL oil project draws a divisive line
by Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
, tcktcktck / LA Times
Some might have been surprised to hear that plans to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline through the Midwest to the Gulf Coast — a source of new oil and thousands of jobs — would drive an emotional fault line down the middle of the conservative heartland. But any skepticism would have quickly evaporated here in the noisy bleachers of the West Holt High School gymnasium.
Oil sands environmental impact unknown: Canada audit
Key gaps in information mean Canada has been unable to assess the impact of exploiting Alberta's oil sands, the nation's environment commissioner said Tuesday.
Lack of information due to "insufficient or inadequate environmental monitoring systems" mean the federal environmental and water agencies cannot build a clear picture of how regional ecosystems have been affected by oil sands projects, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development said in a report to parliament.
Koch Industries stands to profit off Keystone XL
by Sarah Laskow
Every step the Obama administration takes towards approving the Keystone XL pipeline means a step towards putting more money into the pockets of Koch Industries. Although the company has denied having an interest in the pipeline (it has "nothing to do with any of our businesses," company reps have told Rep. Henry Waxman's staff), Inside Climate News has uncovered documents proving that a Koch Industries subsidiary has a business interest in the approval of the pipeline.
Say No to the Keystone XL
Unless good sense intervenes, it looks increasingly likely that the State Department will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry a coarse, acidic crude oil from northern Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. That would be a mistake.
Conservation Groups: Canada's Tar Sands Extraction Violates International Wildlife Treaties
conservation groups represented by Earthjustice and Ecojustice Canada, submitted a petition to Interior Secretary Salazar asking him to report to President Obama that Canada’s destructive tar sands extraction undermines international efforts to protect endangered and threatened species. The petition documents how tar sands mining and drilling in Alberta is harming at least 130 migratory bird species, including endangered whooping cranes, as well as threatened woodland caribou herds.
Pot Calls Kettle Black: Saudi Government Sues Over Canadian Ethical Oil Ads
Those clever shills for the tar sands industry, EthicalOil.org, have been running ads on the Oprah Winfrey Show and other networks that claim that by buying Saudi oil, "We've bankrolled a state that doesn't allow women to drive and that doesn't allow them to leave their homes or work without their male guardian's permission." (Brian enjoyed them here)
DENE NATION BECOMES PART OF INTERNATIONAL ACCORD OPPOSED TO KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
The Dene Nation has helped prepare an accord opposing the Keystone XL pipeline with First Nations, tribal leaders, and property owners in the United States and Canada. The accord was agreed to at a meeting on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota last week, and is the latest in a serious of coordinated actions between different entities with diverse interests opposing the pipeline.
Tar-sands pipeline ‘safety conditions’ are smoke and mirrors
by Anthony Swift, National Resources Defense Council, 19 Aug 2011
Proponents of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline are using a disingenuous argument to avoid further scrutiny of TransCanada’s proposed pipeline. They argue that the concerns of landowners, farmers, and first responders regarding the safety of Keystone XL are unreasonable because TransCanada has agreed to 57 conditions suggested by pipeline safety regulators that will make it safer than other pipelines.
Four Arrested in Idaho Fighting Exxon and the Megaloads
In the early hours of this fine Friday morning, folks in Moscow sent a direct message to Exxon and all future shippers of oversize tar-sands related equipment that no road should accept the movement of equipment being used in the genocide of First Nations communities and environmental destruction in Northern Alberta. In light of Exxon’s recent shift to using alternative Idaho roads and trucking smaller pieces of equipment, the protest in Moscow is a significant one. The issue isn’t simply just the beauty and integrity of Highway 12, but the need for all peoples to stand in solidarity with each other as we face the increasing torrent of environmental destruction here and around the world.
Canada's PR work for tar sands: dirty, crude and oily
by Martin Lukacs
Another climate-related record will soon be broken, but it's not like those you've been hearing about: the heat waves, droughts and torrential floods setting calamitous precedents everywhere. For a change, mark down this next one as a sign of hope. It's that Washington will play host to the largest act of civil disobedience for the climate in US history.
Oil Spills Inspire Bipartisan Surprise on Federal Pipeline Safety Reforms
by Elizabeth McGowan, SolveClimate News
, Solve Climate
A series of headline-grabbing ruptures along the nation's 2.5 million-mile network of oil and gas pipelines is prompting a rare attempt at bipartisanship. Democrats and Republicans seem equally intent on significantly beefing up the pipeline safety standards that might have prevented some of these spills.
Jobs Claims For Keystone XL Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny
by Ryan Salmon
, NAtional Wildlife Federation
Canadian oil giants are trading on Americans’ insecurity about the U.S. economy to sell us their risky Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Their job claims amount to little more than snake oil and won’t cure what ails our economy. Today, they got a hand from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which held a tele-press conference to defend TransCanada’s proposed pipeline in advance of the State Department’s release of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which is expected any day.
Pipeline Through Paradise
by By Bruce Barcott
, National Geographic
The Queen of the North was the pride of the BC Ferries fleet—right up until the night she sank. On March 22, 2006, during a routine run from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy, the ferry exited the narrow 45-mile Grenville Channel just past midnight. Then something went wrong.
Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
Americans Against BigOil Ripoffs
TransCanada plans to raise gas prices by building the Keystone XL pipeline. The company claims that the pipeline will create jobs and enhance energy security, but its real goal is to raise crude oil prices for Canadian producers of tar sands oil in Alberta.
Oil sands critics target a new concern – pipelines
by Nathan Vanderklippe
, Globe and Mail
The crude oil that is pulled from Canada’s oil sands is thick and heavy, a black tar-like substance that takes large amounts of energy and effort to make into end products like gasoline and diesel. Even some people in the Alberta energy industry describe it as “nasty” stuff.
U.S. Chamber Launches Effort To Support Bringing Dirty Tar Sands Oil Down South
by Daniel Kessler, Oakland, CA
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long served as a brake on progress when it comes to creating a new economy that is fueled by renewable energy. The secretive organization (it doesn't reveal its membership) has opposed climate and energy action at every turn, and now it has its sights on the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial proposed 1700 mile-long pipeline that would carry bitumen from Canada's tar sands all the way to Texas.
Fake Followers and Twitter Astroturf: It's Sorta Social, Demented and Sad, But Social
by Celia Alario
"It's sorta social, demented and sad, but social."
I couldn't help but think of that great line from the brat pack classic The Breakfast Club when I read on Mother Jones and Rainforest Action Network's Understory blog about last Thursday's discovery that Big Oil has resorted to creating fake Twitter accounts in order to fabricate an illusion of 'grassroots' support for the controversial Keystone pipeline project. If approved by the Obama administration, Keystone XL would bring Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta down to the lower 48. Find out why this is a really bad idea here.
Lemon or Lamborghini? Investors require the full picture on oilsands liabilities
by Nathan Lemphers
Ever tried buying a car without an inspection? Or having only the engine examined but not the brakes? If so, you'd be playing a game of chance if the car had some rather expensive upcoming maintenance bills. Turns out for investors wanting to put their cash on the oilsands, it's currently not possible to have the full picture on oilsands liabilities.
Indigenous Peoples: Civil disobedience to halt dirty Tar Sands pipeline in US
by Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
NEW TOWN, North Dakota --The resistance to the dirty Tar Sands announced plans for civil disobedience in Washington to send a message to the Obama Administration to halt a plan for use of the dirtiest oil on the planet, which threatens natural resources and humanity in North America, including Indian country.
Officials Acknowledge XL Tar Sands Pipeline Skipped on Safety
by Tony Iallonardo
House and Senate Make Hopeful Progress Amidst Rash of Spills.Emerging from talks with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird late this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the State Department is getting ready to approve the dirtiest, largest pipeline ever to be built in the U.S. The diplomatic-speak whereby Mr. Baird said he wanted a fast decision, while Mrs. Clinton said they had agreed to some safety enhancements seemed to signal the permit process is drawing to a close.
Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
by Friends of the Earth
"Essentially game over" for the climate.
That's what climate scientist James Hanson calls the proposed Keystone XL pipeline -- which would carry oil out of Canada's vast tar sands oil fields to Texas, where it will be refined, then burned across the globe, dealing a catastrophic blow to our chance of returning earth to a stable climate.
The Keystone XL Pipeline: A Tar Sands Folly?
by Bill Chameides
Hillary Clinton is in the tar sands hot seat. Is she asking the right questions?
The U.S. State Department is in the rare position of having to decide on an environmental issue. TransCanada wants to expand an existing pipeline to bring tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas. Because it's an international project, the State Department must review and approve it, a process expected to be completed by year's end but that could be extended to complete a "thorough review process."
Silvertip and The Logic of “Next Time”
Northern Rockies Rising Tide
One week before the Silvertip Pipeline burst and then bled into the Yellowstone River, Brian Schweitzer met with representatives from ExxonMobil regarding the Kearl Module Transportation Project, or “megaload” shipments. Although we have no way of knowing the full content of their conversation, it is reasonable to assume that the discussion involved the details of the project, repeated assurances of its safety, and a feeble request by the Governor that the shipments be built in Montana rather than abroad.
National Geographic spotlights proposed oilsands pipeline to B.C.
National Geographic magazine has again focused attention on Alberta’s oilsands, this time with an article on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway project titled “Pipeline Through Paradise.”
The magazine will hit newsstands this week, but the online version is available now.
The article details the sinking of B.C. Ferries’ Queen of the North in 2006, and the oil still leaking from the submerged vessel, suggesting this is a taste of what is in store for the north coast of B.C.
Shining a light on Europe’s role in the Tar Sands
UK Tar Sands Network and friends have been in Brussels for the Canada-EU trade talks. The tar sands may be being extracted in Canada, but the debate over the industry’s future is raging in Europe this week. On Monday 11th July, the next round of Canada-EU trade negotiations (CETA) began. These secretive talks could be dangerous
Keystone XL pipeline would screw over farmers, threaten aquifer
by Carrie La Seur
The other morning I took a call, like so many other calls I’ve taken over the last four years, from another Dakota farmer wondering how his land may be affected by the Keystone XL pipeline. He had a notice of condemnation and interrogatories from TransCanada in hand, and I wish I’d had better news for him.
When oil goes out of fashion
by Merran Smith
All Canadians — the energy sector, environmental groups, the faith community, labour organizations, heath advocates, finance and insurance sectors, aboriginal leaders and other Canadians — now have both an opportunity and obligation to come together to chart a new course for this country.
"Anonymous" Hackers Attack Monsanto, Tar Sands Oil Companies
by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York
activist hacking group "Anonymous" has launched two new campaigns championing a pair of green causes -- helping U.S. farmers earn the right to label their food as "GMO-free" and working to obstruct the expansion of the devastating tar sands oil project in Alberta, Canada. Monsanto, the giant biotech firm, has confirmed it was the victim of a large-scale hacking attack. And the oil companies are next, Anonymous says.
Midlands Voices: Tar-sands oil can worsen impact of global warming
by John Atkeison and Bruce E. Johansen
The proposed TransCanada Keystone XL oil pipeline could spill some of its freight in our underground water supply. The Keystone I already has a record of 12 leaks in 12 months. The environmental cost of the pipeline and its contents would not stop there, however.
Pipeline Climate Disaster: The Keystone XL Pipeline and Labor
by [by Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith]
, Labor Network for Sustainability
More than two million American construction workers — nearly one in five — are currently unemployed. Factories that produce building materials are operating at only half their capacity. So when a private company proposes a project that it claims will spur the creation of 118,000 new jobs, it is hardly surprising that unions representing construction, transportation, and related workers pricked up their ears.
The People v. the Pipeline: Time to Join In
by Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Danny Glover, Maude Barlow, Tom Goldtooth, James Hansen, Wes Jackson, Naomi Klein, George Poitras, David Suzuki, Gus Speth
This will be a slightly longer letter than common for the internet age—it’s serious stuff.
The short version is we want you to consider doing something hard: coming to Washington in the hottest and stickiest weeks of the summer and engaging in civil disobedience that will likely get you arrested.
The full version goes like this:
As you know, the planet is steadily warming: 2010 was the warmest year on record, and we’ve seen the resulting chaos in almost every corner of the earth.
Canada's crude politics on oil sands
by Martin Lukacs
A certain powerful North American country has been brazenly meddling in Europe's affairs, bullying and twisting arms to advance a corporate agenda on the most pressing environmental issue of our time. A phalanx of its lobbyists has descended on European capitals to covertly scheme with oil companies and menace EU parliamentarians who would dare address climate change.
US DOT Order Shuts Down Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline for Corrective Action
by Tony Iallonardo
As the State Department likely wraps up a comment period on the second round of environmental review for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on Monday, the US Department of Transportation today issued a first-ever “Corrective Action Order” for the leak-prone one year old Keystone pipeline. The order requires TransCanada to meet 14 conditions before the pipeline can restart and raises serious doubts about TransCanada’s ability to build safe tar sands pipelines.
Tar Sands Oil Extraction - The Dirty Truth
Environmental devastation of the land, water, and air - the largest industrial energy project in the world is extracting crude oil from bitumen found beneath the pristine boreal forest of Alberta, Canada. Effecting a land mass equivalent in size to Florida or England, Both industry and government are putting money before the health and security of its people and the environment.
Anti-oil sands laws in US and EU face new attacks
by Geoff Dembicki
Two clean energy laws targeting Alberta’s oil sands – one in the United States, one in Europe – are facing new threats to their existence. If both are overturned, fear environmental observers, it could represent a major step backwards for developed world efforts to fight global warming.
Regulatory fight in a Canadian oil-sands box
by Bill Mann
, Market Watch
A big battle is shaping up over environmental regulation of Canada’s oil sands, the second-largest oil deposits in the world. And, surprisingly, it’s Conservatives against Conservatives.
In this corner, it’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s federal Conservatives, who just gained a majority government. In that corner, it’s Alberta’s conservative provincial government, led by hard-nosed, oil-industry friendly premier Ed Stelmach.
ExxonMobil Shareholders Ask for Disclosure on Tar Sands Investments
by GinaMarie Cheeseman
Green Century Capital Management filed a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil to disclose information about its investments in Canadian oil sands (commonly called tar sands). Canada’s tar sands are the second largest oil resource in the world, with over 173 billion barrels in reserve. By the end of last year, ExxonMobil’s “total proved reserves in the oil sands were over 2.78 billion barrels-just over 11 percent of the company’s total proved reserves,” according to a press release by Green Century.
Demanding Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail — Now
by By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
The Canadian company TransCanada is hoping to win State Department approval of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry “oil sands” oil to the Gulf Coast for refining. To this end, it has spent $310,000 this year lobbying in Washington for the cause.
How TransCanada Pipelines bullies farmers,
manipulates oil markets, threatens fresh water
and skimps on safety in the United States.
Alberta pipeline leak largest since 1975
by NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
, Globe and Mail
A major pipeline oil leak is the largest in Alberta since 1975, the province’s energy regulator says.
About 28,000 barrels poured out of the Plains Midstream Canada Rainbow pipeline 100 kilometres northeast of Peace River, the Energy Resources Conservation Board said Tuesday, four days after the spill occurred. The spill raises new questions about the health of Alberta’s aging pipeline system.
ITD Moves Goalposts to Wherever ExxonMobil Happens to Kick the Ball
A “test module” for proposed megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho that made it into Montana this week took weeks to arrive and caused a five-hour power outage and hour-long traffic delay along the way, but state transportation officials and Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil are calling it a success.
A new report, Dirty Business: How TransCanada Pipelines bullies farmers, manipulates oil markets, threatens fresh water and skimps on safety in the United States, examines the tactics and motivations of TransCanada Pipelines, one of the continent’s largest pipeline companies, as it pushes for approval of its proposed mega-project, the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.
It's Your Land: Enormous Pipeline Impacts Thousands of Homeowners in Six States
by By Maggie Kerkman
Walking along with Eleanor Fairchild, it’s easy to see why she and her late husband fell in love with their property in East Texas. It’s more than 300 acres of wooded hills and wide open grassy meadows now dotted with wildflowers. It also has a 4-acre lake where Fairchild, in her 70s, still loves to fish. “This was our dream place,” says Fairchild, “it really was.”
Nez Perce, CSKT seek to join lawsuit against Kearl megaloads
by KIM BRIGGEMAN
Two tribes along the route of the Kearl Module Transportation Project have asked to take part in litigation designed to halt it.
Western Montana's Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as well as the Nez Perce of Idaho, filed a motion in Missoula County District Court Wednesday asking to have their say in the suit against the Montana Department of Transportation.
Strike Two!: Keystone XL's Second Federal Environmental Review Misses the Mark (Again)
the State Department released a second round of environmental review for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline which is meant to address issues left out or inadequately addressed in earlier analyses. Notably, this version does not include sufficient evaluation of alternative pipeline routes to avoid the Nebraska Sandhills or Ogallala Aquifer and contains no pipeline safety information from the U.S. Pipeline Safety Administration, according to NRDC.
Protesters demand halt to bank’s tar sands financing
by CHRIS WATT and SIMON BAIN
, Herald - Scotland
PROTESTERS yesterday hijacked a meeting of the Royal Bank of Scotland to demand an end to state-backed funding for tar sands oil projects.
Representatives of Canada’s First Nations visited Edinburgh to tell the bank’s annual meeting that oil extraction could threaten their way of life and cause untold environmental damage in the event of a spill.
The Scottish bank has raised well over £100 million in funding for Enbridge, the Canadian company behind the controversial Northern Gateway Pipelines in Alberta.
Montana Judge Halts Highway Construction for "Megaload" Exxon Shipments
by Bobby McEnaney’s Blog
, NRDC switchboard
On Monday, April 18, a Montana state judge issued a temporary restraining order that indefinitely suspends efforts by Exxon and the State of Montana from improving turnouts and other additional infrastructural modifications to the state’s highway system that would be needed to facilitate over 200 planned “megaload” shipments. As discussed in a previous post, Exxon is proposing to ship over 200 oversized shipments of mining equipment to Exxon’s Kearl tar sands operations in Alberta by establishing a ‘shortcut’ route through the Lolo Pass high in the Rocky Mountains that connects Idaho and Montana.
Clinton's tar sands pipeline: who will bear the burden of a weak safety analysis?
by By Anthony Swift and Susan Casey-Lefkowitz
The supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf coast was released by the State Department on April 15. It is inadequate as already introduced in an earlier blog. For this blog, we’ll focus in on the pipeline safety aspects.
Imperial/ExxonMobil Module First Night’s Test Grade = FAIL!!!!!
by * Trish Weber * News
, All against the haul
also known as: “Hello, Schadenfraude, my old friend…”
If anyone (other than our intrepid monitors) were out and about in Orofino ID last night and wondered why the street lights all dimmed suddenly, it was because the first ExxonMobil megaload knocked out a high voltage power line during its first night’s travel.
From the official ITD press release:
The load ... hit a guy wire strung across the highway at milepost 47. A pole holding the guy wire up broke, and the guy wire was flung over a nearby high voltage power line. The highway was closed for approximately 60 minutes while waiting for Avista Power to assess the situation.
Why Canadian oil does not make America secure
Political turmoil in the Middle East once again exposes America’s dependence on oil and its vulnerability to global price spikes. On Capitol Hill, Big Oil’s political lackeys are stepping up their campaign for supply solutions and the current must-have item on their list is the Keystone XL pipeline and the dirty tar sands oil it will deliver.
to help stop the dirtiest oil on earth