Tar Sands Database

This database is a collection of hundreds of documents gathered through various channels including Access to Information legislation, in depth research, media articles, speeches, official government letters,  and presentations related to our research for the Tar Sands Long Shadow: Canadian Government efforts to kill clean energy policy abroad. This database will continue to grow as more research is compiled.

Un sondage nationale démontre que les Canadiens veulent du leadership sur la protection du climat


Ottawa, ON, le 08 avril 2015 – Les Canadiens croient que la lutte aux changements climatiques est un enjeu moral et que la protection du climat l’emporte sur le développement des sables bitumineux et des oléoducs. Ils veulent que les politiciens proposent des mécanismes de contrôle de la pollution par le carbone et donnent aux citoyens leur mot à dire dans la prise de décision en matière d’énergie.…

EU at stalemate on Canada’s oilsands ranking

European Union officials are at a stalemate after voting on whether to classify Canada’s oilsands crude as more harmful to the environment than other fuels — a proposal that Canada would fight.

The ballot by experts from the EU’s 27 member countries, which are weighted by population, failed to produce the required 255 votes needed to approve the classification.

As a result, the proposal will move up to the European Council, which will vote on it in late spring or …

Enbridge announces $7B Line 3 rebuild, largest project in company history

By Heather Libby

In its largest capital project in history, Enbridge plans to do what Transcanada so far can’t — ship more than half a million barrels of heavy oil across the U.S. border without President Barack Obama’s direct approval.

Late Monday evening, Enbridge announced plans for its largest capital project in history— a $7 billion replacement of its Line 3 pipeline.

The existing Line 3 pipeline is part of Enbridge’s extensive Mainline system. The 34-inch pipe was …

Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada’s resource agenda, documents reveal

By Martin Lukacs

The Canadian government is increasingly worried that the growing clout of aboriginal peoples’ rights could obstruct its aggressive resource development plans, documents reveal.

Since 2008, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has run a risk management program to evaluate and respond to “significant risks” to its agenda, including assertions of treaty rights, the rising expectations of aboriginal peoples, and new legal precedents at odds with the government’s policies.

Yearly government reports obtained by the Guardian predict that the …

Keystone XL protesters arrested at White House

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Police arrested hundreds of people who strapped themselves to the White House fence on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The protesters were mostly college students who participated in a peaceful march that began at Georgetown University and ended outside the White House. They chanted “climate justice now” and carried signs with slogans such as “don’t tarnish the earth” in an effort to persuade President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline. They …

Peter Mansbridge Was Paid By Oil And Gas Lobby For Speech

CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge was paid by a top oil and gas industry group to give a speech on energy, raising new questions about the broadcaster’s conflict of interest policies in the wake of revelations about contributor Rex Murphy’s ties to the energy sector.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) paid Mansbridge to speak at its Investment Symposium in December 2012 and a photo of him giving the address on how “energy has moved to the forefront of …

Is he missing the point? Rex Muphy’s oil sands speeches defended

The Huffington Post Alberta

Rex Murphy just doesn’t get it.

That’s how iPolitics columnist Andrew Mitrovica sees the CBC pundit’s self-defense amid a controversy over his support of the oilsands.

Mitrovica has been vocal in his criticism of Murphy’s pro-oilsands comments to an industry-funded business conference last November, and the CBC’s lack of disclosure around his speaking engagements.

In a National Post column, Murphy defends the talk he gave to the Bennett Jones Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum, …

Enbridge Line 9: W5 uncovers unreported spills, alarming communities along 830-km pipe


An aging Enbridge pipeline that runs across Ontario has had at least 35 spills — far more than reported to federal regulators — but many municipalities along its route have never been informed of the incidents, a CTV W5 investigation reveals.

The National Energy Board, which regulates pipelines in Canada, has records of seven spills, while Enbridge told the investigative program there had been 13.

But W5’s analysis of information from the energy board, the company and

Our Nation, Their Interest


A new report by Environmental Defence and ForestEthics called “Our Nation, Their Interest: The Case Against the Northern Gateway Pipeline and Tanker Project” was released today as part of a BC delegation to Ottawa. The report documents the reasons why Enbridge’s proposal is not in the interest of Canadians, from an economic or environmental perspective. For example, the report finds that the pipeline would carry 100 million tonnes of carbon pollution each year and is premised on a scenario of …

We should assess new pipelines like the Americans do

Clare Demerse

Over the last few months, debates about pipelines have become a staple of the news in Canada. Indeed, pipelines have become the main pretext for our conversations about climate change and the impacts of oil sands development – at least when Neil Young doesn’t happen to be in town.

As a result, many Canadians have come to know the starting lineup of the pipeline expansion team, from Keystone XL and Northern Gateway to Trans Mountain and Line 9, …

Nebraska judge strikes down law that let Keystone pipeline through state


WASHINGTON—Canada’s lobbying campaign for the Keystone XL pipeline took an unexpected blow Wednesday when a Nebraska judge struck down an industry-friendly law used to determine its path through the state, leaving the project in regulatory limbo.

The district court ruling in Nebraska, epicentre of the staunchest opposition to the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline, emerged as a fresh setback to Ottawa’s overarching economy priority.

The decision came mere minutes before Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama emerged

Rex Murphy’s pro-oil sands speech prompts CBC to review journalistic rules

By Mychaylo Prystupa

On Jan.17, on his weekly spot on CBC’s The National, Rex Murphy slammed Neil Young for what he called the rockstar’s “unfathomably irresponsible” comments against Alberta’s oil sands.

But what the famous Newfoundlander did not reveal on his “Point of View” TV segment was whether Murphy also receives payments for his work outside the CBC, giving pro-oil sands speeches.

iPolitics columnist Andrew Mitrovica calls that a serious conflict of interest.

“His audiences have a right to know …

Reality Check: Water and the Tar Sands


Big Oil is spending millions of dollars to try to greenwash the tar sands, Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. A new report, Reality Check: Water and the Tar Sands, sets the record straight on industry claims that misrepresent the tar sands industry’s use of the Athabasca River.

The report counters claims by industry and industry-affiliated groups about the use of freshwater from the Athabasca River, the toxicity of tailings, the amount of tailings leaking into the watershed, …

Pretending Keystone XL Politics Is Science

By Paul Thacker

Last Friday, InsideClimate News revealed yet another possible conflict of interest in the ongoing drama surrounding the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. It turns out that “the analysis of greenhouse-gas emission presented by the State Department in its new environmental impact statement … includes dozens of references to reports by Jacobs Consultancy, a group that is owned by a big tar sands developer and that was hired by the Alberta government—which strongly favors the project.”

You might …

More Bang For Our Buck


Canada’s increasing reliance on the oil sands is not the best strategy for the economy or our environment. This report shows if the $1.3 billion in government subsidies, now given to the oil and gas sector, were instead invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency, Canada would create more jobs: 18,000 more. We also discuss in detail the economic risks of relying increasingly on the volatile oil market.…