Tar Sands Solutions Network

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Enbridge has proposed to pump tar sands crude through a repurposed 500-mile pipeline that currently runs westward along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway from Montreal, Quebec to Sarnia, Ontario. Enbridge, the same company responsible for the devastating pipeline spill of one million gallons of tar sands crude into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, wants to reverse Line 9 so it can carry tar sands crude to Montreal (and then on to a harbour and oil terminal in South Portland, Maine).

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Overview:

- An aging 500-mile natural gas pipeline that will be reversed to carry tar sands crude through Ontario and Quebec

Key Problems:

- Reversing old pipelines means risks of more leaks and spills

- Natural gas pipelines were not built to carry corrosive tar sands crude

- This leak-prone pipeline crosses dozens of major rivers and runs through major urban centers

Current Status:

- Line 9 has been approved by Canada's National Energy Board.

This pipeline runs through or close to many major urban centres, including Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Cornwall, and Montreal, home to millions of people. It also crosses dozens of major rivers and streams that flow into the Great Lakes, a major source of drinking water. A pipeline spill anywhere along this route would have disastrous consequences.

Updates & Resources

Paris agreement signals global shift off fossil fuels and to clean economy

Feature

Merran Smith | Clean Energy Canada - December 14th 2015

Blog Post: As the two-week marathon of climate talks wraps up today in Paris, the release of the final agreement text is already generating the predictable round of mixed reactions. But regardless of what has or has not been accomplished at COP21, there’s reason to be optimistic. That’s because solving climate change has a lot to do with the global clean energy transition that’s already underway. The various actions countries are agreeing to under the Paris Agreement will only accelerate that transition.

Paris: It’s up to us to close the gap between rhetoric and reality

Feature

December 13th 2015

Visual: On December 12th, 2015, world governments meeting in Paris produced a landmark climate agreement. The deal followed two weeks of intense negotiations and waves of global mobilization by the climate movement. While there’s so much this deal leaves undone and so much work still to do, the Paris Agreement does finally send a signal to the world that the age of fossil fuels is over. Now it’s up to us to close the gap between rhetoric and reality. We’re ready.

After Paris: The climate talks end and the movement continues

Feature

Jamie Henn | 350.org - December 12th 2015

Press Clipping: The new climate agreement isn't radical, and it isn’t enough. It's unacceptable that the fossil fuel industry has forced us to wait this long for a global agreement on climate change, especially now that we know companies like Exxon knew their product was fueling climate change 25 years ago. But I still think the Paris agreement gives us a new tool to fight with.

Talking Paris: Whatever happens, we’re already winning

Catherine Abreu | Ecology Action Center - December 11th 2015

Blog Post: I know that whatever the final document says, I and my countless amazing colleagues here in Paris and back home are going to work our butts off to make sure that our home provinces, Canada and the rest of the world do all we need to do to ensure a just transition to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2050.I know that we are already successful because the transition we seek is well underway and gaining momentum.

NAS study on diluted bitumen spills confirms the need for stricter oversight

Feature

Joshua Axelrod | NRDC - December 9th 2015

Blog Post: The National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that diluted bitumen from Alberta's tar sands differs substantially from other types of oil commonly moved by pipeline across the U.S. These differences can lead to extremely difficult spill response situations where oil that initially floated begins to submerge and finally sink after only a brief period of weathering. On top of this, the NAS also found that our first responders and the various local, state, and federal agencies that respond to oil spills are poorly equipped to deal with spills of diluted bitumen.

WesPac Energy withdraws California oil terminal proposal

Eddie Scher | Forest Ethics - December 9th 2015

Blog Post: On November 16, WesPac Energy formally withdrew its proposed 242,000 barrel-per-day oil storage and transfer facility in Pittsburg, California. The crude oil facility would have included a marine port for oil tankers, more than a dozen oil storage tanks, an oil train offloading terminal, and multiple pipelines to local refineries. “We knew that WesPac was not good for our community and having them as our neighbor would do nothing to make Pittsburg a better place to live” says Kalli Graham, co-founder of the Pittsburg Defense Council."

5 reasons to actually be optimistic about the Paris Climate Conference

John Upton | Grist - December 8th 2015

Press Clipping: Peering closely at the climate talks underway in Paris could be a formula for depression. But, as this year’s historic round of United Nations climate talks enters its crucial closing week with ministers arriving in Paris to take over from their underlings as they try to seal a deal by week’s end, here are five reasons to consider staying upbeat.