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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- 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

First Nations bear the risks of oilsands development


Gillian Steward | Toronto Star - September 1st 2015

Press Clipping: The most direct and long-term effects of carving up the land, withdrawing immense amounts of water from rivers, discharging air- and water-borne waste, and the influx of thousands of construction workers — all part of the furious pace of oilsands development — have fallen on aboriginal people and the once-remote places that have been their homes for generations. More than 30 First Nations groups in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River regions have reported being affected by oilsands development.

Provinces and States agree to curb climate pollution by 2030

Editors | Tar Sands Solution Network - September 1st 2015

Blog Post: The 39th annual meeting of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) -- the four Atlantic Canadian Provinces and Quebec -- has adopted a regional target of shrinking carbon pollution by 35% - 45% below 1990 levels by 2030. Through the NEG/ECP process, eastern states and provinces have already committed to reducing carbon pollution by 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 75% - 85% below 2001 levels by 2050. Most jurisdictions are on track to meet the 2020 goal.

Sit-In staged at Kerry’s house to dispute little known pipeline expansion bigger than Keystone

Natasha Geiling | ClimateProgress - September 1st 2015

Press Clipping: More than 100 protesters gathered front of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Georgetown home, urging him to stop a pipeline that would carry thousands of barrels of tar sands from Canada into the United States. But the pipeline in question wasn’t Keystone XL — it was the Alberta Clipper, an expansion project that environmentalists have accused the State Department of allowing Enbridge to push forward without undergoing necessary regulatory process, including presidential approval required for all cross-border pipelines.

Bird-dogging the campaign trail in Canada: Week 4 in review


September 1st 2015

Blog Post: The fourth week of the elections campaign opened with an epic moment during Harper’s visit in Quebec. On August 25th, a climate activist interrupted the Prime Minister mid-sentence during Conservative event in Montreal to call him out on climate and call on people to vote for climate justice. A couple days later on August 27, echoing Tuesday’s action, a group of climate organizers and union members held a welcoming committee for Stephen Harper outside his campaign stop in Hamilton. And then we headed for Trudeau’s rally in Montreal ....

Alberta’s oilsands trade-off

Gillian Steward | Toronto Star - August 30th 2015

Press Clipping: There’s no question that employment on the Alberta oilsands has been a magnet for thousands of people across the country, especially for regions with high unemployment such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It’s those jobs that have led to oilsands development becoming the key plank in the Harper government’s economic and industrial strategy. But what are the costs of this massive employment and extraction project? Is it a trade-off that Canada may come to regret?

Alberta Energy Regulator orders oil-sands operation to shut pipelines

Chester Dawson | MorningStar - August 29th 2015

Press Clipping: The chief energy regulator in Canada's oil-rich Alberta province on Friday ordered the local unit of Chinese state-controlled energy giant Cnooc Ltd. to shut down 95 pipelines at a troubled oil-sands plant for suspected failure to comply with mandatory rules. "We are glad the Alberta government is finally getting tough on pipeline safety,” said Mike Hudema, climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. "This decision should send a message to all pipeline operators that lax safety procedures that put Alberta's environment and communities at risk are not acceptable."

Burnaby questioning timing of NEB delays

Tereza Verenca and Jennifer Moreau | Burnaby NOW - August 28th 2015

Press Clipping: Burnaby city council is questioning whether the Conservatives’ appointment of oil industry expert Steven Kelly to the National Energy Board was a strategic move to stall the hearings until after the federal election. Kinder Morgan submitted Kelly’s economic analysis to the NEB hearing, to support the pipeline expansion, but last week, the board announced the hearings are on hold and Kelly’s evidence will now be stricken from the record.