Nine months ago the first of four unstoppable spills was discovered at CNRL’s Primrose site near Cold Lake, Alberta. A few weeks ago, even though the spills are still spilling, CNRL had the audacity to apply to restart their operations and begin steaming again.
That’s when we, and our allies from Keepers of the Athabasca and Lead Now asked you to act and act you did. In less than three days almost 1,500 people signed a petition to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to deny the application. On late Friday afternoon, according to the Edmonton Journal, the AER did just that, and now CNRL has withdrawn the application.
Now to understand this victory you need to know:
- The AER doesn’t often, if ever, deny these type of applications; and
- Just a day before on CNRL’s investor briefing call CNRL told its investors they expect the approval ‘imminently.’
The thanks for this victory go to you. You stood up to a four billion dollar company and you won.
You prevented them from adding to the damage, from further violating the rights of the Beaver Lake Cree and Cold Lake First Nations, and from adding to the on-going damage their four unstoppable spills are causing.
The fight is far from over. CNRL is applying to re-steam other areas of this lease and will likely re-file this application, despite larger questions still remain about the safety and the government’s knowledge about in-situ technology as a whole. This is only one of many tar sands issues, but while we keep the heat on CNRL, push for a broader in-situ safety review, and push for more holistic change, I hope you take just a moment to celebrate, to raise a glass to grassroots activism and the power of people to do incredible things.
Then as we continue the fight I hope you feel renewed optimism that we can and will make a difference because, as you proved, we already are.