Tar Sands Solutions Network

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Victories

It's not easy to transform the world. Powerful industries are working hard to maintain our reliance on oil, destroy progress on climate change and stall the transition to a cleaner economy. But people all over the world want a safe, livable future and are starting to fight back, and win.

An unbroken wall of opposition against tar sands pipelines in British Columbia? Victory! Dozens of major corporations, municipalities, and the entire EU committing to shun tar sands oil? Victory! A million comments to the US government against Keystone XL? Victory!

This is the story of the growing movement fighting for a clean energy future.

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Tar Sands Free

VICTORY: South Portland passes tar sands ordinance 6 votes to 1

Feature

July 22nd 2014

Blog Post: In an historic vote, the South Portland City Council tonight voted 6-1 to pass the Clear Skies Ordinance to protect the city from a tar sands crude oil terminal. “We may be a small city, but, boy, we’ve done a big thing tonight! The Clear Skies Ordinance protects our air, our coast, and our community,” said Mary-Jane Ferrier, spokesperson for Protect South Portland. “We are absolutely thrilled, relieved, and exhausted. Of course, we know it may not be over yet, and we’re committed to defend this victory from oil industry attacks.”

Line 9, Stop the Expansion

How a town in Maine is blocking an Exxon tar-sands pipeline

Feature

Roger Drouin | Grist - July 23rd 2014

Press Clipping: Citizens trying to stop the piping of tar-sands oil through their community wore blue “Clear Skies” shirts at a city council meeting in South Portland, Maine, this week. But they might as well have been wearing boxing gloves. The small city struck a mighty blow against Canadian tar-sands extraction. “It’s been a long fight,” said resident Andy Jones after a 6-1 city council vote on Monday to approve the Clear Skies Ordinance, which will block the loading of heavy tar-sands bitumen onto tankers at the city’s port.

Tar Sands Free

Tar sands vote in Maine shows communities can stand up for wildlife and win big

July 22nd 2014

Blog Post: The people of South Portland, Maine, made historic news last night. The City Council passed an ordinance that prevents the Portland Pipe Line Corporation or others from building the large, polluting smokestacks necessary to load any form of tar sands crude oil onto tankers in its beautiful coastal port. NWF asked the Natural Resources Council of Maine's Clean Energy Director, Dylan Voorhees, what this vote means.

Tar Sands Free

Tar sands battleground: South Portland

John Richardson | Portland Press Herald - July 20th 2014

Press Clipping: The battle of South Portland’s residents to keep tar sands crude out of their community shows that what’s happening in this Maine city is just one part of an ongoing fight over Canada’s plans to expand tar sands production in Alberta.

Reducing Demand for Oil

Environment Maine: Tar Sands Ordinance Passes on Initial Vote

Environment Maine - July 11th 2014

Blog Post: The South Portland City Council voted 6-1 to pass the Clear Skies Ordinance, a new, narrow ordinance that will protect the city from tar sands. A huge crowd of 355 people, wearing sky-blue tee shirts, turned out in support of the ordinance, and those from South Portland speaking in support of the ordinance outnumbered opponents 9-1.

Human Rights, Land & Species Impacts

Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia: Implications for the Enbridge Tankers and Pipelines Project

Jessica Clogg | Executive Director and Senior Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law - June 30th 2014

Blog Post: On June 26, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia marked a watershed moment in the long journey of First Nations peoples to achieve recognition of their inherent title and authority over their ancestral territories. This is the first court declaration of Aboriginal title in Canadian history. What are its implications for B.C. and across the country?

Economic Factors, Stop the Expansion

Oil sands expansion not inevitable after all

Feature

Hannah McKinnon | Environmental Defence - June 1st 2014

Blog Post: For the past several years, the oil industry has been telling Canadians that the expansion of the tar sands is inevitable. But the indefinite delay of the Josyln North tar sands mine is a clear indication that industry’s growth forecasts are not accurate and a sign that the continued expansion of the tar sands is anything but inevitable. Tar sands are high cost, high risk, and high carbon. Josyln North’s mothballing is the latest in a developing trend that doesn't bode well for the industry's future. The economics of the tar sands are marginal today. And in a carbon constrained world, they become increasingly unviable.

Stop the Expansion

Joslyn North oilsands mine put on hold indefinitely

Feature

Dan Healing | Calgary Herald - May 31st 2014

Press Clipping: The Joslyn North oilsands mine has been put on hold indefinitely, Total E&P Canada president and chief executive Andre Goffart said Thursday. The operating company and its partners have been unable to find a formula under which the economics of the $11-billion, 160,000-barrel-per-day project would work, he told reporters on a hastily organized conference call, adding engineering work will be halted until an economic solution is found. "Joslyn is facing the same challenge as most of the industry worldwide in the sense that costs are continuing to inflate when the oil price and specifically the netbacks for the oilsands are stable at best, squeezing the margins,” said Goffart.