Tar Sands Solutions Network

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November 2015 may well go down in history as the month North America reached the climate change tipping point.

Over the course of just 16 days, U.S. President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau banned oil tanker traffic off the Canadian West Coast (dooming the Northern Gateway pipeline to the dust heap of what will never be), and announced the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies; and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced a bold new climate plan that includes a carbon tax, a cap on tar sands GHG emissions, and a phase-out of coal-powered electricity.

Earlier in the year, several tar sands projects were cancelled, $2.6 million was divested from fossil fuel companies, and many international leaders and luminairies -- including Pope Francis -- have come out publicly in strong support of getting serious about combating climate change by switching to a 100% clean economy.

Why so many victories? It's the fruit of a decade of activism and citizen engagement that has seen hundreds of thousands of people attend public events, demontrations and marches both large and small, and millions of people who have signed online petitions demanding that Canadian and American governments do their fair share in the fight for climate stability and justice. 

While much has been achieved, and we are now on our way, there is much hard work to be done. It's time to double down, because 100% clean energy is 100% possible wihtin our lifetimes.

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Transition to Clean Economy

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.

Oil by rail

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."

Climate Impacts, Transition to Clean Economy

We’re winning, and that’s because of you


Tzeporah Berman - December 5th 2015

Blog Post: This month our work paid off and we saw some of our first tangible victories – the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline by President Obama and the mandate letters of Prime Minister Trudeau that will result in new climate policy for Canada. Alberta Premier Notley announced a new leading climate policy that will phase out coal, build renewable energy, put a serious price on carbon and cap emissions from the tar sands. Most importantly we saw oil industry leaders standing on the stage supporting those policies. That’s because of you.

Stop the Expansion, Transition to Clean Economy

Another historic day in the battle to stop the tar sands


Mike Hudema | Greenpeace Canada - November 25th 2015

Blog Post: Today people slowed the beast again but this time we did it at the source. After a string of pipeline victories and over a decade of campaigning on at least three different continents, the Alberta government has finally put a limit to the tar sands. Today they announced they will cap its expansion and limit the tar sands monster to 100 megatons a year (equivalent to what projects already operating and those currently under construction would produce).

Climate Impacts, Stop the Expansion

Alberta Premier puts a cap on tar sands development


Kenny Bruno | Corporate Ethics International - November 22nd 2015

Blog Post: They said it was all coming out of the ground "anyway." Not so fast. Alberta Premier Notley formally introduced the Alberta climate package today, including a "legislated" 100 megaton annual cap on emissions from the tar sands. 100 MT is still a lot, but remember that industry has planned for twice that, or more. All the smart work, the hard work, and the persistence has led to a watershed moment for the Tar Sands Campaign.

Climate Impacts, Stop the Expansion

Alberta climate plan - historic day, more to be done


Keith Stewart | Greenpeace Canada - November 22nd 2015

Blog Post: Today is a historic step for the province of Alberta. After too many years of previous provincial governments heading in the wrong direction and ignoring the problem, we applaud Premier Notley for listening to the growing calls of people across the province and the country demanding action on climate change. The measures announced today will start to slow Alberta’s growing emissions, diversify its economy, create jobs, and allow the province to start taking advantage of its tremendous renewable energy potential. These policies are important first steps, but much bigger emission reductions will be needed for Alberta to do its part to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Enbridge Northern Gateway

Groups applaud Trudeau’s leadership on banning tanker traffic, stopping Northern Gateway pipeline


Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - November 14th 2015

Blog Post: A broad coalition of northerners, environmental groups and First Nations today applauded Prime Minister Trudeau for his act of leadership in directing Transport Minister Marc Garneau to formalize an oil tanker ban on the North Coast of British Columbia, effectively stopping the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. “A permanent, legislated oil tanker ban is the best way to protect our wild salmon economy and bring hope for a new path forward that respects communities and ecosystems,” said Des Nobles, president of Local 37, UFAWU-Unifor.

Keystone XL, Transition to Clean Economy

Full text: President Obama’s remarks on the Keystone XL pipeline

President Barak Obama | POTUS - November 9th 2015

Blog Post: America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. Frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership and that is the biggest risk that we face. Not acting. As long as I'm president of the United States, America's gonna hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world. And three weeks from now, I look forward to joining my fellow world leaders in Paris, where we've got to come together around an ambitious framework to protect the one planet that we've got while we still can.