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The Most Toxic
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Updated: Apr.25, 2019

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News Stories

  • The Dangers of the Canadian Tar Sands The World's Most Destructive
    Oil Operation—and It's Growing

    National Geographic, Apr. 11, 2019  -As the world's largest industrial project, the scale of Alberta’s tar sands operations is hard to grasp. Especially north of Fort McMurray, where the boreal forest has been razed and bitumen is mined from the ground in immense open pits, the blot on the landscape is incomparable.

    If Alberta, with its population of four million people, was a country it would be the fifth largest oil producing nation. While it produces conventional oil, most comes from the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third largest proven oil reserve at 170 billion barrels.

    Interested? Click now for whole story.

  • Canada’s Tar Sands Pipeline Delays
    Major Pipeline Delays Leave
    Canada’s Tar Sands Pipeline Struggling

    Inside Climate News, Mar. 19 2019 - Keystone XL’s construction has been delayed by the courts, tar sands forecasts are down and investors are worried.

    March has brought a string of setbacks for Canada's struggling tar sands oil industry, including the further delay of two proposed pipelines, a poor forecast for growth and signs that investors may be growing wary.

  • Wild Rice or Tar - Our Choice, Or Is It?
    Controversial Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline Approved
    in Minnesota Wild Rice Region

    June 28, 2018 -The new pipeline, opposed by Native American tribes, would increase the flow of Canadian tar sands crude oil, a contributor to climate change.

    In a unanimous decision, state regulators in Minnesota approved a controversial new pipeline that will increase the flow of tar sands crude oil from Canada to refineries in the United States.

    The long-anticipated ruling is a victory for Canadian pipeline owner Enbridge and a significant blow to environmental and Native American advocates who opposed the pipeline through northern Minnesota in a region rich in wetlands and wild rice lakes.

    Click for more on this story from
    Inside Climate Newsa.

  • That’s Starting to Hurt the Industry
    Offshore Wind Finally Gets Blowing In the US

    Apr 13, 2018 -Protests by Canada’s First Nations and opposition from British Columbia have put another planned tar sands pipeline, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain, in jeopardy.

    When they announced it was suspending work on a major Canadian project that has been delayed by protests and court challenges, it sparked talk of a crisis north of the border and fears that investors may flee the nation's tar sands industry.

    Click now for more from  Inside Climate News>.

  • Axa Insurance Won’t Play Tar Sands Game
    Insurance Giant Axa Dumps
    Investments In Tar Sands Pipelines

    Dec 12, 2017 -Axa will also stop insuring US oil pipelines for business and ethical reasons, taking fossil fuel divestment to new level

    They’re also quadrupling their divestment from coal businesses and increasing its green investments fivefold by 2020. The moves were announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris, called by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to accelerate the use of global finance in fighting climate change.

    Click now for more from  The Guardian.

  • Huge XL Pipeline Fuel Leak
    Keystone Oil Pipeline Leaks in South
    Dakota, as Nebraska Weighs XL

    Nov 16, 2017- TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) shut part of its Keystone oil pipeline system after a 5,000-barrel leak in South Dakota, the company said on Thursday, four days before neighboring Nebraska was set to decide on the company’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

    Click to read the Reuters story.

  • The Solar XL Campaign to Stop the Pipeline
    What’s Next for the Keystone XL Fight?

    Nov 10, 2017- Solar XL is a wave of renewable energy resistance that’s building solar arrays directly in the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline – putting clean energy solutions in the path of the problem.

    The project was launched by Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO, and Oil Change International.

    This 8-minute film shares the stories of the people and vision behind Solar XL. This is bigger than one pipeline. It’s about resisting with clean energy solutions that support communities and protect our climate.

    Click to learn more and watch the video.

  • Nebraska Opens Pipeline Hearings
    Keystone XL Pipeline Fate in Balance

    Aug 7, 2017- Nebraska regulators opened a final hearing on TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Monday, a week-long proceeding that marks the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project after President Donald Trump approved it in March.

    The proposed 1,179-mile (1,897-km) pipeline linking Canada’s Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries has been a lightning rod of controversy for nearly a decade, pitting environmentalists worried about spills and global warming against business advocates who say the project will lower fuel prices, shore up national security and bring jobs.

Keystone XL Pipeline Events

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EPA Confirms Keystone XL
Fails President’s Climate Test

EPA Logo
Feb. 3, 2015 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drove what may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in comments released today, linking the project to an expansion of the tar sands and a significant increase in greenhouse case emissions.

Pipe Line

The Keystone XL pipeline would have transported toxic tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest 2,000 miles to the Gulf of Mexico to be refined and exported. Approving the pipeline would bring increased production of one of the dirtiest, most polluting forms of oil over the coming decades. Note: Mouse over the NRDC logo for a map showimg the proposed pipeline route.
Tar sands oil is not only difficult, costly and energy-intensive to produce but also dirtier and more corrosive than conventional oil. Leaks and spills threaten rivers, aquifers and communities all along the route.

Stopping the Keystone Pipeline

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Canadian Firm Proposes
New Nebraska
Oil Pipeline Route
Omaha Ne, Associated Press - Sept 5, 2012 -The latest proposed Keystone XL pipeline route is TransCanada's second attempt to satisfy state environmental regulators. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality said in July that the initial revised route crossed land that could erode easily and passed near unconfined aquifers that supply drinking water to residents and livestock.

Activists block Texas site

Pipe Line

TransCanada Gets Key
Go-ahead for Final
Southern Leg of
Pipeline Project
Washington Post/Bloomberg, July 27, 2012
The permits dealt a blow to efforts by national environmental groups to slow the momentum behind the southern leg of the project — now also known as the Gulf Coast project. Those groups, including Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, have urged their Texas supporters to send comments to the Army Corps, which governs pipeline permits there. The groups have highlighted dangers linked to wetlands and rivers.

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A Crude Handful

Actual lump of tar sands crude
From Inside Climate News, A Dilbit Primer:  How It's Different from Conventional Oil?
When emergency responders rushed to Marshall, Mich. on July 26, 2010, they found that the Kalamazoo River had been blackened by more than one million gallons of oil. They didn't discover until more than a week later that the ruptured pipeline had been carrying diluted bitumen, also known as dilbit, from Canada's tar sands region.
Cleaning it up would challenge them in ways they had never imagined. Instead of taking a couple of months, as they originally expected, nearly two years later the job still isn't complete.

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