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Tar sands

Tankers too risky for B.C. coastal environment: independent engineering report

Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, September 1 2012

The Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal to ship oilsands bitumen from Kitimat along the B.C. coast carries an unacceptable risk of a significant spill, according to an independent analysis by three professional engineers.

Crude on the rails: in for the long haul

Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post, Aug 24, 2012

North American rail shipments of crude oil are estimated to have grown by 360,000 barrels per day within the past 12 months to reach 465,000 bpd — equivalent to the addition of a major pipeline, according to First Energy Capital Corp., or 4% of total North American oil production

Enbridge pipeline opponents lack national platform of Keystone XL

August 19, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Katy Bodenmiller was worried about the proposed pipeline work near her house in Groveland Township, Mich., so she started looking for help.

Keystone XL rival Enbridge avoids scrutiny of oil pipeline plans

Matt Pearce and Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2012

Enbridge is proceeding largely unencumbered with plans to spend $8.8 billion in the U.S. to send greater volumes of oil to the Gulf Coast and other markets.

Oil and ink: Publisher’s bold refinery plan raises eyebrows

Andy Hoffman, Carrie Tait, Shawn Mccarthy & Ian Bailey, Globe and Mail, Aug. 17 2012

VANCOUVER, CALGARY, OTTAWA AND VANCOUVER — He has no backers, partners or investors.

Pipelines, glut of cheap crude raise doubts over oil sands expansion

Shawn McCarthy, Globe and Mail, Aug. 17 2012

Ottawa — Strained pipeline systems and a glut of North American crude will force Canadian oil sands companies to cut back on their ambitious expansion plans over the next several years, a major new report warns.

Proposed Kitimat Refinery Trial Balloon Does Not Address Threats from Enbridge Pipeline and Tanker Project

News Release, West Coast Environmental Law, Coastal First Nations, Living Oceans Society, August 17, 2012

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - A refinery in Kitimat is the latest attempt to build support for the Northern Gateway pipeline that has been fiercely opposed by First Nations, communities, and people across BC. Kitimat Clean, a fledgling BC company whose website went live just this morning, has proposed a refinery that might possibly be built sometime in the future, but only if the Enbridge Northern gateway pipeline is approved now.

B.C. newspaper tycoon proposing $13-billion oil refinery for Northern Gateway oil

Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, August 17 2012

VANCOUVER - B.C. community newspaper tycoon David Black proposed today building a $13-billion oil refinery near Kitimat to use all of the crude from Enbridge's controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.

Wary oil patch gears down

Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, August 9 2012

The spending spree in Canada’s fast-growing oil sands is slowing as some of the country’s largest energy companies trim capital budgets and question the fate of some of their most important projects.

Oil Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline: Background and Selected Environmental Issues

Jonathan L. Ramseur, Coordinator, Congressional Research Service, July 16 2012


If constructed, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport crude oil (e.g., synthetic crude oil or diluted bitumen) derived from oil sands in Alberta, Canada to destinations in the United States. Because the pipeline crosses an international border, it requires a Presidential Permit that is issued by the Department of State (DOS). The permit decision rests on a “national interest” determination, a term not defined in the authorizing Executive Orders. DOS states that it has “significant discretion” in the factors it examines in this determination. Key events related to the Presidential Permit include:

Washington Post: Keystone XL Series

Steven Mufson, Washington Post, Summer 2012

Steven Mufson and three others are traveling the length of the Keystone XL, from Alberta's tar sands to refineries near Houston and Port Arthur on the Texas Gulf Coast. They will report in a multipart series of articles, photographs and videos. A good place to start is with Keystone XL: A Primer

Follow their road trip,  beginning here.

This is not your typical summer road trip. Yes, we’re getting out the maps and fueling up the car. But we are going in search of a story about the very thing that makes such road trips possible: oil.

Tight deadline for Gateway review as political headwinds grow


Shawn McCarthy, Globe and Mail, Aug. 03 2012

Ottawa — The federal government has imposed a strict deadline on a review panel to conclude the work on Enbridge Inc.’s controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, even as it scrambles to rescue the $6-billion project from a political sinkhole.

Canada’s Oil, the World’s Carbon

Editorial, New York Times, July 29 2012

Coastal First Nation Pans Provincial Pipeline Stance

By Kai Nagata,, July 23 2012

Heiltsuk leaders say BC government's announcement today changes nothing.

British Columbia outlines requirements for heavy oil pipeline consideration

BC Ministries of Environment, Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation, Energy & Mines, July 23 2012

Liberals' own report makes the case for opposing Enbridge pipeline

Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, July 24 201

After months of leaving the heavy lifting on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to others, the B.C. Liberals finally weighed in Monday with their take on the controversial project.

China’s CNOOC to buy Nexen for $15.1-billion

Claudia Cattaneo, National Post, July 22 2012

CALGARY – Chinese oil company CNOOC Ltd. is confident its US$15.1-billion bid for Nexen Inc. provides a “net benefit” to Canada because the deal helps accelerate resource development and increases job creation, making it aligned with Canadian government goals, the company’s two top executives said Monday.

It's semi-official: The Enbridge Northern Gateway project is kaput!

David J. Climenhaga,, July 19 2012

If you thought NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair was mistaken -- or, worse, just being "divisive" -- when he said about a week ago that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline was finished, think again.

How Fracking Boosts the Tar Sands

Andy Rowell, OilChange International, July 4 2012

The energy revolution sweeping the United States is now taking up serious column inches in the nation’s papers. Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran with with the headline: “Expanded Oil Drilling Helps U.S. Wean Itself From Mideast.”

Enbridge pipeline doomed to be non-starter

By Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, July 11, 2012

Opposition leader Adrian Dix was quick to make political hay Tuesday out of a U.S. regulator's finding that Enbridge officials responded like the "Keystone Kops" to a spill from one of their oil pipelines.

Failure of Northern Gateway pipeline could cost taxpayers, former insurance executive warns

By Peter O'Neil, Edmonton Journal, July 5, 2012

OTTAWA - Taxpayers aren’t adequately protected in the event Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline suffers the same kind of catastrophic failure that resulted in a $765 million US spill in Michigan two years ago, says a former Canadian insurance executive.

The Dilbit Disaster: Inside The Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of, Part 3

By Elizabeth McGowan and Lisa Song, InsideClimate News, Jun 28, 2012

'Hearing the oil being described as a totally different product knocked my feet out from under me,' Miller recalls. 'What else have they lied to us about?'

The Dilbit Disaster: Inside The Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of, Part 2

By Elizabeth McGowan and Lisa Song, InsideClimate News, Jun 27, 2012

Days of confusion followed the spill. Officials thought they were cleaning up ordinary crude. It was an erroneous assumption Enbridge did not correct.

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