Today 21-groups, representing a range of interests, sent an open letter to Alberta's Energy Regulator (AER) demanding that they turn down CNRL's most recent application to begin high pressure steaming it's beleaguered Primrose tar sands site.

CNRL tarsands

Graphic by Chelsea Flook

CNRL’s second application to restart high-pressure steaming is on its Primrose South lease site. This site is less than 500 meters from where tar sands is still bubbling up under a lake and where it has been seeping to the surface for months.

Please share and sign the petition calling on the AER to reject the application and conduct a safety review of tar sands in-situ development.

A copy of the open letter is below:

Alberta Energy Regulator
Suite 1000, 250 – 5th Street SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 0R4

RE: AER Scheme Approval No. 9140, Application No. 1787672 – Phases 23 and 24

To the Alberta Energy Regulator,

We the undersigned call on the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to reject the Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) application to re-start high-pressure steaming on their Primrose South tar sands site.

CNRL’s facilities have been subject to high-pressure, unstoppable bitumen blowouts since May 2013. Some of the locations described in CNRL’s application for re-steaming are less than 500 meters from their active spill sites.

The AER must reject CNRL’s application for re-steaming to ensure that no more damage is done to this area. No new steaming activity should occur on CNRL’s Primrose property, including Primrose East and South, until the AER has completed its investigation into these blowouts. The AER must determine the root cause of these blowouts and must identify solutions to ensure events of a similar nature do not re-occur.

CNRL shouldn't be able to add to and profit from the damage it has done to the Cold Lake region while investigations into the causes are still outstanding.

We call on the AER to reject this application and continue its investigation.


  1. Alberta Surface Rights Group
  2. Alberta Wilderness Association
  3. Central Athabasca Stewardship Society
  4. Change Alberta
  5. Citizens for Responsible Development
  6. CleanWater Foundation
  7. Council of Canadians
  8. Forest Ethics
  9. For Our Grandchildren 4RG
  10. Friend of Lily Lake
  11. Glasswaters Foundation
  12. Greenpeace Canada
  13. Keepers of the Athabasca
  14. Manitoba Wildlands
  15. Mother Earth Action Co-operative
  16. Regional Environmental Action Committee
  17. Saskatchewan Environmental Society
  18. Sierra Club of Canada
  19. Sierra Club BC Chapter
  20. Sierra Club Prairie Chapter
  21. United Landowners of Alberta