stop pipelines

Tar sands

Aerial view of Syncrude Aurora tar sands mine in the Boreal Forest north of Fort McMurray. © Greenpeace / Jiri Rezac

The tar sands are huge deposits of bitumen, a tar-like substance that’s turned into oil through complex and energy-intensive processes that cause widespread environmental damage. These processes pollute the Athabasca River, lace the air with toxins and convert farmland into wasteland. Large areas of the Boreal forest are clearcut to make way for development in the tar sands, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Greenpeace is also concerned with the social and health costs of the tar sands. First Nations communities in the tar sands report unusually high levels of rare cancers and autoimmune diseases. Their traditional way of life is threatened. Substance abuse, suicide, gambling and family violence have increased in the tar sands region. Meanwhile, the thousands of workers brought in by oil companies face the boom and bust cycles of the oil economy rollercoaster.

Tar sands companies want to build new pipelines so that they can expand output in the tar sands. These pipelines would threaten thousands of rivers and streams across the country. The increased tanker traffic required to carry this oil would threaten our coastlines. Oil spills would devastate communities and existing livelihoods that depend on a health environment, while the greenhouse gas emissions from producing and burning the oil would fuel climate change.

We have better alternatives.  

How Greenpeace works to stop the tar sands

  • Pressuring governments: The governments of Alberta and Canada actively promote tar sands development and ignore international commitments Canada has made to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Through direct action, we draw international attention to government climate crimes in the tar sands and demand change.
  • Educating shareholders: We meet with Canadian and international shareholders in oil companies and discuss and expose the investment risks associated with tar sands development.
  • Working with impacted communities: We reach out to landowners and First Nations affected by the tar sands amplify their voices and stand in solidarity with them.

The latest updates

 

Enbridge’s Tragic Reminder

Blog entry by Mike Hudema | June 21, 2012 1 comment

On Monday, Enbridge the company that is proposing to build tarsands megapiplines to both the west and east coast had another spill in Alberta. The tar sands spill poured 230,000 litres of toxic tar sands crude into the environment. ...

See the Greenpeace oil spill ad rejected by Canada’s largest billboard company

Blog entry by Mike Hudema | June 19, 2012 8 comments

Last week after Alberta suffered yet another pipeline spill , this one threatening the drinking water supply of tens of thousands of Albertans, we wanted to send Premier Alison Redford a very clear message about the need to invest in...

Democracy, Dutch disease, and the tar sands

Blog entry by Keith Stewart | June 1, 2012

Why is NDP leader Thomas Mulcair being denounced so vehemently for talking about Dutch disease? The term simply describes the effects of a resource boom. And there is no real debate as to whether or not the tar sands boom has driven...

People power vs Enbridge’s multi-million dollar pipeline PR campaign

Blog entry by Melina Laboucan-Massimo | May 30, 2012

Greenpeace may not have their $5 million to spend on ads, but we stole Enbridge’s spotlight yesterday.   Enbridge, which is trying to build a new tar sands pipeline across the Rockies and through the Great Bear rainforest,...

Greenpeace campaign against pipeline has wind in its sails

Feature story | May 29, 2012 at 11:30

Two Greenpeace activists rappelled off Vancouver's iconic Lions Gate Bridge with a 12 by 35 metre “save our coast, no tar sands pipelines” banner this morning, as Western premiers meet in Edmonton to discuss tar sands. The activists hang above...

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