Rail is too expensive and logistically challenging to take the place of pipelines and support expanded tar sands production. Tar sands oil is some of the most expensive in the world to produce - and shipping crude by rail to the Gulf costs twice as much as by pipeline.
Both Trudeau and his new ministers have their work cut out from them when it comes to really getting Canada back on course on climate. That's why today, I'm outside of Trudeau's home with dozens of other people kicking off what could be largest act of civil disobedience on climate change in Canada's history.
In a world that is serious about addressing the climate crisis there is no place for high carbon assets like the tar sands. Markets need to move to low carbon futures and the more Alberta tries to flood the market with tar sands crude the more it is thwarting efforts towards progress.
Climate change ought to be a major issue this election, but I'm saddened to note that it has received little attention. Perhaps a quick update on both the problem and the solutions would add some helpful perspective in these final days of the campaign.
We need to move towards a society where oil products are not used for power or fuel. Until that day comes, we need these products and the safest, most environmentally responsible way to get them to us over land is via pipelines.
After decades of exhaustive attempts to overcome the dirty reputation of oil sands, we finally have an environmentally-friendly and low cost method to tap into these vast resources in the state of Utah -- good news both for Mother Nature and all oil and gas investors.
On August 4, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 10th Circuit shot down the Sierra Club's petition for rehearing motion for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. The decision effectively writes the final chapter of a years-long legal battle in federal courts.
Canada has given oil sands a dirty reputation, but a breakthrough, commercially viable technology has caught the eye of a former Exxon Mobil president who is putting it to use to clean up Utah's billions of barrels of oil sands.
What will spur a price recovery? North American producers may not want to hear it, but the most likely road to higher prices is one that will see them end up as smaller players in tomorrow's oil market.
We can't shut off the fossil fuel economy overnight, but the science clearly says that we need a real plan to leave fossil fuels like tar sands underground. Politicians need to stop treating this country like idiots and recognize that most people want an economy that's not dependent on the boom and bust of the oil cycle.
The premiers' Canadian Energy Strategy focuses on energy conservation and efficiency, clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. But details are vague and there's no sense of urgency. Although the language about climate change and clean energy is important, the strategy remains stuck in the fossil fuel era.
Instead of talking with the country's other provincial leaders about how to speed up the transition to renewable energy, Notley met with Quebec's premier to talk about how to dig us further into the problem by green lighting the $12-billion Energy East tar sands pipeline.
Shell Oil has announced it may take a page out of the BP "Beyond Petroleum" greenwashing book, rebranding itself as something other than an oil company for its United States-based unit. "Oil" could at some point in the near future be removed from the name.
On Thursday, July 3, on the eve of a long Fourth of July holiday weekend, Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge landed a sweetheart deal: a provision in the 2015 Wisconsin budget that will serve to expedite permitting for its controversial proposed Line 61 tar sands pipeline expansion project.
If nothing else, the G7 countries' recent agreement to end fossil fuel use for energy by 2100 signals a shift in the way we talk and think about global warming. Previous agreements were about reducing carbon emissions from burning coal, oil and gas. This takes matters a step further by envisioning a fossil fuel-free future. Moving toward zero carbon emissions -- in a much shorter timeline than agreed upon by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States -- is absolutely necessary, and not just for the climate.
Despite the bad press that continues to dog the oil sands, it's not a potential foreign boycott of "dirty" Canadian oil that's the biggest problem for the domestic energy industry. No, the larger challenge is simple economics.