Oil Opponents Cheer Industry Stall

Not enough people freeze during winter:

Opponents of Canada’s oil industry are celebrating this week over news they see as vindication of a pipeline-fighting strategy that began in the United States with Keystone XL.

Their burst of enthusiasm was prompted by news that Shell was shuttering an 80,000-barrel-a-day project — and specifically citing the lack of pipeline infrastructure as part of the reason.

That announcement prompted a congratulatory message from a political activist who began organizing Nebraska ranchers opposed to Keystone XL five years ago.

Jane Kleeb emailed ranchers Wednesday to say their work against the Alberta-to-Texas project was having a ripple effect across the continent, with the expansion of the Alberta oilsands now in doubt.

“Turns out fighting Keystone XL with all the might of small and large groups in U.S.A. and in Canada is working,” Kleeb wrote.

“Not only to stop Keystone XL but to stop the tarsands expansion.”

Kleeb helped organize the first of several major fights against export pipelines from the land-locked oilsands, with that so-far-successful stalling effort against Keystone XL now being replicated in protest efforts against different pipelines in Canada.

But advocates for new oil infrastructure have been able to parry their logic in recent years. They’ve pointed to the ongoing surge in Canadian production, the increased exports, and the dramatic rise in oil-by-rail which actually pollutes far more than pipelines as proof the pipeline-fighting was counter-productive.

The timing of this week’s announcement, however, made Greg Muttitt appear like a fortune-teller.

Shell’s cancellation notice came just hours after Muttitt released a 40-page report that predicted the growth of Alberta’s oilsands would be stalled — and the cause would be a lack of pipelines.

His report for the anti-oilsands group Oil Change International had offered a three-part conclusion: pipelines are almost full; rail is too expensive to justify new projects; and oilsands expansion is about to stall.

This is good news, according to his group.

(Sidebar: his group is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Tides Foundation.)


  • JoKeR

    I am sure the Iranians and Saudis are very pleased.

    • andycanuck

      And Warren Buffett.

  • Exile1981

    That group is also funded by Warren Buffet who owns 85% of the oil by rail tanker cars. So when the pipeline is killed it will make him even more money.

  • canminuteman

    People in the oil business should make a blacklist of all these people who are against oil, and when they show up at gas stations to fill up their BMWs and try to get their executive jets filled, refuse to serve them. With modern data and comms systems this is probably relatively simple to do.

    • andycanuck

      They already do it driving into the States from Canada. I’d think it would be doable for private gas companies even without government-sized resources.

  • WalterBannon

    It is good news, but only because these crooked liberals do not deserve the revenue and it will only make their failure as a government more apparent in four years

  • andycanuck

    And, I’d add, companies voluntarily shut down all fossil fuel pipelines in Canada for a month so people could see what it would be like. (After I get a month’s worth of food stockpiled.)

  • pike bishop

    The drum beat against all thing oil & gas related is approaching it’s crescendo.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      In time for winter.

    • Cat-astrophe

      The end of the beginning has arrived, that’s all.

      • pike bishop

        That’s enough.

  • simus1

    Cheap oil has taken all storage space available in the US and Emperor Barry is supposedly musing that the strategic reserve should also be sold. Whether he means the oil in it or the whole facility is a good question. In any case, when huge oil companies pull the plug on huge projects, they are not primarily responding to environut provincial governments or environut front groups.
    Something big is on their radars and the contradiction between cheap oil, minimal interest rates, and sluggish stalled economies around the world is to say the least, somewhat worrisome.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I don’t worry about it.
      People have voted in crap governments that will wear it for years to come.

  • Cat-astrophe

    Alberta is going to become a failed state. First NDP spend to prosperity Government. We will have 40 billion in debt when they are ousted.
    A new pipeline and Alberta hating money spending Prime Minister, who is frankly, weird.
    Add the failing oil industry.
    The pressure’s on Alberta’s oil and gas industry are the low price’s, pipelines, and the elephant in the room, “climate change”.
    Replacement costs are too high, there is no money being made to be re-invested. As time goes by, lost production is not replaced, the longer it goes, the less will be available to get the drilling rigs going. People change careers, move away, retire.
    It is pretty obvious that ALL our Alberta crude is lumped in with the Oil Sands of Fort McMurray. There is a concentrated effort world wide against it.
    Europe wants to ban it. It’s labeled as the most pollution per unit of usable energy of any oil, anywhere. Even more deadly than the heavier heavy oil from Venezuela, lol.
    I’ve lived through all the oil boom and busts Alberta has seen since 1973, never has there been such a perfect storm for the catastrophic failure of our industry, one that when it happens, it will be no longer affordable to live in the Great White North in anything less efficient than large buildings containing a hundred 250 to 350 sq foot Agenda 21 (2030) housing units.
    To top it off, the land lords will be Muslim immigrants.