The Gulf Coast Project: A Tar Sands Pipeline From the Outset

Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. (SOURCE:

The Tar Sands Blockade wants to clear up the misconception that the Gulf Coast Project, or Phase 3 of the Keystone XL pipeline, will only be a crude oil pipeline when it is first constructed from Cushing, Okla. to Port Arthur, Texas.

The Keystone XL’s sister pipeline, Keystone 1, already carries tar sands to Cushing, and has been filling Cushing storage tanks with tar sands for more than a year now. This segment will be integrated into the existing Keystone Systems and will carry tar sands, according the U.S. State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada’s own maps and documentation show that the Gulf Coast Segment will be integrated with Keystone 1 and will transport tar sands and contribute to tar sands
development. The evidence shows that this will not serve the public and will increase fuel prices. This project meets the demands of the shippers and the refineries and their export market, not the declining U.S public demand.

The Gulf Coast Project does not have a separate Environmental Impact Statement, and TransCanada is relying on the State Department’s highly flawed statement on the larger Keystone XL pipeline as it pertains to the Gulf Coast Project, despite the fact that several key issues relating to unique problems with Oklahoma and Texas waterways, among other issues, have yet to be evaluated at all.

TransCanada’s claims in advertisements that the Gulf Coast Project will ship American crude oil is a half-truth at best. Further research shows that TransCanada admits that they reserve only “up to 25%” of the lines capacity for domestic crude and the rest for Canadian crude (tar sands). But TransCanada won’t release, any specific number on exacty what that percent is. It could actually be only 1 percent.

We do not have any idea on what contract limits and time constraints would be involved in shipping domestic crude. If TransCanada has a contract to ship domestic crude, we do not know how much or for how long, but it allows them to make ambiguous and misleading statements such as “we will ship American crude.”

American crude is not what their customers, the refineries, are interested in. The market calls for heavy crude that can be hydrocracked into diesel. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article:

Landowner Call to Action: Reject TransCanada Surveyors!

The Tar Sands Blockade is putting out a call to action for landowners living along the pipeline route to reject TransCanada’s surveyors!

Surveyors are now traveling along the pipeline route in Texas, knocking on landowners doors.

If we stand unified, we can let TransCanada know that we are opposed to their bullying and intimidation tactics. While the corporation has obtained some of its permits to begin construction, TransCanada has not yet obtained all the necessary permits required. We stand opposed to the unilateral action taken by TransCanada against local landowners.

Rejecting the surveyors is the first step in a long-term blockade strategy. We stand in solidarity with any landowner who turns away TransCanada’s surveyors.

Permanent link to this article:

Canadian Video Parodies Tar Sands Giant Enbridge

In this controversial Canadian parody video, “A Path to a Canada No One Will Recognize”, riffs on tar sands giant Enbridge’s new campaign and slogan, “It’s more than a pipeline. It’s a path to our future.”

Enbridge is proposing to build the Northern Gateway pipeline to pump tar sands through British Columbia and on to China. While we are fighting here in Texas, people across North America are saying no to tar sands oil. Protests have already started in Canada. Yesterday in Houston, British Columbia, Enbridge tried to use public relations tactics masquerading as community outreach to sell killing the planet.

Thirty brave women voiced opposition at the luncheon, joining Tar Sands Blockade by calling out companies that peddle in the dirtiest fossil fuel on the Earth.

Some more info on Canadian actions against tar sands oil:

Unis’tot’en Camp– Indigenous communities and allies organizing a camp to block pipeline construction.

Dogwood Initiative– Dogwood Initiative brings together everyday British Columbians to reclaim decision-making power over their air, land and water.

Sierra Club Canada– Sierra Club Canada empowers people to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet!

Greenpeace Canada– Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organization which uses nonviolent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace’s goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.


Permanent link to this article: