Harper’s Canada: An environmental policy fact sheet

Part two of our series outlining key events and issues that have defined Canadian politics over the past several months. Here’s how our environmental policy is shaping the political narrative, both at home and abroad.

(Page 2 of 3)
  • Obama delayed (Nov.) then rejected (Jan.) Keystone XL pipeline proposal
  • Harper + Conservatives prioritized Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to Asia
  • Harper to Obama: Canada is “profoundly disappointed” and “will continue to work towards diversifying energy exports” (elsewhere)
  • Harper immediately planned a trip to China for early February 2012, including oil executives like the CEO of Enbridge in his delegation
  • Aug. 20, 2011 - cross-border organization Tar Sands Action joined 350.org in a two-week sit-in protest outside the White House, against Keystone XL
  • Nov. 6, 2011 - The largest Keystone XL protest gathered over 10,000 people to encircle the White House, including celebrities like Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo and Naomi Klein
  • Over 1,200 protesters have been arrested during these actions, including some Canadians
  • In February, Republicans made another attempt to push Keystone XL through, by proposing that it be inserted into a highway bill to force a quicker decision
  • Activists and environmental organizations responded Feb. 13, 2012 with 24-hr blitz to send over 500,000 messages to Congress (led by Bill McKibben, 350.org)
  • Keystone proponents say it will provide jobs + energy security, while opponents raise concerns about spills, sensitive ecosystems and say original job numbers were inflated
  • Jan. 27, 2012 - Greenpeace wrote to TransCanada + requested an investigation through the Securities and Exchange Commission, to look into inflated job #s
  • Reports commissioned by company TransCanada originally said 20,000 jobs would be created, but that claim was debunked and now reports say it’s closer to 5,000-6,000
  • Feb. 27, 2012 - TransCanada announced they will go ahead with the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, now named the "Gulf Coast Project" from Cushing, Oklahoma to the southern coast
  • Meanwhile, they are submitting a revised application for the northern half of the pipeline, giving consideration to sensitive ecological areas in Nebraska


  • Conservative US billionaire donors The Koch Brothers are also owners of Koch Industries (one of Canada’s largest oil purchasers/shippers/exporters)
  • They stand to profit hugely from Keystone XL if built, and are also known to be contributors in movement to discredit climate science
  • The Koch brothers are also funders of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) who are leading the push to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


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