Tar Sands


Open Data on the History of Oil Spills in Alberta, 1975-2013 2

Global News has made a very substantial contribution to the study of the history of oil pipeline spills in Alberta. As I previously wrote in May, Leslie Young, Anna Mehler Paperny, Francis Silvaggio, and a production team from GlobalNews.ca assembled the most comprehensive chronology of oil pipeline spills in Alberta, covering […]


Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 38 Now Available

Episode 38 Histories of Canadian Environmental Issues, Part 8 – Tar Sands: 29 May 2013 [audio: http://niche-canada.org/files/sound/naturespast/natures-past38.mp3][01:38:37] The northern Alberta tar sands (or bitumen) resource is the most well-known environmental issue in Canada today. Representing both a significant component of the nation’s resource economy, and the single greatest threat to […]


Alberta Oil Spill History Uncovered, 1975-2013 6

Leslie Young, Anna Mehler Paperny, Francis Silvaggio, and a production team from GlobalNews.ca have just compiled and published the most comprehensive chronology of Alberta oil spills, spanning a period from 1975 to 2013. Following an eleven-month investigation, the reporters acquired a nearly complete set of records regarding spills of crude oil, […]


Pipeline Hearings in Canadian History

Last Friday, the National Energy Board continued its community hearing process in Victoria, BC for the Enbridge-proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. As the hearings have now moved to the southern cities, including Victoria and Vancouver, the NEB decided to separate the public from the hearing proceedings under way at the Delta […]


An Environmental History of Oil Spills on the Interprovincial Pipeline, 1949-2012 2

On Tuesday July 10, 2012, the US National Transportation Safety Board released its report on the July 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan on a pipeline operated by Enbridge. The rupture leaked an estimated 20,083 barrels of crude oil (3,193 cubic metres) onto surrounding wetlands and drained into Talmadge Creek […]


Alberta Oil Pipeline Spills Past and Present: The Enbridge Athabasca Pipeline Heavy Crude Oil Spill

For the third time in the past month a major pipeline rupture has spilled oil in the province of Alberta. According to the province’s regulator, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, an estimated 1,450 barrels of heavy crude oil (~230 cubic metres) leaked from a pumping station along Enbridge’s Athabasca Pipeline, […]


Red Deer River Oil Spill 660 News Calgary Interview

Yesterday’s news of the Plains Midstream Canada oil pipeline spill on the Red Deer River and Glennifer Lake has attracted some much needed attention to Alberta’s pipeline system. While this most recent spill of between 1,000 and 3,000 barrels (~159-477 cubic metres) of light sour crude oil garnered a lot […]


The History of Oil Pipeline Spills in Alberta, 2006-2012 18

[This article was updated on June 8, 2012] Late Thursday evening on June 7, 2012, the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group, a not-for-profit society, notified Plains Midstream Canada of a major oil pipeline failure near Sundre, Alberta that spilled an early estimate of between 1,000 and 3,000 barrels of light sour […]


A History of Enbridge Oil Pipeline Spills 10

It seems like oil spill history is playing an especially important role in the current debate over the Keystone XL pipeline and Northern Gateway pipeline projects. I recently wrote up a short piece on oil pipeline spills in Alberta’s history. This history of recent oil pipeline spills associated with Enbridge […]


Important Tar Sands Documentary on Al Jazeera: To the Last Drop 1

Dean Bavington recently posted a link to a broadcast on Al Jazeera that focused on Canada’s tar sands industry in northern Alberta. Broken into two parts, the documentary, “To the Last Drop”, succinctly surveys the numerous adverse environmental effects of tar sands development, especially the infusion of carcinogenic toxins into […]