Tagged ‘Tar Sands‘

WATCH: Alberta’s Environment Minister Commends Leap Manifesto’s Tzeporah Berman for Helping Craft the Tar Sands Deal





Leap Manifest Brainstorm Session

Pictured above (May, 2015) is Tzeporah Berman (first row, third from right). Berman is one of many who contributed to the text of the “Leap Manifesto”, an initiative founded by Naomi Klein’sThis Changes Everything” project. It is critical to note the almost non-existence of non-anglos in positions of power and decision making (with the exception being photo ops) within the foundation financed “movements”. This institutionalized racism has become so normalized that it goes almost unnoticed unless it is pointed out (as in this instance).


Below: Video Published on Jul 7, 2016

“Bold New Climate Policy In Canada’s Oil Sands”


“How Oil Companies And Environmental Organizations Are Creating New Conversations About Decarbonization In A Resource Rich Economy”

Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business, introduced the final discussion of the morning, between Steve Williams, CEO, Suncor, one of Canada’s biggest oil companies, and climate campaigner and strategy advisor Tzeporah Berman, about their innovative collaboration which led to ground-breaking new climate policies on Canada’s oil sands.” [Source]



Further reading:

The Collaborative Model Takes Root in Alberta’s Tar Sands:



Sierra Club, NRDC & Big Greens Thank Obama for Granting Drilling Permits to Almost all the Oil Resources in Alaska’s Reserve

“It’s like saying, without any irony: “Thank you so much for putting poison in my living room, kitchen and bathroom, but sparing my bedroom so my family can still cling to our ‘habitat’ that is ‘conserved’!  Thank you for being so considerate!  We’ll be sure to tell everyone to elect you again!”.  Never mind the contamination to air, headwater, groundwater, rain, the fragmentation of habitat, damage to biodiversity, and the threat of spills in these extremely sensitive ecosystems! – Scientist Maggie Zhou


October 30, 2012

Under the Obama administration, for the first time in history, production permits were issued to oil and gas corporations for drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, both onshore and offshore.

Of little surprise, Sierra Club [link], NRDC [link] and other “big greens” are asking American citizens to thank Obama for striking “a needed balance between responsible development and conservation of special areas within the Reserve.” [Direct quote taken from Sierra Club’s “Personalize Your Message” as found on their website, captured in screenshot below]

The Obama administration’s own press release states:

“The approximately 11.8 million acres that would be available for leasing under the preferred alternative – which makes the vast majority of projected oil resources in the NPR-A available for leasing – are estimated to hold approximately 549 million barrels of discovered and undiscovered economically recoverable oil and approximately 8.7 trillion cubic feet of discovered and undiscovered economically recoverable natural gas.” [Emphasis added]

So thank you Obama for eagerly bringing the total destruction of our planet’s climate and ecosystems.  And thank you, professional “environmentalist” sycophants, for, as always, not demanding what is actually necessary. We certainly do not expect these corporate cockroaches under the guise of environmental NGOs to crawl out of their funders’ deep pockets.

Of course this is nothing new. We have witnessed such faux “victories” before. Yet most remain unaware that many of the big greens behind The Tar Sands Action campaign (including RAN, Greenpeace, and the David Suzuki Foundation) are the same organizations that sold out the Boreal Forest in 2008 and 2010. (View this sublime 1 minute video with Greenpeace below or here.)

Most recently we have the “Defend our Coast” campaign (led by Greenpeace, Council of Canadians and claiming thatTogether we will stop the expansion of tar sands tankers and pipelines to the West Coast.” [Emphasis added – note the language. There is no plan to shut down the tar sands but only to stop the expansion.]

Council of Canadians, working hand in hand with on this pipeline campaign makes their cautious position clear stating:

“Our campaign is an extension of our ongoing Energy and Climate Justice work. We continue to call on governments to ensure Canadians’ energy security and work to transition off fossil fuels, including the unsustainable development of the tar sands. Limiting additional pipeline capacity will force a slowdown of the current relentless pace of tar sands development. We approach the climate change crisis from a justice perspective, seeking to address its root causes, which include unsustainable production, consumption and trade that are driven by corporate-led globalization. Real solutions to the climate crisis must be based on democratic accountability, ecological sustainability and social justice.” [Emphasis added]

One who has little understanding of the non-profit industrial complex may find it ironic that as far back as 2009 when both climatologist James Hansen and Dr Rajendra Pachauri, former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) United Nations called for the shutting down of the tar sands. Yet, as the climate crisis has accelerated at a pace that paints the grimmest scenario possible, instead of demanding what is necessary, almost 4 years after the bold statements by both Hansen & Pachauri, largely conservative individuals by most anyone’s standards, the so-called “leaders” of the climate movement “demand” stopping the expansion of/limiting additional capacity of tar sands tankers and pipelines and the stopping of KXL. The Keystone pipeline, by the way, was 2/3rds complete and in operation before the “KXL” campaign even began.

The shock and surprise routine on the pandering to corporate interests by NGOs is getting stale. It is easy to publicly voice one’s disdain of Obama, Romney, the Democrats and Republicans along with all of the different people (Euro-American’s leading the charge) and corporations/industries that are destroying the Earth. Yet the liberal left continues to be silent on the NGOs at the forefront of a dead movement who lead the sheep to the slaughter.

Also dull is the the self absolution that is doled out by the liberal left: “If Obama or Amerikkka would just invest in green energy. If we would just spend more money on green technology.” The liberal left continues to immerse themselves in fantasy. Lying to themselves and each other, when the truth is that there is no renewable energy source that will allow the west to live at the level that we are living today. Further, there is no renewable energy source that is not so carbon intensive in manufacturing that it will not affect the environment and climate. That’s it. End of story. The same person who is shocked at Obama’s decision is the same person who gets up in the morning and subconsciously goes about their daily lives absolved of any person of guilt for any carbon emissions because it is the “corporations that are all the problem”… yes, they are the problem… but the Western man is also.” – Forrest Palmer, WKOG

Hey Um, We lost. You lost.

Keystone XL Pipeline Construction Begins


“The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has quietly begun construction of the southern leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, installing segments near Livingston, Texas, company officials confirmed Thursday.”

See full story: “Keystone XL pipeline construction begins amid protests” by Kim Murphy, August 16, 2012: LA Times

And then recall the following announcement as found on the site:

BREAKING NEWS: Keystone Rejected. We Won. You Won. Thank you.

 Posted by The Team – 11/10/11, 2:18pm

Amazing news — check out the email we just sent out below, and signup for the 350 email list here.

Dear Friends,

Um, we won. You won.

Not completely. The President didn’t outright reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit. My particular fantasy — that he would invite the 1253 people arrested on his doorstep in August inside the gates for a victory picnic by the vegetable garden — didn’t materialize.

But a few minutes ago the President sent the pipeline back to the State Department for a thorough re-review, which most analysts are saying will effectively kill the project. The president explicitly noted climate change, along with the pipeline route, as one of the factors that a new review would need to assess. There’s no way, with an honest review, that a pipeline that helps speed the tapping of the world’s second-largest pool of carbon can pass environmental muster.

And he has made clear that the environmental assessment won’t be carried out by cronies of the pipeline company — that it will be an expert and independent assessment. We will watch that process like hawks, making sure that it doesn’t succumb to more cronyism. Perhaps this effort will go some tiny way towards cleaning up the Washington culture of corporate dominance that came so dramatically to light here in emails and lobbyist disclosure forms.

It’s important to understand how unlikely this victory is. Six months ago, almost no one outside the pipeline route even knew about Keystone XL. One month ago, a secret poll of “energy insiders” by the National Journal found that “virtually all” expected easy approval of the pipeline by year’s end. As late as last week the CBC reported that Transcanada was moving huge quantities of pipe across the border and seizing land by eminent domain, certain that its permit would be granted. A done deal has come spectacularly undone.

Our movement spoke loudly about climate change and the President responded. There have been few even partial victories about global warming in recent years so that makes this an important day. We need to let the president and oil companies know that we’re ready to take action should they try to push this pipeline through in a couple of years. There’s a pledge to take bold action against the pipeline up on our site, and I’ll be keeping your names an emails safely stored away so that you’ll be the first to know about anything we need to do down the road.

Please sign the pledge here.

The President deserves thanks for making this call — it’s not easy in the face of the fossil fuel industry and its endless reserves of cash. The deepest thanks, however, go to you: to indigenous peoples who began the fight, to the folks in Nebraska who rallied so fiercely, to the scientists who explained the stakes, to the environmental groups who joined with passionate common purpose, to the campuses that lit up with activity, to the faith leaders that raised a moral cry, to the labor leaders who recognized where our economic future lies, to the Occupy movement that helped galvanize revulsion at insider dealing, and most of all to the people in every state and province who built the movement that made this decision inevitable.

Our fight, of course, is barely begun. Some in our movement will say that this decision is just politics as usual: that the President wants us off the streets — and off his front lawn — until after the election, at which point the administration can approve the pipeline, alienating its supporters without electoral consequence. The president should know that If this pipeline proposal somehow reemerges from the review process we will use every tool at our disposal to keep it from ever being built; if there’s a lesson of the last few months, both in our work and in the Occupy encampments around the world, it’s that sometimes we have to put our bodies on the line.

In the meantime, since federal action will be in abeyance for a long stretch, we need to figure out how best to support our Canadian brothers and sisters, who are effectively battling against proposed pipelines west from the tar sands to the Pacific. And we need to broaden our work to take on all the forms of ‘extreme energy’ now coming to the fore: mountaintop removal coal mining, deepsea oil drilling, fracking for gas and oil. We’ll keep sending you updates; you keep letting us know what we need to do next.

Last week, scientists announced that the planet had poured a record amount of CO2 into the atmosphere last year; that’s a sign of how desperate our battle is. But we take courage from today’s White House announcement; it gives us some clues about how to fight going forward.

And I simply can’t say thank you enough. I know, because of my own weariness, how hard so many of you have worked. It was good work, done in the right spirit, and it has secured an unlikely victory. You are the cause of that victory; you upended enormous odds.

I’m going to bed tired tonight. But I’ll get up in the morning ready for the next battle, more confident because I know you’re part of this fight too.


Bill McKibben for the Team

P.S. Victories need to be shared. Let’s make this one fly all over the web: share it on Twitter here and share it on Facebook here.


U.S. to Delay Decision on Pipeline Until After Election – The New York Times

The Hives – “Hate to Say I Told You So” …

Secret Meeting Planned, then Cancelled, between ENGOs and Tar Sands Companies

Secret Meeting Planned, then Cancelled, between ENGOs and Tar Sands Companies

Invitees included Tzeporah Berman, World Wildlife Federation, ForestEthics

by Dru Oja Jay

April 7, 2010 // The Dominion

MONTREAL— A secret meeting between top Canadian Environmental

Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) and tar sands corporations was

cancelled after word of the meeting spread beyond the initial invitees,

according to two emails leaked to The Dominion.

Billed as a "fireside chat" and an opportunity for "deeper dialogue" in a

room at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the invitation was sent by Marlo

Raynolds of the Pembina Institute on behalf of himself and Gord Lambert of

Suncor. Suncor is the fifth-largest oil company in North America, and the

Pembina institute is a high-profile advocate for sustainable energy in

Alberta. The invitation was marked "confidential."

Ten representatives each from tar sands operators and high-profile

environmental groups were invited to the "informal, beer in hand"

gathering. The David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence Canada,

Forest Ethics, Pollution Probe and Tides Canada were among the invited

environmental groups. Merran Smith of ForestEthics was listed without

affiliation, as was Tzeporah Berman, who worked to privatize BC’s rivers

as director of PowerUp Canada, and who is slated to start work this month

as Greenpeace International’s Climate Campaigner. Among invited oil

companies were Shell, ConocoPhilips, Total and Statoil. Leading tar sands

investor Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was also on the guestlist.

The event would be, the invitation explained, "an opportunity for a few

ENGOs and a few companies to share their thoughts on the current state of

relations and explore ideas on how a deeper dialogue might occur."

Three days later, Raynolds sent a second email, cancelling the gathering,

owing to "the level of tension" between "a subset of companies and a

subset of ENGOs." The followup email specified a legal dispute. Sources in

Albertan environmental circles suggested pressure to cancel came from

threats to expose the meeting publicly.

"I personally believe we all need to find a way to create the space and

conditions necessary for deeper and meaningful conversations to find some

solutions," wrote Raynolds, explaining the cancellation. "I do hope that

in the coming months, we can work to create those conditions."

The invitation to the secret meeting came as several of the invited groups

had signed on to an open letter to Enbridge, asking it to cancel the

Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would pipe tar sands crude to BC’s

central coast, to be put on oil tankers. The letter was published as a

full page ad in the Globe and Mail.

In 2008, the Pembina Institute and the Canadian Boreal Initiative

(financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts; see "Can Pew’s Charity be

Trusted?," November 2007) released a report proposing "conservation

offsets" as a way to mitigate the destruction of biodiversity by tar sands


According to Pembina, conservation offsets "allow resource companies to

compensate for the unavoidable impact to biodiversity from their

development projects by conserving lands of equal or greater biological

value, with the objective of having no net loss in biodiversity."

Pembina acknowledged a contribution of $44,000 from tar sands operator

Nexen for the "costs of the document."

Petr Cizek, a land use planner and long-time critic of ENGOs’ campaigns

because of their lack of transparency and accountability, said it is to be

expected that prominent environmental groups will meet in secret with oil


"Is this surprising? No. Is this blatant? Yes," Cizek said.

"The issue isn’t negotiation or compromise. I’ve done lots of both in my

time. The issue is whether the negotiations are transparent and the

organizations are democratic. Virtually none of these organizations are

democratic," he said.

Environmentalists invited to the secret meeting have come under fire by

grassroots environmental activists for their secretive, back-room approach

to negotiations with corporations in previous campaigns. Tzeporah Berman

and Merran Smith both acted as negotiators when ForestEthics and other BC

ENGOs accepted a deal that protected 20 per cent of the Great Bear


Some grassroots organizations and First Nations were furious at the deal,

which settled for half the minimum protected area outlined in protocol

agreements signed by environmental groups and First Nations prior to the

negotiations. (The area protected by the Great Bear deal was later

increased to 30 per cent after First Nations’ land use plans forced

reconsideration of some of the concessions.)

Cizek said he is not bothered by the outcome of negotiations, but by the

lack of accountability and public oversight.

"My issue isn’t the fact that they protected only 30 per cent, or that

they protected the wrong 30 per cent. In some cases, maybe that is all

that you can achieve. These negotiations can be really ugly. I’ve been

there," he said.

"My issue is that they lied to and betrayed and broke a deal they had with

the smaller organizations."

In a 2009 interview published in the report Offsetting Resistance,

Valhalla Wilderness Society (one of the smaller organizations Cizek

mentioned) Director Anne Sherrod made the connection between the Great

Bear Rainforest agreement and the tar sands.

"These are greenwashing deals. I am speaking out about this because there

is evidence that the collaborative agreement industry may be moving to the

tar sands," said Sherrod.

"I want everyone to know that issues where people are dying of cancer from

serious pollution is no place for this kind of thing. Open public process

is your best friend in situations like this. Insist on it."

Dru Oja Jay is a member of the Dominion editorial collective. He is

co-author, with Macdonald Stainsby, of the report Offsetting Resistance:

The effects of foundation funding from the Great Bear Rainforest to the

Athabasca River.

NRDC’s Greatest (Environmental) Hits

From the Mobilization for Climate Justice Organization

NRDC – Undermining sound environmental campaigns through deal-making and betrayals

Here below are a few examples of this corporate-friendly “environmental” group’s greatest betrayals of sound, uncompromised environmental positions. At the end of this post, we offer some background on NRDC’s role in shaping current US climate policy and conclusions about US Climate Policy moving forward in an equitable, sound manner.

Our actions on Nov 30 sent a warning shot across the bows of corporate ‘greens’ who distort climate science on behalf of major polluters and are obstructing and undermining grassroots campaigns for a prompt transition to a just, low carbon economy.

The MCJ proposes a range of solutions (including leaving hydrocarbons in the ground and more).

Table of Contents

1. NRDC played a key role in the formation and promotion of the United States Climate Action Partnership (2007- present):
2. NRDC is promoting methane gas drilling despite absence of scientific studies (2007)
3. NRDC supports New Coal Plants
4. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the N.R.D.C.
5. Oil Giant Conoco and NRDC vs. the Ecuadorean Amazon and Huaorani – forest-dependent peoples (1991)
6. NRDC and Enron: Role in Utility Deregulation
7. A Kinder Gentler Alberta Tar Sands
8. Utility Shill NRDC attacks Prop. 7
Background on NRDC and Current Climate Policy

NRDC’s Greatest (Environmental) Hits