Lockdown: The End of Growth in the Tar Sands
Oil Change International, Bold Nebraska, Environmental Defence Canada, Equiterre, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club U.S. and 350.org
The pipelines exporting tar sands out of Alberta are almost full, according to new analysis by Oil Change International. Without major expansion-driving pipelines such as Energy East, Kinder Morgan or Keystone XL, there will be no room for further growth in tar sands extraction and tens of billions of metric tonnes of carbon will be kept in the ground. This would be a significant step towards a safer climate.
All proposed new pipeline routes out of Alberta are facing legal challenges, opposition by local authorities and regulators, and broad-based public opposition. All of the major projects have been significantly delayed with some cancellations seemingly imminent. No pipeline has been built since 2010, despite active industry efforts.
Key findings from the report and the model on which it is based include:
- the current system is 89% full
- the industry will run out of transportation capacity as soon as 2017
- further growth in the sector is unlikely to be viable without major pipeline expansions
- transporting tar sands by rail is found to be too expensive to justify major new growth
- the emissions savings of no new growth would be 34.6 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (equivalent to the annual emissions of 227 coal plants over 40 years)