Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Tar Sands

Updates and info on ACFN's case against Shell Oil

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Like ACFN FB page and stay up to date on

Like ACFN FB page and stay up to date on our case against Shell and other #tarsands news http://ow.ly/8Nizw

ACFN responds to Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL pipeline

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Immediate Release
January 18, 2012

Keystone XL Pipeline rejected, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation hopeful trend will continue in Canada

Today was a major victory for many Indigenous communities as the Obama Administration announced the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is hopeful Canada will follow this trend and deny new tar sands projects in Canada, including the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline and Shell Canada’s proposed open pit mining projects.

ACFN Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation had this to say about today’s announcement:

“The decision to reject this pipeline comes from the opposition of the many Indigenous communities and our allies.  The Mother Earth Accord outlined the serious implications the pipeline would’ve had on the people, our rights and our lands.  This is a major victory for Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. We hope the Canadian government recognizes Obama’s rejection as a sign to slow down the current pace of development in the tar sands.  Rapid expansion in the tar sands has left developers struggling for inexpensive ways to ship, refine and sell their oil.  Stopping these massive pipelines is key to stopping further destruction of our territory.  We are still working to oppose Shell’s proposed tar sands expansion of open pit mining projects in our traditional territory in Northern Alberta. We hope that you all join the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation this year in opposing Shell’s projects and the development of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  Together we can protect our lands, our futures and our treaty rights.”

–30–

For further comment:

Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation 780-713-1220

Tar Sands Commuincations Officer, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation 780-903-6598



Obama Administration Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Today marks a day of victory for those opposing massive tar sands development in Northern Alberta.

Today Obama rejected TransCanada’s plans to extend the Keystone XL Pipeline. The extension plans would have the pipeline carrying up to 900,000 barrels/day of tar sands oil and natural gas from Alberta all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

This came out of the office of ACFN:

Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewayn First Nation:

“The decision to reject this pipeline comes from the opposition of the many Indigenous communities and our allies.  The Mother Earth Accord outlined the serious implications the pipeline would’ve had on the people, our rights and our lands.  This is a major victory for Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. We hope the Canadian government recognizes Obama’s rejection as a sign to slow down the current pace of development in the tar sands.  Rapid expansion in the tar sands has left developers struggling for inexpensive ways to ship, refine and sell their oil.  Stopping these massive pipelines is key to stopping further destruction of our territory.  We are still working to oppose Shell’s proposed tar sands expansion of open pit mining projects in our traditional territory in Northern Alberta. We hope that you all join the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation this year in opposing Shell’s projects and the development of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  Together we can protect our lands, our futures and our treaty rights.”

It’s clear the US government recognizes the dangers associated with not only tar sands extraction, already wreaking havoc on both people and wildlife in the region, but also recognizes the risks associated with the pipelines.  The proposed pipeline stretches 2673 km from Alberta, Canada to Texas, threatening  freshwater and would lead to an increase in refinery emissions in already-polluted communities of the U.S. Gulf Coast.

It’s not hard to draw the lines of connection between the rapid expansion of Alberta’s tar sands and the need for such massive pipelines, such as the Keystone XL and the proposed Northern Gateway.

We have to continue to be on guard as the State Department in Washington has stated the company could apply again with a route that would avoid “senstive terrain”.  I just don’t see how that is possible, but I guarantee that TransCanda is going to come back with a new plan sooner then later.

For a map of Canada’s Crude Oil pipleines click here.

This announcement come during Canada’s own assessment and Joint Review Panel hearings of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline which has been met with huge opposition across the country.  I hope that the Harper government takes note of what is happening south of the border.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Rally on Jan. 24 in Edmonton

If you’re in Edmonton come out and support the opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Dene Nation is currently an intervenor and will be presenting on Friday, January 27th at the Wingate Inn Hotel.

CBC 8th Fire Series

great series that started yesterday on cbc called 8th Fire http://ow.ly/8sGOP #8thfire #treatyrights #indigenous

cbc sums up first day of Gateway hearing

cbc sums up first day of Gateway hearings in Kitimat “not a supporter in site” http://ow.ly/8qbh9 #pipeline #enbridge #tarsands

Great NASA photo’s that shows the growt

Great NASA photo’s that shows the growth of #tarsands from 1984 – 2011. http://ow.ly/8q3Q1

This is great older new piece on how dev

This is great older new piece on how development plans violate treaty rights in Alberta http://ow.ly/8pTOL

New Year, New Obstabcles: Proposed Shell Expansion and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Coming out of the holiday season and right back into the eye of the storm….2012 is Shell’s expansion and pipelines.

The hot topic for the start of 2012 has been the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.  The proposed pipeline would carry approximately 525,000 barrels/day of oil, predominately tar sands oil, from Alberta to a port in Kitimat and ship 193,000 barrels/day of toxic condensate back along the same route to Alberta.

It’s pretty easy to draw the lines of connection between the Pipeline and the planned tar sands expansion projects of corporations like Shell.  Shell is planning on more then doubling production to total of 500,000 barrels/day and they are going to need a way to ship their tar sands somewhere…

The Northern Gateway pipeline would cross over 1,000 streams and rivers, including sensitive salmon spawning habitat in the upper Fraser, Skeena, and Kitimat watersheds.  Salmon rivers in the Stuart River, Morice River, Copper River, Kitimat River and Salmon River could be drastically impacted by the pipeline.  In addition, the Pipeline is set to chis-cross the territories of more than 50 First Nations.  In BC very few of these Nations have signed treaties with the Crown lending to a sticky mess of  rights and title to wade through.  Currently, the rights and title of BC First Nation to their traditional territories has been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada and yet, the current Joint Review Panel does little to address this issue.

This past fall 4,300 individuals signed up to present oral testimony at the Enbridge hearings scheduled across BC and Alberta. Here in Alberta we have 14 Aboriginal communities registered to be an Intervenor. In BC, the list of First Nation and non-first Nation opposition is growing at an exponential rate.  The Yinka Dene Alliance has garnered the support of over 130 First Nation groups signing onto  the Save the Fraser Declaration opposing the pipeline.

What’s all the fuss, you ask?  Well, let’s take a look at how often pipeline’s rupture.  Enbridge alone recorded 610 ruptures and spills between 1999 and 2010. And of course we all know how bad an oil spill can be and how devastating it can be to eco-systems.  We all need to just take a good look at the BP oil spill for a reminder, or perhaps Exxon Valdez.  For a more details overview of Enbridge Spills Click HERE.

Today, the Conservative government released a statement damning “radical” environmentalists opposed to Canadian resource development. Oliver is quick to makes statements such as “These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.” And, “They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special-interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest.”  All the while, Oliver has shown his true colors by pushing for measures to speed up Canada’s regulatory process for major natural resource initiatives.  We all know these means allowing faster approval for tar sands projects and pipelines.

What bothers me the most about these statements is the Conservative government fails to recognize that it’s not just environmental groups that oppose the pipeline. It’s private citizens from municipalities and communities in the path of the pipeline. It’s First Nations across turtle island supporting opposition to expansion of tar sands projects, which in my opinion, is an extension of the tar sands projects carrying the dirty legacy to the west coast of the country. Secondly, it bothers me that he criticizes these group for utilizing funds from foreign special-interest groups, when he is doing much worse, he is utilizing public funds to uphold an agenda that is not fully supported by the general public.

When 4,300 regular citizen step up to the plate to raise their voice and concern over the Northern Gateway it’s obvious there is something wrong.  Let’s hope the NEB listens to the criticism and evidence being brought forward and doesn’t rubber stamp another project without weighing all of the pro, cons, and rights of the public and those most impacted.

As a member of a community being impacted by rapid tar sands development in the Athabasca it’s hard for me to ignore the Northern Gateway pipeline issue and draw the obvious lines of connection.  Rapid expansion in the tar sands has left developers struggling for inexpensive ways to ship, refine and sell their oil.  As of late, Canadian leaders have been utilizing the angle of moral high ground when it comes to the tar sands.  However, recently this illusion of “ethical oil” is being shattered by new tar sands partnerships being built with countries like China. China, a country with a long list of human rights abuses. Oliver used the argument “It’s in the national interest to diversify our markets. And that is a strategic objective.” Again, logic has been brought back to the dollar and overlooks the environment and First Nation rights.

It is my personal sentiment that we stand in solidarity with the groups opposing the projects.  That we stand with those looking out for future generations, and looking out for mother earth.  I for one, will no longer let run away expansion and development occur in my territory and urge you all to take a stand and say enough is enough.

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