CAPP and Industry Have Themselves To Blame

Commentary, Climate, Tom Harris

To the list of “donkeys” who failed to properly defend the Keystone XL pipeline project, I would add the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and both the Canadian and Alberta governments.

The major driver of anti-oils sands activism, and hence any and all pipelines that help deliver oil sands products to market, is the widely discredited hypothesis that our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are leading to a climate crisis. Why else were climate crusaders such as’s Bill McKibben and NASA’s James Hansen such prominent anti-Keystone protesters?

Rather than contest this fear with reputable science, such as that laid out in the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (, or even take a neutral stance on the need for GHG controls, most industry, government and other pro-oil sands groups helped the protest movement by continuing to boost the message of climate alarmism. spelled it out:“If we want to ensure that we minimize the impact our industries have on the atmosphere, then paying close attention to the GHG emissions in the oil sands has to be a priority.” CAPP continues to promote the same message as do the Harper Tories who remain fixated on the fairy-tale quest of keeping the planet from warming by more than 2C.

So, like the inept industry campaign against ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, they accepted the limits of debate as laid out by anti-pipeline activists, and, so, lost again.

Government and industry promote Canada as an energy superpower and a safe place to invest. But who is going to believe this if our leaders are too frightened to even express doubt about the foundation of the climate scare that continues to hobble much of Canada’s development?