Canada Considers Shipping Tar Sands Oil Across Arctic Ocean

Canada's possible Arctic Ocean routes to deliver tar sands oil to Europe and Asia, bypassing the troubled Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico.Map base by <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Tentotwo">Tentotwo</a>at <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arctic_Ocean_location_map.svg">Wikimedia Commons</a>.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Canada is considering bypassing the beleaguered Keystone XL pipeline—which would carry oil from tar sands deposits in Alberta to the US and the Gulf of Mexico—by shipping across the Arctic Ocean instead. The proposal is in its infancy, reports the Alaska Dispatch, but is developing as Keystone XL and other proposed pipelines to British Columbia and Quebec remain in limbo.

The Arctic Ocean scenarios would also include a pipeline—north from Alberta’s tar sands through (sparsely settled, presumably uncontested) regions along the Mackenzie River Valley and on to the Arctic coastal town of Tuktoyaktuk, from there to be shipped on tankers to Asia or Europe. From the Alaska Dispatch:

Alaska could find itself helplessly watching large tankers loaded with oil and gas pass by its shores. With little spill-response infrastructure in Alaska’s Arctic—no deepwater port exists, for instance—the state is sitting vulnerable, [says Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead] Treadwell, a former chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. “If somebody is seriously talking about building an oil pipeline that would put oil on the water to go through Alaska waters,” he said, “I believe we would have the time through diplomatic negotiation to be able to meet the challenge.”

Not to mention which does Canada really think they’ll escape the wrath of Greenpeace—plus a major redirect of anti-Keystone energies—on an Arctic Ocean oil shipping plan?

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.