Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is a lobby group for Canada’s oil and natural gas industry.1 Its member companies represent about 80 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and oil production.2 CAPP promotes change and responds to issues on behalf of the majority of the Canadian fossil fuel energy industry.3

CAPP’s vision is to advocate for Canada’s oil and natural gas industry and enable its “responsible growth”.4 Their mission is to promote economic competitiveness and “safe, environmentally and socially responsible performance”.5 However, given the sector’s devastating environmental and social impact, in many ways, these two mission aims are irreconcilable.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ plans for growth

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is keen for Canada’s oil and natural gas sector to grow, post-COVID-19.6 They argue that this would provide much-needed revenue for the federal and provincial governments.7 They also believe that this can be achieved “while leveraging the sector’s leadership in emissions reduction, water protection, and land and species management”.8 However, this is incongruous with the environmental repercussions any growth in the industry would inevitably entail.

What are the oil sands industry’s environmental and social impacts?

Oil sands crude produces about 31 per cent more emissions than the average North American crude.9 This includes carbon-intensive methods of mining oil sands and additional emissions caused by burning the fuel it produces.10 Independent studies have further revealed that the carbon dioxide emitted by oil sands is much higher than industry data suggests.11 Canada is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.12 For this to be achieved, a transition away from dirty fossil fuels must occur. Renewables need to replace oil as the cornerstone of Canada’s energy industry.

Furthermore, the oil sands industry is harmful to the people and wildlife along the Athabasca River.13 Extracting bitumen from the sand requires a large quantity of water.14 Per barrel of bitumen produced, it requires three barrels of fresh water from the river.15 The water ends up in tailings ponds.16 Wildlife must be prevented from going near the tailings ponds because of their toxicity.17

The Athabasca River and tailings ponds

These tailings ponds have grown so large that they are visible from space.18 What’s more, the toxic water is leaking into rivers.19 This risks contaminating fish, birds and other wildlife.20 It also endangers indigenous communities who rely on them as a food source.21 The Athabasca River flows through the oil sands region.22 Communities downstream of Alberta’s oil sands industry have elevated levels of cancer.23 Studies have found the cancer rates in Fort Chipewyan, at the mouth of the river, to be 30.7 per cent higher than normal.24

Sources

  1. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. (2019). Home. [online] Available at: https://www.capp.ca/.
  2. CAPP. (n.d.). Membership. [online] Available at: https://www.capp.ca/about/membership/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  3. CAPP. (n.d.). Membership. [online] Available at: https://www.capp.ca/about/membership/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  4. CAPP. (n.d.). CAPP. [online] Available at: https://www.capp.ca/about/capp/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  5. CAPP. (n.d.). CAPP. [online] Available at: https://www.capp.ca/about/capp/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  6. Producers, C.A. of P. (n.d.). Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Oil and natural gas industry offers a pathway to rapid and sustainable recovery. [online] www.newswire.ca. Available at: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadian-association-of-petroleum-producers-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-offers-a-pathway-to-rapid-and-sustainable-recovery-809565976.html [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  7. Producers, C.A. of P. (n.d.). Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Oil and natural gas industry offers a pathway to rapid and sustainable recovery. [online] www.newswire.ca. Available at: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadian-association-of-petroleum-producers-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-offers-a-pathway-to-rapid-and-sustainable-recovery-809565976.html [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  8. Producers, C.A. of P. (n.d.). Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Oil and natural gas industry offers a pathway to rapid and sustainable recovery. [online] www.newswire.ca. Available at: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadian-association-of-petroleum-producers-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-offers-a-pathway-to-rapid-and-sustainable-recovery-809565976.html [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  9. Institute, P. (n.d.). The Real GHG trend: Oilsands among the most carbon intensive crudes in North America. [online] Pembina Institute. Available at: https://www.pembina.org/blog/real-ghg-trend-oilsands#:~:text=The%20Carnegie%20Endowment.
  10. Institute, P. (n.d.). The Real GHG trend: Oilsands among the most carbon intensive crudes in North America. [online] Pembina Institute. Available at: https://www.pembina.org/blog/real-ghg-trend-oilsands#:~:text=The%20Carnegie%20Endowment.
  11. phys.org. (n.d.). Canada oil sands CO2 emissions hugely underestimated: study. [online] Available at: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-canada-oil-sands-co2-emissions.html [Accessed 29 Jan. 2021].
  12. Environment and Climate Change Canada (2016). Progress towards Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target – Canada.ca. [online] Canada.ca. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-indicators/progress-towards-canada-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reduction-target.html.
  13. Leahy, S. (2019). This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/.
  14. Oil Sands Magazine. (n.d.). Water Usage. [online] Available at: https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/technical/environment/water-usage#:~:text=OIL%20SANDS%20MINING%20OPERATIONS%3A%20WATER.
  15. Oil Sands Magazine. (n.d.). Water Usage. [online] Available at: https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/technical/environment/water-usage#:~:text=OIL%20SANDS%20MINING%20OPERATIONS%3A%20WATER.
  16. Leahy, S. (2019). This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/.
  17. Leahy, S. (2019). This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/.
  18. Leahy, S. (2019). This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/.
  19. December 21 and Alum, 2017 J.B. – (n.d.). Tar Sands Tailings Ponds: Out of Canada’s Control. [online] NRDC. Available at: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/james-blair/tar-sands-tailings-ponds-out-canadas-control.
  20. December 21 and Alum, 2017 J.B. – (n.d.). Tar Sands Tailings Ponds: Out of Canada’s Control. [online] NRDC. Available at: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/james-blair/tar-sands-tailings-ponds-out-canadas-control.
  21. December 21 and Alum, 2017 J.B. – (n.d.). Tar Sands Tailings Ponds: Out of Canada’s Control. [online] NRDC. Available at: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/james-blair/tar-sands-tailings-ponds-out-canadas-control.
  22. Verdict Media Limited (2015). Athabasca Oil Sands Project, Canada – Mining Technology | Mining News and Views Updated Daily. [online] Mining Technology | Mining News and Views Updated Daily. Available at: https://www.mining-technology.com/projects/athabascasands/.
  23. Features, S.L. |, Energy and December 17th 2019, P. | (2019). Downstream of oilsands, death by cancer comes too often. [online] National Observer. Available at: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/12/17/features/downstream-oilsands-death-cancer-comes-too-often.
  24. Features, S.L. |, Energy and December 17th 2019, P. | (2019). Downstream of oilsands, death by cancer comes too often. [online] National Observer. Available at: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/12/17/features/downstream-oilsands-death-cancer-comes-too-often.

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