Americans and Canadians agree: Hold energy companies accountable


The Alberta and Canadian governments are under increasing public pressure for stricter regulations to protect environment and public health in the tar sands. A new Council of Canadians poll shows that there is no excuse for energy companies when it comes to protecting the people, land, air, water and wildlife harmed by industries such as the tar sands oil extraction and refining.  

The poll followed a disturbing trend under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provision under which investors in the U.S., Canada or Mexico can sue the government of another NAFTA country for actions they believe hurt them or their investments. This has lead companies in industries as varied as mining, logging, real estate, chemicals, tobacco, and waste treatment to challenge environmental and public health regulations. The poll found that over 70% of Americans and Canadians think that energy companies should not be able to sue the government to challenge public interest rules.

Oil companies are engaging in ever dirtier fuels extraction such as in Alberta's tar sands where the Boreal forest is destroyed, high levels of global warming pollution are created and toxic waste threatens public health and wildlife including migratory birds. They are also planning to expand the upgrading and refining of tar sands oil to fuel in the United States with harmful consequences for local air, water and public health.

Americans and Canadians want a green energy future and agree that the time to start is now.  There are clean technologies ready for roll-out and we are seeing no patience for environmentally destructive fuels like tar sands oil. We have to hold energy companies to a higher level of accountability.