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Berman’s Latest Anti-Alberta Campaign Way Offside

Cody Battershill

Sometimes it feels like Tzeporah Berman wants to see the Alberta oil and gas sector strangled with a never-ending stream of anti-oilsands misinformation. Her apparent mission to hurt our sector – and by implication, to aid virtually every other global competitor – seems relentless.

Now she’s urging California to cease all imports of Alberta oil; it’s just another plank in her one-sided anti-oilsands platform.

Thankfully, some First Nations and Métis communities are still keen to buy an equity stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, despite the recent court-mandated setback to its construction.

Among others, McMurray Métis CEO Bill Loutitt is reported to be continuing his pursuit of a stake in the expansion. And reports say he sees an opportunity for B.C. coastal First Nations to be a big part of the project as well.

The McMurray Métis and other like-minded indigenous organizations aren’t accepting the drivel from Berman and her latest group,

According to Berman, in her recent misleading brochure, “Everyone agrees – tar sands [her words] is by far the dirtiest type of oil. It has an outsized climate impact, is terrible for air quality, and when it spills it’s significantly harder to clean up than conventional crude oil.” It takes nerve to cram four misstatements into one short paragraph.

But experts for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard have found there are 13 oilfields in California, plus crude oil blends originating in at least six other countries, that generate more upstream greenhouse gas emissions than those of our Canadian oilsands blends.

That same California study found the “dirtiest oil in North America” is not produced in Canada, but just outside Los Angeles, where the Placerita oilfield generates about twice the level of upstream emissions as Canada’s oilsands.

What about Berman’s claim that our product carries an outsized climate impact, or that is causes terrible air quality, or that it’s harder to clean up in the unlikely event of a spill? Each of these claims has been proven wrong time and time again.

I’m heartened that progressive indigenous organizations, deciding for themselves, continue to value the Trans Mountain project. They know Canadians are leaders in producing oil and gas that strives to balance the protection of people and the planet.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.