The Canadian Oil Pipeline

The Canadian Oil Pipeline

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

The Canadian Oil Pipeline

Paper Outline


Problem statement:

Introduce the Canadian oil industry, discussing its extent and the current capacity in term of oil barrels per day.

Discuss the problematic element of the industry and the controversies associated with especially the demands of environmentalists.

Discuss the position of the government in the tussle between the pro-oil, the environmentalist and the nations indigenous First Nations.

Clearly demonstrate the division the expansion of oil pipelines is dividing Canada specifically it indigenous people.

Area of Focus: Important details about the Canadian oil pipelines and the reason they are so controversial.

Thesis Statement: Evaluate the controversies of the Canadian oil pipelines based on the complaints of the environmentalists and their push for renewable energy and the response of the industry calling for the expansion of the pipelines at a faster rate to match the supply in an effort to reinstate the legitimacy of these environmental concerns.


Overview of the Pipeline: A summary look at the Pipeline including a short history, major pipelines in Canada and its extent in terms of length and the provinces crisscrossed.

Regulation on pipelines: Discuss the Pipeline Act, the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Bill C-69. This part also touches on the policies enacted by each province affected by the pipeline and notable pipeline proposals (Carter, Fraser, & Zalik, 2017).

First Major Point: Economic benefits of pipelines

First minor point: Arguments for the need for enough pipeline to export to markets with higher demand.

Second minor point: The bottleneck in the industry that is the delayed construction of pipeline.

Third minor point: The contribution of pipelines to the Canadian economy.

Second major point: Environmental risks of pipeline

First minor point: There are various possible risks to ecosystems including water contamination and the creation of an imbalance in wildlife habitats.

Second minor point: This is a discussion about the need for human beings to reduce carbon emission by 2055 zero to avoid extreme effects of global warming (Hoberg, 2019).

Second minor point: Evidence of oil spillage

Third minor point: This section discusses the stand of particular provincial and municipal governments working against the controversial Trans Mountain project.

Third major point: Politics and controversy.

First minor point: The history of the politics and controversy facing the Canadian pipeline go as far as 1956 with the debate over the Canadian Mainline, which was known as the TransCanada pipeline at the time. The Mackenzie valley pipeline was subject to a similar intense controversy from the 1970 dragging on and off until 2017 (Baker, 2019).

Second minor point: The main topic of controversy today is the purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline by the Canadian government to speed up its construction.

Third minor point: Governments have relied on the view of indigenous populations to approve pipeline projects. This paper discusses the concern of indigenous communities about the proximity of oil and gas infrastructure near human habitats and the possible health risks (Hunsberger & Awâsis, 2019).

Fourth Minor Point: Environmentalists have raised concern over the increasing implication of greenhouse gases facilitated by pipelines which in turn support the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels.

Fourth Major Point: Possible alternatives to pipelines

First minor point: Rail is not very restricted in the transport of oil and natural gas as compared to pipeline but is not as efficient and it is significant contributor to environmental problems by burning these fuels to transport them (Green & Jackson, 2015).

Second minor point: A new technology has been introduced that runs bitumen to pellets reducing the chances of spillage.


Restatement of thesis: The world is moving towards the age of renewable energy and the government’s resolve to invest in the expansion of fossil fuels is misplaced. Focusing on futuristic sources of energy will achieve the resolution of existing debates surrounding the controversial Canadian pipeline.

Next Steps: Researchers should conduct a study to establish the extent of Canada’s dependence on revenue from oil pipelines and how long the dependence is expected to last in order to inform the extent to which players should invest.


Baker, N. (2019, June 19). Pipelines in Canada. Retrieved from

Carter, A. V., Fraser, G. S., & Zalik, A. (2017). Environmental policy convergence in Canada’s fossil fuel provinces? Regulatory streamlining, impediments, and drift. Canadian Public Policy, 43(1), 61-76.

Green, K. P., & Jackson, T. (2015). Safety in the transportation of Oil and Gas: pipelines or rail?. Vancouver, BC: Fraser Institute.

Hoberg, G. (2019). How the Battles over Oil Sands Pipelines have Transformed Climate Politics.

Hunsberger, C., & Awâsis, S. (2019). Energy justice and Canada’s national energy board: a critical analysis of the Line 9 pipeline decision. Sustainability, 11(3), 783.

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