“Industry officials never anticipated the level and intensity of public opposition to their massive build-out plans,” said Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International, in a press statement. “Public opposition has caused government and its administrative agencies to take a second and third look. Legal and other challenges are raising new issues related to environmental protection, indigenous rights and the disruptive impact of new pipeline proposals.”

As report co-author Hannah McKinnon notes, the point of the tar sands resistance campaign “is not to bankrupt the oil industry, it is to protect our climate, and anything that depends on it (i.e. everything), as well as support the front line communities that face the impacts of this industry every single day.”

However, she adds, “It just so happens that if your business model is predicated on rapid expansion of some of the world’s highest carbon oil, then having an impact on your bottom line is one way to keep carbon in the ground.”

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Protests against pipelines is slowly tar sands development and thus “changing the bottom line for the tar sands industry,” Kretzmann adds. “Business as usual for Big Oil—particularly in the tar sands—is over.”

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