How the Battles over Oil Sands Pipelines have Transformed Climate Politics

17 September 2019, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


This paper examines the origins, influence, and challenges of the climate movement’s shift to focus on blocking new fossil fuel infrastructure. It addresses four core research questions: (1) How effective has the strategy of place-based resistance to fossil fuel development been at promoting climate action and the reduction of global warming emissions? (2) Does the strategy risk the unintended consequence of feeding place-based resistance to the clean energy transformation? (3) Is there hope in more innovative processes of regulatory review and facility siting that can promote social acceptance of the rapid transition to the clean energy system but avoid the confrontational politics that have characterized fossil fuel resistance? (4) If innovative approaches have been demonstrated to reduce conflict, why are they so rarely used? This paper will use process tracing, government documents, and personal interviews to address these questions.


climate policy
energy policy


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.