November 12, 2013
Contact: Cameron Fenton

High School Release “Tar Sands Lobby has no Place in our Schools” - High School Students Call Out New Big Oil Funded Education Project

Open letter to Canadian Geographic and Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Garners Hundreds of Signatures Calling to Keep Big Oil Out of Schools 

Vancouver – High school students are taking on the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Canadian Geographic magazine over their newly launched “Energy IQ” project. The letter, written by two Windermere Secondary School students, was sent to CAPP and Canadian Geographic with over five hundred signatures from students, parents, teachers and community members. 


“The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is Canada’s largest and loudest public relations and lobby group for the tar sands, they have no place being in our schools,” said Sophia Yamauchi, one of the Windermere Students. “The Energy IQ project barely touches the urgent need for a shift away from fossil fuels, and downplays the implications of climate change on Canada and the world.” 


The letter, which is the start of a national campaign to challenge the Energy IQ project, highlights a number of problems with the Energy IQ curriculum. It points out that the definition for oil sands and tar sands are copied verbatim from the CAPP website, and that the vast majority of content is focused on fossil fuels with little critique of the risks related to climate change, pipeline spills and more. It also highlights CAPP’s role in changing Canadian environmental and climate policy as a red flag for the project/


“CAPP is the same organization that has been directly linked to the gutting of Canada’s environmental legislation,” said Sydney Emo, another student from Windermere. “Climate change is the biggest issue facing our generation, and we simply can’t allow a tar sands and fracking lobby group to be delivering it’s version of the truth to students.” 


Canadian Geographic has also been targeted in the letter for their willingness to work with CAPP on a project aimed at students. 


“It’s one thing if Canadian Geographic wants to undermine its credibility by publishing ads by an oil company or working with them on a magazine issue, but its something else completely to partner with a major tar sands lobby group to produce materials for a school,” said Cameron Fenton, director of - the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, who helped to launch the letter. “Canadian Geographic is giving Big Oil a megaphone and putting them on stage in our schools, and that’s just plain wrong.” 


Students across Canada will be working with teachers and other groups to continue to challenge this project in the coming weeks and months. 

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Cameron Fenton


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