Anti-Oil Activist Must Explain His Past To Albertans

Anti-Oil Activist Must Explain His Past To Albertans

Petition: New AER Member Must Explain His Anti-Oil Past - or Step Down

Tell Premier Notley that newly-appointed Alberta Energy Regulator director Ed Whittingham must explain to Albertans his anti-oil past involving the deep-pocketed campaign to land-lock Canadian oil and gas by blocking progress on all new Canadian pipeline projects.


Graphic courtesy of Rally4Resources


Before accepting Premier Notley’s invitation to join the board of AER, Ed Whittingham worked for years at environmental group Pembina, where he ran the organization’s strategy and programming as executive director from 2011 – 2017.

Whittingham was devoted to blocking new Canadian pipeline infrastructure. As Pembina’s leader his name is on payments from the Tides foundation towards the so-called Tar Sands Campaign, the US NGO-supported anti-energy campaign that channelled American foundation dollars into the coffers of Canadian anti-oil activist groups.


During his Pembina leadership stint, Whittingham also oversaw reports that many commentators say were designed to instil a maximum sense of fear in the public’s mind about Canadian oil in order to curtail any progress toward new pipeline construction in Canada.

As an example, a letter to Whittingham from Tides directed him to assist the US-led Tar Sands Campaign by advancing “the narrative that oil sands expansion is problematic, (and) land-use decisions that slow expansion and improve climate policy. This grant is also to provide regular briefings to the Tar Sands group and broaden the base of key influencers as outlined in your proposal.”

As for Saudi oil shipped down the St. Lawrence River or Alaska oil tankers travelling within West Coast waters, Pembina was mute under Whittingham’s leadership and, like other Canadian activists supported by US dollars, targeted only Alberta oil.

Now the anti-pipeline crusader is set to earn a $76K annual retainer for the next five years and up to an additional $36K annually for meetings, as a director of the Alberta Energy Regulator. We say ‘enough already!’

The move comes just two years after Tzeporah Berman, a former Greenpeace director, lost her position on the Oil Sands Advisory Group where she had become a controversial symbol of inconsistent government energy policy, earning almost $23K advising the Notley government on sustainable oil sands development while also advocating against the Trans Mountain expansion.

Premier Notley says she stands by this dubious Whittingham appointment, claiming that because “the AER’s duty to ensure safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of oil, oil sands, natural gas, and coal resources, Mr. Whittingham is a qualified and appropriate member of this board.” We strongly and respectfully disagree.


1) Please sign and share this petition

2) Contact Premier Notley and ask her to rescind her decision to appoint anti-pipeline activist Whittingham

3) Contact your MLA and tell them you would like them to support the energy sector

Good policy is about choices, and this appointment is the wrong choice for Alberta.

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