Boycotting Tar Sands Oil: Will It Work?
Plans to pressure companies to change their fuel purchasing can be tough to execute.
What if you could choose where your fuel comes from?
The largest share of U.S. petroleum, however, comes from Canada's oil sands—a fount of new oil wealth that is behind the push to expand the Keystone XL pipeline to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.
Now the Sierra Club and other groups opposed to the pipeline are urging corporations to shift their fuel purchases away from refineries that process sticky diluted bitumen, or "dilbit," from the Canadian oil sands. (See related story: "Oil Spill Spotlights Keystone XL Issue: Is Canadian Crude Worse?")
The aim is to make the transportation-fuel industry more transparent, and to hinder the expansion of tar sands development. But it remains uncertain how much real impact such a boycott can have.