‘Dear Canada’: Colorado climate group appeals to Canadians over CPPIB-owned energy firm

A U.S. environmental group is making a direct appeal to Canadians for help in persuading the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to end its investment in a Colorado-based oil and gas company due to safety and pollution concerns.

In a five-minute YouTube video by an organization called 350 Colorado, residents of Boulder ask Canadians to pressure the CPPIB, which manages billions of dollars for the Canada Pension Plan, to stop investing in Crestone Peak Resources, which they accuse of polluting their air and water.

“Dear Canada. Tell the Canada Pension Plan to stop investing in fracking next to homes, schools and playgrounds,” says one of several unidentified women in the video.

“Tell the Canada Pension Plan to protect our health and environment in Colorado,” says another woman.

The video is one of several recent attempts to draw the attention of Canadians to Crestone specifically and the CPPIB’s involvement in the oil and gas industry generally.

A statement from the CPPIB said community relations is an important responsibility of management at its operating companies.

“We expect companies to achieve very high standards of conduct, well above and beyond legal requirements,” the statement says.

“Crestone has worked co-operatively with local governments to create tailored agreements that supplement their efforts to operate safely, responsibly and with respect for the environment, while minimizing impact on the community.”

However, 350 Colorado spokeswoman Deborah McNamara said Crestone Peak has come under intense scrutiny by local communities because of its hydraulic fracturing — a method of extracting oil and gas by using pressurized water, sand and chemicals to crack the surrounding rock.

“Furthermore, those of us who are impacted argue that the current rules aren’t protective enough and we are fighting tooth and nail to shift that here in our state,” McNamara wrote.

The CPPIB owns about 95 per cent of Denver-based Crestone Peak, which includes assets bought from Encana Corp. in 2016.

Crestone Peak focuses on the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and gas reserves in the Rocky Mountain region.