TD Bank Press Release Hoax Raises Question Of Why Companies Invest In Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline

This photo is not a hoax. The green trapezoid is the bank's actual mascot.

Not the Onion. But close.

A press release purporting to be from TD Bank spread around the world this morning that appeared to say the company was divesting its holdings in “Keystone XL and other oil sands related ventures.”

It appeared on, which is similar enough to the real TD Bank website (, and explained the corporate case for getting out of tar sands:

CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Citing President Obama’s recent statement about potentially denying the permit for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline and due to increasing controversies and economic difficulties for Alberta’s oil sands, TD will begin selling its shares in Keystone XL and other oil sands related ventures.

TD will gradually sell its $1.6 billion stake in Keystone XL as the first step toward transitioning away from investment in oil sands extraction entirely.

The price of Canadian crude is not expected to improve much in the near term.” Keystone would help alleviate the lack of pipeline infrastructure but only temporarily,” says David Bouckhout, senior commodity strategist at TD Securities. “Growth of supply on both sides of the border will outpace what Keystone’s capacity will provide in likely two or three years.” …

“Divesting from Keystone XL not only makes financial sense given the uncertainties surrounding the project, but it fits with out pledge to be ‘As Green As Our Logo’,” says TD Bank Environmental Director Diana Glassman.

The fake press release in its entirety can be viewed here (at least for now).

TD Bank is the fourteenth-largest holding company in the country, and sponsors the old Boston Garden where the Celtics and Bruins play as well as the baseball stadium in Omaha, Nebraska where the College World Series is held.

The International Business Times wrote a piece on the story, but soon took it down — though it still exists with an unfortunate headline.

In very little time, TD Bank tweeted out a clarification:

Tar Sands Blockade released a statement taking responsibility for the original release. They said it was part of their long-running campaign to stop the approval of the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, and delay the current construction of its southern segment. Members have been putting their bodies on the line to halt construction for about a year now. This latest action, similar to what the Yes Men have done for over a decade, shows there is a new front on the anti-Keystone fight.

Ron Seifert, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson, said: “Today’s media stunt was intended to hold TD Bank accountable for bankrolling the most ecologically devastating project on planet Earth. If TD Bank wants to be ‘as green as its logo,’ then it must immediately divest from tar sands exploitation and Keystone XL, which will have devastating climate impacts.”

10 Responses to TD Bank Press Release Hoax Raises Question Of Why Companies Invest In Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline

  1. Merrelyn Emery says:

    These types of hoaxes are becoming a strategy of choice because they can do immense damage to the companies involved. A recent one here wiped millions off the stock market value of a coal venture but Moylan could spend 10 years in the nick for it, ME

  2. Leif says:

    Ten years or eternity in Hell. Looks like push has come to shove if those are the options.

  3. Henry says:

    What do they mean “sponsors the ‘old’ Boston Garden”?
    The old Garden was torn down a few years ago, the TD Bank Garden is basically the new Garden.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    And it was beautifully instructive how the regulatory authorities, who have turned blind eyes to egregious business malfeasance and corruption over recent years, seem determined to ‘throw the book’ at him. I bet they wish they could sentence him to thirty or forty years, as in the USA, and teach the reviled ‘Green Extremists’ a lesson.

  5. mulp says:

    Why not pranks to get voters to be repelled by the party that makes it mandatory for members to deny global warming?

    Oh, wait, electing the other party would mean higher taxes, and given the choice of higher taxes and saving the future, vote for tax cuts and blame Obama for not doing anything to stop global warming.

    Why not a prank that reports Gov Perry has given tax breaks to attract Satan who is moving Hell to Texas with tax cuts for Satan paid for with global warming and higher taxes and fewer services for Texans.

  6. wili says:

    Your link at “unfortunate headline” gives me “access denied.” Can’t you just tell us what the headline was?

  7. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    At this point: What ever it takes

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    But it might turn out not to be a ‘prank’.

  9. Joffan says:

    Existing opponents of Keystone may like this move, but the message to neutrals is that Keystone opponents are engaged in deception.