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

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.”