Mining tar sands for low-grade crude oil is devastating huge swaths of Canada’s wilderness. The get to the tar sands, the oil industry is scraping up hundreds of thousands of acres of a vast ecosystem including forests and wetlands. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, tar sand mining uses massive amounts of energy and water, causes significant air and water pollution, and produces three times the global warming pollution of conventional crude production.
This video presentation by conservation photographer Garth Lenz shows and explains the devastation of tar sands mining, and it’s a video everyone ought to watch. If you are moved by it, please remember to give your vote to clean energy candidates this election year.
You can also sign a petition to stop a massive 1,700 mile pipeline project, called Keystone XL, that would transport tar sands crude oil into the United States from Canada and with it a highly corrosive blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate. Pipelines are notorious for leaking, and the risk of transporting toxic materials through America’s heartland includes damage to water supplies and communities along its path. Sierra Club Chairman Charles Wesner—quoted in a recent Business Week article—said, “It’s not a matter of if [the pipeline will leak]; it’s a matter of where and when. It’s going to cause a great deal of destruction, somewhere at some time.”
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