Tar Sands Hell

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

In a new report, the University of Toronto's Munk Centre says the massive refinery expansions needed to process tar sands crude, and the new pipeline networks for transporting the fuel, amount to a “pollution delivery system” connecting Alberta to the Great Lakes region of Canada and the U.S.

It warns that the refineries will be using the Great Lakes “as a cheap supply” source for their copious water needs and the area's air “as a pollution dump.”

The report, which is being released today at a conference at the university, says that as many as 17 major refinery expansions around the lakes are being considered for turning the tar-like Alberta bitumen into gasoline and other petroleum products. While not all will be undertaken, enough of them will be to have a regional environmental impact.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081008.wlakes08/BNS... (behind subscription wall)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081010.wreckoning10... money: What do Canadians have to show for it?[/url]

Stephen Harper, as Prime Minister of a country that should have made the petroleum boom a nation-building project, could have found a way to transfer a major share into federal coffers and into a national fund or lasting infrastructure investments. A carbon tax on oil-extraction emissions, as is now being proposed by other parties, would have accomplished this.

But Mr. Harper, continuing more than a decade of federal neglect, made a decision, as the British did in 1979. He chose to spend $60-billion on a tax cut, a last fleeting sparkle from a rainbow of wealth that has vanished without a trace.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/environmental-justice/73-051-000-000-litres]Link to related thread[/url] on leakage of tar ponds effluent.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Millions of birds that depend on the Boreal forest could be lost over the next half-century due to planned tar sands development in northern Alberta, according to a new report.

"The Boreal forest tar sands area is incredibly important for birds as a breeding habitat and as a globally important flyway for a great abundance and diversity of wetland-dependent birds," reads the report. "Unfortunately the rapidly expanding industrial tar sands oil extraction operations increasingly put these birds at risk."

The report, entitled [url=Danger">http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/borealbirds.pdf][u]Danger in the Nursery[/url] (.pdf), estimates that between six million and 166 million birds could be lost over the next 30 to 50 years due to a combination of surface mining, landings on toxic tailings ponds and habitat destruction and fragmentation from infrastructure related to in-situ operations.

"Based on our estimates that could mean 10 to 50 percent of the forest-dependent birds of the Boreal forest of Alberta could be lost, which is a pretty astounding number," says Jeff Wells, the report's lead author and a senior scientist with the US-based Boreal Songbird Initiative, which produced the report along with the Pembina Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

– [url=http://www.straightgoods.ca/ViewFeature8.cfm?REF=651]Source[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/watershedsummer.html]Andrew Nikiforuk interviewed on The Current[/url]

scroll down to:

Episode # 6 : Alberta Tar Sands & Tailing Ponds

George Victor


  The Mackenzie watershed after a dam bursts.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey long thread.


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