Canada’s tar sands is one of the largest industrial projects on the planet, and its environmental footprint is growing by the second. At a time when the world needs to transition to clean energy, the tar sands is the poster child of what we should not be doing. Tar sands oil is a huge step backwards. It’s time to put a healthy environment above corporate profit and the endless drive for more oil.
At each step of the process, turning tar sands into oil undermines the local and global environment. First, the Boreal forest's rich ecosystem must be ripped open to expose the tar sands sludge.
Then, otherworldly trucks as tall as apartment buildings dig up four tons of earth for every single barrel of tar sands sludge they extract.
Next comes the resource-intensive process of using very hot water to separate the sludge from the sand and ‘cleanse’ the sludge of unwanted toxics. This creates prodigious quantities of water pollution. It also burns so much energy that the tar sands are Canada’s fastest growing source of global warming pollution.
The toxic water that tar sands operations dump into open pits leaks at the rate of 11 million litres (3 million gallons) per day into the surrounding environment. These ponds are so polluted, they kill birds that land on them.
Given the dangerous implications of developing Canada's tar sands, we think the gunk should stay in the ground in Alberta. Stand with us in opposing pipeline and tankers projects that would pave the way for tar sands expansion, like Enbridge's Northern Gateway or Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain.