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The Dirty Truth about Canada’s Tar Sands Industry

Canada’s Tar Sands are located in the Northern half of the province of Alberta along with some deposits in neighbouring Saskatchewan. Covering a landmass of 140,200 km2, or 54,132 square miles, the deposits span a region the size of the State of New York or 2.5 times the size of Nova Scotia. The tar sands are located in the heart of Canada’s Boreal Forest, a nearly continuous belt of coniferous trees that extends across the country. Home to a diversity of plant and animal species the region is commonly referred to as “the lungs of the planet,” as it is one of the largest carbon storehouse in the world, second only to the Amazon rainforest. The region contains extensive wetlands, including bogs, peatlands and fens. The tar sands region of the boreal forest is the traditional territory of the Dene, Cree and Métis Indigenous people. At an estimated 170 billion barrels, Canada’s tar sands have put the country on the global oil map, making Canada 2nd only to Saudi Arabia for proven crude oil reserves. Since commencement of oil sands extraction, nearly 40 years ago, extraction of the resource has climbed steadily to the 1.31 million barrels per day in 2008. This figure is expected to nearly triple by 2018. Tar Sands oil is destined for the U.S. In 2008, Alberta exported 1.51 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil to the U.S., supplying 15% of U.S. crude oil imports, or 8% of U.S. oil demand. As of June 2009, there were approximately 5,012 oil sands (mineral rights) agreements with the Province totaling approximately 82,542 km2 (31,870 square miles). This equates to an area that is nearly the size of the state of South Carolina. Close to 41% of possible tar sands areas are still available for leasing.

Our Demands:

It is no exaggeration to call the tar sands one of the most destructive industrial projects in the world. People, animals and the land are dying as we extract the dirty tar sands oil to feed our North American appetite for oil. WE NEED YOUR HELP! CANADIANS MUST NOW, MORE THAN EVER, UNITE TOGETHER AND DEMAND AN END TO TAR SANDS INJUSTICES TODAY! • The Tar Sands must be included in a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions. • The Tar Sands must be subjected to precautionary water quality standards aimed to stop and eliminate elevating levels of Mercury, Arsenic, PAHs and other carcinogenic toxins. • Treaty Rights must be honoured and upheld. First Nations and Métis Communities must be meaningfully consulted and accommodated before any further development decisions are approved. • We are calling for the Canadian and Albertan governments to take the first step and cease new oil sands approvals and lease sales. The time is now to stop the uncontrolled oil sands development and deal with the environmental and social concerns that it has created. • We furthermore urge our Governments to develop an energy policy, which encourages conservation and promotes the use of safe, clean, and renewable energy sources. Together, we can move our Canada beyond the current dirty oil image. It’s time.

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Marshall kept insisting Ethical Oil “is a small grassroots, public advocacy organization. We don’t take any foreign money. We are 100 per cent Canadian.”

She repeated the same statement each time Solomon pressed her to answer with a simple yes or no. When he asked why she wouldn’t answer the question she said she doesn’t respond to questions about conspiracy theories.
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Oil-sponsor role questioned at museum exhibit

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Harper and the Big Oil Party of Canada

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We often remember catastrophic events by recalling exactly what we were doing and where we were when we first heard the news, I guess because they were so unthinkable they brought us to a halt, emotionally and psychologically— time stopped. I was driving down a street in Waterloo, Ont., when I heard the news of the Montreal Massacre, and I can still vividly recall my stomach turning as disbelief turned to revulsion. I will never forget that moment. And you will never forget the oil spill moment, if we let it happen.... Read more »

EthicalOil.org stands for big oil - nothing else

First, I want to apologize in advance for the length of this blog. So much has happened over the past week I can’t be pithy!

I want to start by thanking everyone who sent kind and encouraging words this week via email, phone, Facebook and Twitter. I also want to congratulate the 1300+ of you who proudly declared themselves “radicals” in their letters to Joe Oliver. The response has really overwhelmed me.

The Insightful Comment of the Week Award came from Day #1 of the Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings and goes to Ellis Ross, Haisla Nation Chief,  who said of Enbridge’s proposed pipeline: “No matter how idiot proof you make it, they just keep making better idiots”. I found this to be the ultimate precautionary statement, and a great way to kick-off the hearings!... Read more »

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U.S., French, British, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Norwegian interests have all bought stakes in oil-sands projects. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), international companies have invested nearly $20 billion in the last three years through mergers, partnerships and outright purchases of projects.

This increased foreign investment raises questions. Who has the right to develop our natural resources? Who sets the rules for how these resources are developed? Who controls where the resources are processed and sold?... Read more »

            

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