Report: Alberta Oil Sands Most Destructive Project on Earth

Want the facts on the Alberta Oil Sands? Check our Top 10 Facts About the Alberta Oil Sands  section.


Environmental Defence has released a report calling the Alberta Oil Sands the most destructive project on Earth.

Few Canadians know that Canada is home to one of the world's largest dams and it is built to hold toxic waste from just one Tar Sands operation,” Rick Smith, the executive director of Environmental Defence.

And according to the report this is just the beginning. Approvals have already been given that will double the size of existing operations and Canada's leaders have been talking with the US government to grow oil sands operations in a “short time span.”

Even a former Premier of Alberta is concerned. Peter Lougheed who served as Premier from 1971 to 1985 was recently quoted on the oil sands as saying:

… it is just a moonscape. It is wrong in my judgment, a major wrong… So it is a major, major federal and provincial issue.”

However, there is a silver lining in all this. A recent Canadian parliamentary committee recently stated that:

A business as usual approach to the development of the oil sands is not sustainable. The time has come to begin the transition to a clean energy future.”

Here's a few facts about the Alberta Oil Sands:

- Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year.

- At least 90% of the fresh water used in the oil sands ends up in ends up in tailing ponds so toxic that propane cannons are used to keep ducks from landing in them.

- Processing the oil sands uses enough natural gas in a day to heat 3 million homes in Canada.

- The toxic tailing ponds are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world. The ponds span 50 square kilometers and can be seen from space.

- Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.

- The oil sands operations are the fastest growing source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas in Canada. By 2020 the oil sands will release twice the amount produced currently by all the cars and trucks in Canada.

A full copy of the Environmental Defence report is attached to the end of this post.

PDF icon TarSands_TheReport final.pdf963.2 KB


“Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.”

This has to be stopped. We all knew what greenhouse emission effect is, causes depletion of atmospheric ozone. Do we still have to wait before something happens and wait for a Cure?

Could you possibly send a hard copy of this to Michael Ignatieff and, just to be on the safe side, ask him to initial it at the bottom?

This is my first time to know the information about oil Sand has effected on global warming. I read many time about Canada and its toxic waste. If it is true all about Canada and its ignorance, they should really think about the future. Of course Canada is one of the greatest country in the world and they should be also one of contributors to prevent global warming.

It should be stopped anyway to save our earth and its living creatures.This site gave me new look at what is happening on the other corner of the world and how it is going to destroy our future indirectly. will be looking for more such incidents across the world. Thanks a printing

Common.. stop killing the earth.. We are not supposed to let earth be destroyed by this kind of doing..

by anzelm on Water Purifier

I is just a moonscape. It is wrong in my judgment, a big and stupid wrong…… So it is a major, major federal and provincial issue…

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The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of crude oil, so heavy and viscous that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses.Venezuelan authorities often refer to similar types of crude oil as extra-heavy oil, because Venezuelan reservoirs are warmer and the oil is somewhat less viscous, allowing it to flow more easily. Thanks for sharing.


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