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The U.S., Canada and Tar Sands: Pollution Without Borders

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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:29 AM
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The U.S., Canada and Tar Sands: Pollution Without Borders

http://www.racewire.org/archives/2009/08/the_us_canada_...


The government is busy stemming the flow of immigration from Mexico, but its welcoming a different kind of flood from the north. The State Department just approved a project to pipe some of the worlds dirtiest oil from Canada into Americas fuel-hungry economy.

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Tar sands development in Alberta is creating an environmental catastrophe, with toxic tailings ponds so large they can be seen from space and plans to strip away the forests and peat lands in an area the size of Florida. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands production are three times that of conventional crude oil and tar sands oil contains 11 times more sulfur and nickel, six times more nitrogen and five times more lead than conventional oil. These toxins are released into the U.S. air and water when the crude oil is processed into fuels by refineries.
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Though it insists that the administration wants to move the country away from fossil-fuel dependency, the State Department defends the plan as a boon to America's strategic interests and a source of desperately needed jobs:

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The perversity of promoting economic development through environmental destruction is not lost on the communities that suffer deeply from both poverty and pollution. Indigenous communities in the U.S. and Canada are protesting the pending incursion on forests and native lands.

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As for the purported economic benefits of tar sands extraction, the Canada-based environmental group Polaris Institute says that in Alberta, the oil industry has contributed to economic volatility and increased inequality, thanks to an unfair royalty structure that ends up starving low-income communities. And despite the promise of jobs, Polaris argues, cheap labour practices allow oil companies operating in the tar sands to cut their labour costs by hiring non-unionized workers and workers from other countries. As U.S. officials push forward their shovel ready construction projects, Alberta provides a cautionary tale for what can happen when sustainable development goals are traded for short-term gains.
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but hey! the oil Barons like having their pockets full of money. oil Barons rule. they don't have to live anywhere near dirty oil. or even get their hands dirty. as for the world going to hell over climate change, what do the Barons care. they will live high on the hog anyway.



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