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The Athabasca Oil Sands and The Keystone Pipeline

Pros and Cons and The Effect on Biodiversity
by

Samantha Casey

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of The Athabasca Oil Sands and The Keystone Pipeline

Every dollar invested in the oil sands creates $7.50 worth of economic activity around the world
Caused Canada's energy exports to triple in the last 10 years to $81 billion. Economy Oil run-off into nearby rivers is causing a build up of toxic PAHs
Fish are absorbing these toxins and contracting diseases and deformations
Decreasing the lifespan of some species of fish by up to 50% Oil Run-Off Water Supply The Athabasca Oil Sands and Keystone Pipeline Pros and Cons Pros Cons The Alberta Oil Sands Source of over half of Canada's oil
Produces over 1.6 million barrels of oil per day
Bitumen is extracted using steam, and then pumped through surface wells
Shipped elsewhere to be refined to be made into other oil products. LB
Canada consumes 1.8 million barrels of oil every day.
Used in products such as fuel, cosmetics, electronics, and plastic.
Canada has the 3rd largest oil reserves on earth.
Most of our oil comes from the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, and then transported through the Keystone Pipeline across North America
The impacts of these are now causing decreases in biodiversity all over Canada. Oil in Canada Jobs There is currently 555,000 people employed in the oil and industry in Canada
10% of these people are aboriginal people LB Future Benefits LB More than 300,000 new jobs to be created in the Canadian oil industry by 2035.
$322 billion dollars in tax revenues to go to the federal government
helps to fund school, health care, etc. LB To produce a barrel of oil it takes 2 to 4.5 barrels of water.
Most of this water is taken from the Athabasca river
Fish populations decreasing in the river Tailing Ponds LB Tailing ponds are filled with water, sand, bitumen, and many toxic chemicals made from the process of extracting oil
cover 170 squared km in Alberta
Often deadly to any animals that land on them. LB Greenhouse Gases Alberta is the largest producer of greenhouse gases in Canada, making about 240 mega tonnes of Greenhouse gases every year
These greenhouse gases are the cause of global warming, which is ruining may habitats and threatening over 1 million species LB STRONGER U.S - CANADIAN
RELATIONSHIP . With this boarder crossing pipeline comes the
forging of a stronger energy partnership
between the United States and Canada.

.Which is a tremendous advantage to Canada
in both a economical and political sense.

. This pipeline creates for both sides :
. Exponential Growth in the Job Field
.Creates permanent careers for citizens in a variety of fields.
. With the driving demand for oil , the economy
stabilizes with the new export.
. Brings a considerable sum of income
. Will decrease the unemployment rate in both countries. ROYALTIES Royalties act as a form of commission for the use of a product or resource.
In Alberta , royalties come in the form of grants given to local municipalities as compensation for the collection of the oil. These grants are used for funding of public services such as schools and hospitals. They are given to the Government of Alberta by the oil companies such as Suncor. THE UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM . The unemployment rate in Canada as
of January 2013 is calculated at 7%. .Alberta has the lowest unemployment
rate of all the Canadian Provinces . This directly correlates with the numerous jobs established in the oil sector. As of January 2013 the United States unemployment rate is 7.9-8% Unemployment Statistics It's estimated that with pipeline's potential for job creation that the unemployment rate can decrease within the next few years. First Nations 5.3% of Alberta's population is First Nation. A large portion of them live in the surrounding towns of the oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Of all of the Natives residing in Alberta 62.6% of the one's living off reserves near the Fort McMurray are employed. Mainly through jobs related to the oil sands. First Nations
HATE the Oil Sands First Nations value their land whereas Capitalistic oil companies value profit The land on which they live and practice their culture is being irreversibly destroyed. Deforestation The appalling rate of clear cutting of vital Boreal forest is the 2nd fastest rate of deforestation in the world. Follow closely behind the slashing and burning of the Amazon Basin. This is done to create easy access of loosened soil in order to strip mine for petroleum deposits. Deforestation at such a grand scale with little ability for the land to cope causes : Deforestation
of Precious
Boreal Forest Destroys a Carbon
Dioxide Sink +
Emits tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Loss of Crucial Habitat
for numerous
flora and fauna
thus causing drop in populations Soil Erosion
which causes
the acidity levels to rise in water bodies Noticeable reduction
of Soil, Water and
Air
Quality REPERCUSSIONS We neglect their way of life in order
to fulfill our own First Nations have numerous health implications which are directly linked to living in proximity to the oil sands. Cancer of the bile duct is a common occurrence in first nations community though it's considered a rare form of cancer. Unnatural levels of mercury and arsenic have been found through out the Athabasca river in the fat tissue of fauna such as Fish and Moose. Both long term and short term health implications play a role in genetic diversity. The first nations people are a severe minority to begin with. When this population dies off or their numbers have severely dwindled, we lose the genetic code of the first nations people. The culture of the Albertan First Nations will forever be impacted because of the oil sands. This affects cultural diversity in Canada OIL SPILLS Although extensive precautions are taken , oil spills are inevitable. Spills on land must be contained quickly to minimize their impact. Therefore Constant monitoring is required If a spill were to happen the effects on the ecosystem and human health would be detrimental Contaminated Underground Water The toxins that are contained in the oil which is pumped through the pipeline, have the potential to leach into ground water tables and enter nearby water bodies.

Humans which consume contaminated water have many health risks associated with it.

Contaminates such as mercury store in a human's fat tissue and bio accumulate THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE Billions of tonnes
of synthetic crude oil are produced at the Athabasca oil sands, in order to turn this oil into usable products it needs to be refined.

A 1,897 km long pipeline connects Hardisty, Alberta to Port Arthur, Texas.

Canada doesn't have the capacity to refine all of it's extracted oil, therefore it is sent through a pipe which crosses six american states into Texas, where lies a hub of refineries It's refined in America, then sold to other countries and even back to Canada. EFFECTS ON
BIODIVERSITY The oil sands create detrimental environmental effects which in turn cause a cascade of influence in the diversity of species. The Boreal Forest homes thousands of
species of diverse flora and fauna.
Ranging from large mammals such as Grizzly Bears
to small bacteria. With the loss of this vital resource, there
is a significant decline in populations of wildlife. The diversity of species is decreased from species of flora and fauna being unable to adapt to the quickly changing atmosphere. The decrease in soil, water and air quality effect vulnerable species such as fish and frogs which are indicators of the effects of human activities. The number of different species
of flora and fauna have drastically
been reduced which affects the
sustainability of the food chains in the
ecosystem. Whole masses of migratory birds are
killed in tailing ponds with noticeable
repercussions in the ecosystem. With traces of PAH's, mercury and arsenic
present in wildlife and humans we see what is to be a chain effect of a genetic implication With all of these repercussions
we see what in a long term period
will be the downfall of the Athabasca
River Basin ecosystem as of a result
of severe reduction in biodiversity. These toxins are passed on genetically from one generation to the next.
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