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Tar Sands Development

Perspectives on Tar Sands
by

Julia Yuan

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Tar Sands Development

Perspectives on a debatable topic Tar Sands Development What do they think of the oil sands industry? Collectivist's Views Eco-friendly collectivists are calling on oil companies and the government to stop the pollution of air and water due to oil sands mining and refining, as well as the industrialization of indigenous areas, forests, and wetlands. Oil companies and pro tar sands activists believe their actions fuel the economy and lowers unemployment rates. Alykhan Velshi, [EthicalOil.org]’s executive director, says,
“People can support the oil sands because it’s creating jobs, making Canada an energy superpower, and because it’s employing a family member,” Collectivism comes in many forms. Greenpeace's argument includes the belief that the collective responsibilities, international interests regarding pollution, and supporting aboriginal groups' difficulties about the issue are more important than the self worth and interests countering the debate. "Canada’s oil revenues deliver jobs, economic opportunity and social support to everyone in the country. The oilsands aren’t just about economic growth for one province, as the anti-oilsands lobby would have you believe; they are about advancing the values of social justice and fairness that Canadians so firmly believe in." (Alykhan, EthicalOil.org) "These processes pollute the Athabasca River, lace the air with toxins and convert farmland into wasteland. Large areas of the Boreal forest are clearcut to make way for development in the tar sands, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada."
"...the thousands of workers brought in by oil companies face a housing crisis in northern Alberta." (Tar Sands: www.greenpeace.org/canada) This is a section of a letter (released through the Access of Information) from Greenpeace regarding the thoughts of Shell Canada Ltd. on the tar sands industry they plan to expand. U.S. refineries are using the extremely toxic and corrosive ‘bitumen blend’ that comes from Canada’s tar sands. The potential health effects of the growing relationship between U.S. refineries and Canada’s tar sands are becoming clear in Alberta, where the refinery process to convert bitumen blends into synthetic oil originated, and where the communities downwind and downstream from those refineries have elevated levels of cancer---The money made by US refineries have shadowed the health risks involved. Tar sand opposition believe their actions will result in benefits for the society of Canada and the international community A different way to look at it. Individualist's Point of View The provincial government “plan to annihilate our lands and our future” because "there are no commitments to our people and no protection of our lands and rights. We thought we were working towards a partnership with the government, but this plan doesn't reflect that." Says Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) They believe "Shell's purposed oil projects are a breach to Treaty 8 rights leading to degration of critical hunting, trapping, and fishing lands and waterways in the region.” The aboriginal community chief expresses the abuse of rights, and land/water areas as specified in Treaty 8. The chief addresses the individualistic concerns when he speaks about the rights (freedoms) and the concerns of his own community when it is compared to the economical benefits Canada gains from tar sands. "Recognize the rights of indigenous communities to free, prior and informed consent to industrial projects affecting their traditional territory." http://utopiaphoto.ca/blog The tar sands have negative effects on everyone involved closely with the tar sands but it makes money for the CEO's owning those companies. The greater good, environmentally and socially, the oil sands are a negative impact in many ways. The companies, including Shell Canada and Syncrude Canada and Exxon Mobil, rely on the production and refining oil sands, raising air and water pollution, which in turn risks the health and evironmental aspects.
Industry Revenues: $36.7 billion (Statistics based on 2010 revenues provided by CAPP, Canadian Association of Petroleum Products) Harming human health:
Mining oil from tar sands requires poisoning so much
clean water that the resulting waste ponds can be
seen from space. The health impacts to Canada’s First
Nation communities are severe, with cancer rates up
in some communities as much as 400 times its usual
frequency.
(Canada's Tar Sands Portfolio- www.ran.org) Will the individualistic views based on money, energy superpower, and a thriving economy overrule the collective interests of the citizens' health, other countries' suffering
(from refineries), and planet's increasing environmental issues. With the growing tar sands development, what kind of government will Canada become? Cenovus Oil is an example. They strive for innovation in the oil sands industry for mutual benefits. There are people who try for actions influence by both sides of the spectrum. We work with many Aboriginal communities and organizations in our operating areas to build strong, mutually-beneficial relationships. We take our responsibility for the environment very seriously. We strive to use, recycle and dispose of water safely; manage air emissions; limit our physical footprint; and minimize our impact on habitat, including wildlife. At Christina Lake, instead of relying on steam alone, we are developing a process that mixes the steam with a solvent that helps to liquefy the oil. We recover the solvent, separate it at the surface and re-use it. What is it? Or will Canada choose to accept the growing environmental interests of the collective and decrease oil sand development? Oil sands/tar sands are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. The oil sands are loose sand or partially solidified mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with an extremely viscous form of petroleum referred to as bitumen.

Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world's oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable profitable extraction and processing. Oil produced from bitumen sands is often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, to distinguish it from liquid hydrocarbons produced from traditional oil wells.
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