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Alberta's Oil Sands

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Alberta’s Oil Sands: Are They Really That Bad?
College Communications – Section 106

Friday, November 26, 2010

Alberta’s Oil Sands: Are They Really That Bad? One of the most recent topics related to the environment and how poorly Canada is performing, when it comes to managing its pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, is Alberta’s oil sands. Most of us have seen the commercials put out by the Canadian Association of Petroleum producers (CAPP), created to inform us of the innovations and research that is currently being done to reduce their pollution and carbon footprint. Are these commercials presenting us with straight facts or have they been presented to us in an attempt to sway our opinion? Whichever the case may be, we have a right to be properly informed and our government has a responsibility to analyze, inform and act with the best interest of Canada’s environment and its people in mind. When we compare what we are told by the government and the association representing the oil sands industry, with scientific facts, we will see where our government’s true interest lies and how damaging the oil sands really are. The most obvious effects of the oil sands is the area consumed by their operations. To date, more land has been reserved for oil sands operations than that of the entire country of England. Amongst all of this land, the oil sands have what are called tailing ponds. These are large bodies of contaminated water, created as a holding area for the oil production by-product. Many thousands of migratory birds are sickened or killed every year by landing in these ponds. The oil in the water sticks to them and they are unable to fly away; as a result, they need to be rescued or they die. The Government of Alberta states that “Under Alberta law, any disturbed land must be reclaimed” (government of Alberta, 2010). To date, only one of the...

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