Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 73 of our Green Year: Spreading Word of the Oil Sands

Cruising headlong into July, Layla and I were very troubled to read a story on today that talked about how Alberta's library users are fined more for late fees than oil companies in the province.

According to the story, located here, library patrons in Edmonton and Calgary were fined $4 million in library fines last year. How much were the oil companies fined last year? $249,000. That is about 6.3 percent of what library users were fined in Alberta.

This is a serious problem. It was only a few months ago that about 500 birds died in a toxic tailing ponds, not to mention other environmental problems that have occurred in the past few years. Several reports from environmental organizations call the Tar Sands Projects, the most destructive project on the planet right now according to

Here is a few statistics from to show just how damaging it is.
  • Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, uses in one year.
  • 90 percent of the fresh water used by the oil sands ends up in tailing ponds that are so toxic, ducks have to be kept from landing there or they will immediately die (as 500 did earlier this year.)
  • The processing of the oil sands uses enough natural gas in one day to heat three million homes.
  • The toxic tailing ponds are one of the largest human-made structures in the world and they can be seen from space.
  • To make one barrel of oil from oil sands than from conventional oil takes three times more greenhouse gases.