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NEWS: Barlow welcomes Redford’s tar sands concerns

The Canadian Press reports, “Hollywood heavyweight Robert Redford, fresh from a campaign against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, is setting his sights on Alberta’s oilsands. In a column published today in the Globe and Mail newspaper, Redford denounces the oilsands development near Fort McMurray, Alta., and calls on Canadians to join him in his effort to shut down the project.” In the op-ed, Redford writes, “In Alberta’s great boreal forest, one of the last truly wild places on Earth, tar-sands producers have turned an area the size of Chicago into an industrial wasteland and international disgrace.”

“Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, called Redford’s clarion call a welcome opportunity to take up a cross-border cause, since each country’s energy policies wind up having repercussions on the other. ‘The way the pipelines and the export market has happened, we have integrated Canadian energy as really a North American energy grid,’ Barlow said. ‘If we’re going to slow the pace of the tar sands and start to move towards a more sustainable energy future, we’re going to have to do it together.'”

The article adds, “(Redford) urges Canadians and Americans alike to reduce their oil consumption, speak out against the oilsands and maintain their resistance to TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial effort to ship 700,000 barrels of bitumen daily from northern Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. …Redford’s editorial also condemned the Northern Gateway pipeline, Enbridge Inc.’s proposed 1,200-kilometre project to transport oil from the oilsands to northern British Columbia.”

In 2008, Redford said of Barlow’s then-recently published book Blue Covenant, “Maude Barlow makes a most compelling argument about what will be the greatest environmental and human crisis of the 21st Century – the global water crisis and access to safe drinking water being a basic human right. You will not turn on the tap in the same way after reading this book.”

To read Redford’s op-ed, please go to http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/stand-together-against-the-tar-sands-scourge/article2242848/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=World&utm_content=2242848.