Northern Alberta’s tar sands are home to an estimated 173 billion barrels of recoverable bitumen, a tar-like substance that requires intensive processing to become synthetic crude oil. There are serious social, environmental and economic consequences of tar sands development which prompts the question, boom for whom? Indigenous peoples rights are being overlooked, there are dramatic environmental impacts, water is being wasted and contaminated and market interests are being put ahead of Canadian interests.
The Council of Canadians continues to support the demand for no new approvals of tar sands developments and expansions as a first step to reducing further destruction. Faced with a market-based moratorium caused by dropping oil prices, there is an opportunity now to address the market-oriented energy gold rush in the tar sands and plan for more sustainable energy production and consumption.
We need a Canadian Energy Strategy that puts the interests of people and the environment first based on the principles of energy security and ecological sustainability.